In Canada’s Express Entry system, landing an eligible job offer from a Canadian employer can help candidates to maximize their points in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and obtain an invitation to apply (ITA) for immigration to Canada. However, not all job offers are eligible for CRS points. In this article, we explain what makes a job offer eligible for points, how many points you get, plus tips and tricks for finding a job offer for Express Entry immigration to Canada.
What job offers can you claim CRS points for in Express Entry?
Not all job offers will earn you CRS points on your Express Entry profile. In order to get points, your job offer has to be considered valid under Express Entry.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) states that to be considered valid under Express Entry, a Canadian job offer must be for a job that is:
- Full-time and non-seasonal;
- For a minimum of at least one year;
- For a job offer at Skill Level 0, A, or B, according to the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system; and
- Supported by a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), or exempt from needing one.
If you are claiming points for a job offer under Express Entry you will have to provide a copy of the written job offer outlining your position, your duties, your salary, and your conditions of employment. As well, you must include proof of your LMIA or LMIA-exemption.
What is a Labour Market Impact Assessment, and do I need it for a job offer for Express Entry?
A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document obtained by a Canadian employer who wishes to hire a foreign national to fill an open position. Only a Canadian employer can apply for an LMIA, foreign workers cannot apply on their own.
An LMIA assesses whether or not hiring foreign talent will have a positive or a negative impact on the Canadian labour market. To apply, Canadian employers must include information about their business, the position they are seeking to fill with a foreign worker, and must include evidence that they have attempted to hire a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to fill the position.
LMIAs are submitted to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). ESDC reviews all submitted LMIAs to determine whether an LMIA is positive or negative. A positive LMIA means that hiring a foreign worker will have a positive effect on the Canadian labour force, while a negative LMIA means it will have a negative effect.
You need a job offer supported by a positive LMIA in order to count the job offer towards your Express Entry profile and CRS score. The exception to this rule, is for jobs that are LMIA-exempt.
LMIA-exempt job offers
In certain cases, Canadian employers are exempt from requiring an LMIA to hire foreign workers. There are three broad categories of LMIA exemptions:
- Exemptions through international trade agreements, such as NAFTA;
- Exemptions through agreements between the Canadian federal government and provincial governments; and
- Exemptions due to “Canadian interests”, such as an intra-company transfer.
For full details about LMIA-exemptions, please consult IRCC’s guidelines on which jobs are exempt from requiring an LMIA. If you claim points for an LMIA-exempt job offer on your Express Entry profile, you will have to prove the offer meets the exemption criteria if you are invited to apply for permanent residence.