New Immigration Rules Change the Role of the LMIA
The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has put new immigration rules in place, effective November 19th, 2016. These changes will have a major effect on immigration and how permanent residence can be obtained in Canada.
Here we answer the most common questions on the new rules:
What’s the biggest change?
The comprehensive ranking system – or CRS – is the IRCC’s way of determining a candidate’s eligibility for permanent residence. It is comprised of 1200 points that are divvied up amongst different factors affected by a candidate’s core human capital, accompanying spouse, skill transferability, and other variables. The biggest change is in how these points are distributed in the ranking.
The LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) is a process that verifies the need for an international worker to fill a role that Canadian workers cannot. Until now, it carried a lot of weight in the CRS, automatically netting a candidate 600 points if they have one. But as of November 19th, the LMIA is only worth 50-200 points, depending on the occupation.
New points have also been created for International students, who will now be eligible for up to 30 additional CRS points.
What does it mean?
Those in the Express Entry (EE) pool without a job offer will suddenly find their profile can compete for an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence.
It also means that other factors in the CRS such as language, education, and health, are weighted more heavily in the ranking system.
In short, it may even out the playing field for candidates with varying profiles, with international students receiving greater priority. “The Express Entry is a very sophisticated ranking system in helping people to receive points in different sectors,” says Vivien Lee, a Senior Consultant at Lowe & Company Immigration & Business Lawyers.
Are LMIAs no longer important?
Those who previously held an LMIA may feel like their profile rankings will take a hit, but the reality is that the average candidate holds a score between 350-400 points, so even the 50 points from an LMIA could increase their chances of getting an ITA. It all depends on the CRS points of the candidates in the Express Entry pool at the time when a selection or a “draw” takes place for the ITA.
And LMIAs still have an important role.
“The LMIA will still take place for a lot of foreign workers because, in most situations, you cannot hire people without a work permit, and you cannot apply for the work permit without the LMIA,” explains Lee.
Navigating Express Entry
These major changes in how the points are allocated in the CRS could mean a significant fall in the minimum score required to obtain an ITA in upcoming EE draws.
But Express Entry and CRS can be complex and difficult to navigate, especially in light of the recent changes. Immigrants need to be wary of scammers and misinformation.
“I have one client with a PhD and he cannot figure out the express entry system,” Lee shares, and adds, “it’s worth speaking with an expert. It’s an investment to have advice on immigration. You cannot afford to go wrong. I always suggest speaking to someone who knows what steps to take.”
Lowe & Company
Immigration & Business Lawyers
900-777 West Broadway
Vancouver, B.C., Canada, V5Z 4J7
Tel: 604-875-9338 Fax: 604-875-1325
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