On January 1, 2015, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada introduced the express entry system – a selection method to ensure efficient processing and shorter wait times for permanent resident applications. The express entry system shifts the burden from the federal government, to the intended immigrant, to ensure (by way of federally approved third party verification) that all educational credentials are equivalent to Canadian standards and that language skills are at above average standards.

Potential applicants enter into an express entry pool and are then awarded a comparative ranking score with other applicants within the pool. Higher scores are given to those candidates who have had Canadian education, Canadian work experience and a job offer with a Canadian employer ready, willing and able to hire them. Six hundred (600) bonus points are allocated if the applicant has a formal job offer. Applicants with excellent language skills will enhance their overall point total.

In the first rounds of Invitations to Apply (ITA) by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, it was interesting to note that the comparative ranking system was set at a very high level which would ensure that candidates had employment, either sanctioned through a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or through the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP). However, over the succeeding two months the comparative ranking scores have dropped and the number of ITAs has increased, as seen in the following table:


Comparative Ranking System (CRS)
Points Level
Number of Invitations to Apply (ITAs)
Issued by IRCC
January 31, 2015 886 779
February 7, 2015 818 779
February 20, 2015 808 849
February 27, 2015 735 1187
March 20, 2015 481 1620


In order to match the express entry system of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the BC PNP also introduced its own express entry system. Assuming that the candidate can qualify to enter the express entry pool of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the BC PNP will use the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada express entry profile number (issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada when creating an express entry profile) to fast-track the BC PNP candidate.

For those candidates who have completed a Master’s Degree or PhD in certain fields, under BC PNP they will not have to obtain an LMIA or a job offer before updating their express entry profile at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. These areas of study include the following:

  • Agriculture
  • Biological and biomedical sciences
  • Computer and information sciences
  • Engineering
  • Engineering technology
  • Health professions and related clinical sciences
  • Mathematics and statistics
  • Natural resources conservation research

For more information on the BC PNP Express Entry program see the following website:

For more information on the BC PNP Post-graduation program see the following website:

Currently, normal BC PNP approvals are taking about 13 months, after the application has been filed. However, anecdotal evidence indicates that express entry through the BC PNP may be shortened to two months or less, although BC PNP has not officially published the statistics.

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Crease Harman LLP