While the U.S. and the UK are making efforts to reduce the number of immigrants coming in to their respective countries, Canada has decided to move in the opposite direction.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has introduced new changes to its Express Entry program, effective from November 19, with the aim to attract more highly-skilled workers and drive economic growth.

The points-based system – which scores and ranks applicants based on factors such as age, language ability, education level, and work experience and then matches them with Canadian employers – is said to make it easier for international students seeking to obtain permanent residency.

According to a statement released by the IRCC, the changes include awarding points for job offers to eligible candidates already in Canada on Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exempt work permits, and to international students who completed their studies in Canada.

Furthermore, applicants will be given more time (an additional 30 days from the previous 60) to submit an application for permanent residence once an invitation to apply is received.


Under the new rules, those holding qualifications awarded by Canadian universities would be given points, whereas the previous rules did not.

Foreign graduates with a postsecondary degree, diploma, or certificate from local educational institutions will be awarded up to 30 additional points.

Speaking to Canadian Business, Tamara Mosher-Kuczer, an associate at an immigration law firm based in Ottawa, said: “It’s going to be a boon to international students who have studied here – it’s going to give them a big leg up.”


Foreign academics are also said to benefit from the changes, as educational institutions will have to go through fewer hurdles in order to bring in talent from overseas.

“We have committed to doing more to attract highly skilled immigrants to come to Canada and become permanent residents, because this is important to build our economy and strengthen our society. I am confident that the changes to Express Entry will be one of the many positive outcomes of the changes we will be bringing to our immigration system,” said Immigration Minister John McCallum on Monday.

Image via Shutterstock

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