Express Entry Changes – Language and Silblings

By Pace Law | March 31, 2017

luba dinkovaLuba Dinkova – Pace Immigration: The Canadian government has announced some upcoming changes to the Express Entry system.

This is really no surprise, as the system is fairly new. Upgrades and updates will likely take place more frequently as time goes on.

The last change to the system occurred in 2016 and mostly centred around job offers and education. This time, the government is concentrating on language skills and family connections.

Language Skills

The government has announced that as of June 6, 2017, candidates with strong French-speaking or bilingual skills will receive additional points:

Express Entry candidates with strong French language skills, with or without English language skills, will be awarded additional points by the CRS.

A total of 15 additional points will be awarded for test results of the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NLC) at level 7 in all four language skills in French (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and an English test result of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 or lower.

A total of 30 additional points will be awarded for test results of the NLC at level 7 in all four skills in French and English test results of CLB 5 or higher.

Obviously, it would be a good idea for anyone who is bilingual to take both tests to show their strong command of both languages.


The government has also announced that an extra 15 points will be given to candidates who have a sibling in Canada, provided that sibling is either a) a Canadian permanent resident, or b) a Canadian citizen.

We often hear from people who ask if they can sponsor their brother or sister to Canada. While this change does not provide an avenue to sponsorship per se, it should help such people reconnect with their siblings.

Job Bank

The other change announced was in regards to the Job Bank:

On June 6, 2017, Job Bank registration for Express Entry candidates becomes voluntary for all candidates.

Candidates who meet the minimum entry criteria for Express Entry will be automatically placed into the pool and immediately eligible for invitation rounds. If they do not currently have a job in Canada and would like to start their job search, they will be able to register for Job Bank.

Employers will still be able to use all of their existing recruiting methods, including Job Bank, to find Express Entry candidates.

Note that this has no effect on the points of a candidate’s profile. Realistically, being registered for the Job Bank does not provide much benefit for the applicant. Yes, they can apply for different job opportunities, but in my experience, the chances of receiving a valid job offer through Job Bank are very low.

If you are a French-speaker, or if you have a sibling in Canada, the above information should be very helpful to you. Let me know if you have any questions.