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Getting an eligible job offer for Express Entry can boost your CRS score by 50-200 points and increase your chances of receiving an invitation to apply. But, not all job offers are eligible (in fact, getting an eligible offer is likely more difficult than you think). So, we’re sharing what we know about getting points for a job offer for Express Entry to help you navigate this part of the process.

Key Takeaways

  • For a job offer to be valid for the Federal Skilled Workers and Canadian Experience Class, it must be supported by a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), or exempt from needing one. 
  • Having a job with an open work permit is not a valid job offer. 
  • You can get 50 points for job offers at NOC TEERs 0, 1, 2, or 3, or 200 points for job offers at NOC codes starting with 00. 
  • If your employer won’t apply for an LMIA or doesn’t receive a positive LMIA, you can focus on increasing your score via factors you can control, such as language. 


How many points do you get for a job offer on Express Entry?

In Express Entry, the number of CRS points you receive for a Canadian job offer depends on the NOC code of the offered position. You can receive either 50 or 200 points, depending on the TEER category of your position, but only upper management positions are awarded the highest amount of 200 points.

How To Calculate Your CRS Points

Landing a valid job offer is just one way to boost your CRS score and be invited in an Express Entry draw— there are tons of other possible ways, too.

The best way to discover possible CRS improvements for your situation is to complete the Moving2Canada CRS Calculator and play around with different scenarios to see their effect on the total score. And, if you’re not already in the Express Entry pool, as a bonus you’ll get an initial assessment of how you may enter the pool.

Start using the Express Entry CRS Calculator here.

What Job Offer in Canada 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 Express Entry job offer has to be considered valid.

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:

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.

From IRCC:

To get points from the Comprehensive Ranking System for a job offer in Express Entry, your employer will usually need to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

You should only answer “Yes” to the question “Does [your name] have a job offer in Canada?” if:

a Canadian employer (or up to two for the Federal Skilled Trades Program) has offered you a full-time, non-seasonal job for one year or more and

that job offer is supported by an LMIA, OR

the job is exempt from needing an LMIA.”


What is an LMIA, and do I need one 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.

What are 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:

  1. Exemptions through international trade agreements, such as CUSMA;
  2. Exemptions through agreements between the Canadian federal government and provincial governments; and
  3. 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.

When is a job offer valid for Express Entry?

A job offer is valid for Express Entry when it is issued by an employer that requires an LMIA that meets the following requirements: 

  • It is made by an employer with a new positive LMIA that approves the offer and names you and your position; OR
  • It is made by an employer for whom you are currently working in a NOC TEER 0, 1, 2, or 3 occupation on a work permit that was issued based on an LMIA; and you’re working legally on the day you apply for PR and when you receive it for the employer listed on your work permit; AND
  • The job offer is for a full-time job for at least one year.

If the employer does not require an LMIA then you must have a valid work permit for a NOC TEER 0, 1, 2 or 3 occupation, and you are currently working for that employer, and have been for at least one year full-time or the equivalent amount of part-time work, and have a valid job offer from that employer for at least one year of work.

When is a job offer not valid for Express Entry?

Your job offer is not valid for Express Entry if it does not meet the eligibility requirements. In other words, if your job offer is seasonal or part-time, not continuous or for a period of less than one year, or for a NOC TEER category 4 or 5, or is not exempt from or supported by a positive LMIA, then it is not valid. 

According to the Canadian government, a job offer is not valid if your employer is:

You will not be able to claim points for a job offer if your employer is ineligible, does not get a positive LMIA or is not LMIA-exempt.

A quick note about ineligible employers. The government keeps a list of employers who have been found non-compliant. But non-compliance does not automatically mean that the employer is ineligible for an LMIA. Some employers may just receive a financial penalty but may remain eligible to support an LMIA. So you should search for your employer in the government’s non-compliance table and, if they come up, check to see whether they were listed as ineligible in the ‘status’ column. 


How to get valid job offer for Express Entry in Canada

First, you need to find a job in Canada. For some candidates, you may already be working for an employer in Canada and you may need to have the LMIA talk if you aren’t already in Canada working on an LMIA or employer-specific work permit.

For others, you will need to find a job in Canada. We have comprehensive resources covering how to get a job in Canada, which you can find here.  

Check out our video on finding a job in Canada with Moving2Canada’s CEO and founder, Ruairi Spillaine.

What is a Canada job offer letter? 

A Canada job offer letter is a document that explains the details of your job. As a temporary foreign worker, you receive this job offer letter from your Canadian employer.

Getting the job offer letter right can be complex, and exactly what your employer must include in the job offer letter depends on various factors, including whether it’s a new job offer and which Express Entry stream you are applying for (Federal Skilled Worker or Canadian Experience Class, vs Skilled Trades).

For the FSW and CEC streams, the job offer must be made by one employer for continuous, full-time, non seasonal work in a NOC TEER category 0, 1, 2, or 3.

It must also be made by an employer with a new positive LMIA, unless you’re already working legally in Canada in a NOC TEER category 0, 1, 2, or 3 position on a work permit issued based on a positive LMIA or in an LMIA-exempt position.

Aside from this, a Canada job offer letter is less detailed than a contract. It would also usually include information such as:

  • your pay and deductions and benefits
  • your job title and duties
  • your conditions of employment, such as hours of work

If you need an LMIA with your work permit application, IRCC says you should include a copy of your Canada job offer in the application.


Getting an LMIA for Express Entry Purposes

You can learn more about the LMIA process on our dedicated page, but we’ll share some tips and tricks about overcoming common hurdles here. 

Hurdle One: Your Employer Is Nervous About Getting An LMIA. 

If your employer is nervous about getting an LMIA, it can be helpful to sit down with them (and usually your immigration representative) to explain what an LMIA is, what the process looks like, and what alternatives exist (like any Provincial Nominee Program Employer Job Offer streams). 

You can talk about the consequences of not getting an LMIA (your points will be lower and your odds of immigrating through Express Entry may decrease). 

If your employer still won’t apply for an LMIA, then focus on improving your points for things you can control. You can look to increase your language skills or learn French or look for a PNP, for example. 

Hurdle Two: Proving Genuine Need For An LMIA. 

There is a risk that your LMIA may not come back positive if there is not a genuine need for the skills you have within the Canadian job market. That being said, working with a skilled immigration representative can increase your odds of receiving a positive LMIA. If you’re nervous about the genuine need requirement or inexperienced in getting LMIAs, it’s likely worthwhile getting help with the process from a qualified and experienced immigration consultant.  

Hurdle Three: You Don’t Know If You Need The Valid Job Offer Points. 

Whether you need a valid job offer to get enough points to receive an invitation is based on your individual circumstances. But, if you want to know whether you will need the valid job offer to boost your CRS, it’s generally a good idea to work backwards from your work permit expiry date on the assumption that you will keep working for the current employer in the same role. 

About the author

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Rebecca Major

Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Rebecca Major is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (R511564) with nearly 15 years of licenced Canadian Immigration experience, gained after graduating with a Bachelor of Laws in the UK. She specializes in Canadian immigration at Moving2Canada.
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