IRCC has announced today that further Express Entry system changes are on the way. After June 6, 2017, applicants who have French ability will be awarded additional points, in combination with their English ability (assuming they assess their ability with a qualified test).
- 15 points if an applicant scores at NLC 7 (French) and CLB 4 (English) in all categories
- 30 points if an applicant scores at NLC 7 (French) and CLB 5 (English) in all categories
Points previously assigned for language ability remain unaffected. Curiously, the announcement makes mention of additional points for French ability "with or without English" but does not clarify what these free standing points would be.
Applicants whose siblings are already Canadian citizens or permanent residents will also receive an additional 15 points.
These point changes are additional to the current system. No plans have been announced to alter the existing point allocation under Express Entry, and applicants will only see an increase in their point count, not a decrease.
These system changes are clearly intended to facilitate additional invitations to apply. Already, we have seen the current Minister lower the barrier to entry by decreasing the amount of points required for an invitation. Combined with these additional point categories, prospective immigrants should find it easier to qualify for an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residency.