Getting 50 extra points in Express Entry from a valid job offer can be a great way to increase your score, but there is a lot of confusion around what is a “valid job offer”. So let’s clear that up and lay out the facts plainly.
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If you want to claim what is known as a “valid job offer” to get bonus points in Express Entry, you need to fall under one of two categories. If you land in one of these categories, the bonus 50 points are yours (you may be able to get 200 points if you’re working in a NOC 00 job).
The first category is you have an Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and closed work permit. This means that the company you are working for applied for and received an LMIA, and you are working on a closed work permit for that company.
The second category is a bit trickier. There are situations where you can get a closed work permit but you are exempt from an LMIA – there are a lot of situations like this, too many to list in a short blog post, but you can learn more about LMIA-exempt work permits here. But if you have a closed work permit that was exempt from getting an LMIA and you were still able to get a closed work permit through that company, then you might also be eligible for the 50 points.
Those are the two situations that can lead to the 50 points in Express Entry with a valid job offer, and if you don’t fall under one of them, you won’t be able to claim the extra points. For example, many people are in Canada on open work permits, such as the post-grad work permit (PGWP). Unfortunately, even if you are working for a Canadian company on your PGWP, this does not count as a “valid job offer”.
Now that we understand what’s required to get bonus points in Express Entry for a valid job offer, let’s look into how to do so. I get asked all the time, “Josh, how can I get an LMIA?” Let’s look into it and see how to approach it.
You will want to keep a few things in mind with an LMIA. Number one, and the most difficult part, is finding an eligible employer willing to sponsor your LMIA. What’s most important is that the company/employer has to be willing to hire you, sponsor you through the LMIA process, and also pay the LMIA processing fees.
Note: it is illegal for a company to make you pay for, or pay back the costs of, an LMIA. If any company, recruiter or agent offers you a job in exchange for payment, this is either a scam or a company that is breaking the law in Canada – be aware!
As part of the LMIA application, the company will have to do a few things, such as:
All of that, and more, goes into the application for the LMIA that the company has to submit.
Again, they will be submitting and paying for the LMIA, not you.
The LMIA processing times typically vary, as there are different types of LMIAs you can apply for (such as the Global Talent Stream for tech workers). Depending on the type of LMIA, the process can take anywhere from one month to five or six months. It really comes down to the type of LMIA and how quickly the company works to prepare and submit it.
With some of the high-wage and expedited LMIAs, they can take three to four weeks. Some of the more traditional LMIAs can take two, three, even four or more months. Unfortunately, things are even more complicated right now and it is not uncommon for things to move even slower due to COVID, so you should expect things to take even longer than normal thanks to the pandemic.
It is important that the company looking to hire and sponsor you works quickly so you may want to check in from time-to-time to ensure they are moving the process along. Once the LMIA is approved, you can then apply for your closed work permit and get those 50 or more bonus points for Express Entry.
Hopefully this has provided a lot of clarity around how to get 50 points in Express Entry from a valid job offer, and how to get an LMIA from a Canadian company.
If you’re looking for more info on how to find a job in Canada, definitely sign up to our free immigration platform to get started!