Global immigration changes around the world: Canada, Malaysia, Holland and Singapore

CANADA | Express Entry System to Reward French Speakers and Siblings of Canadians
Effective June 6, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will make three improvements to its Express Entry System, especially for those foreign nationals with strong French language skills and siblings in Canada. Used by the IRCC to evaluate certain applications for Canadian permanent residence, the points-based Express Entry System has become a popular immigration route for eligible foreign nationals seeking to move to Canada permanently. For more information on the point-based criterion and an overview of extensive changes made to the program last November, see our Immigration Dispatch of November 21.

The upcoming June 6 changes include:

  • French Language Proficiency – An additional 15 points will now be awarded to applicants who score above a seven in all four competencies on the Niveau Niveaux de Competence Linguistique Canadiens (NLC) French language standard. If the applicant also scores a five or better on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) English language standard, the awarded points will be doubled to 30.
  • Canadian Siblings – An additional 15 points will also be awarded to applicants who have a brother or sister 18-years-old or older who are citizens or permanent residents of Canada.
  • Canadian Job Bank Registration Optional – After June 6, applicants’ registration with the national Canadian Job Bank will be optional for foreign nationals applying to the Express Entry program. Currently, registration is mandatory.


MALAYSIA | Revision of Employment Pass Categories and ESD Refusing Applications from Companies with Outdated Information
Effective September 1, 2017, the Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs will implement a restructuring of its Employment Pass (EP) categories. Changes include:

  • Category I – The minimum monthly salary requirement for Category I will increase substantially, doubling from MYR 5,000 to MYR 10,000 (approximately USD $2,255). Category 1 will also see a significant increase in the maximum validity for which EPs will be issued: an increase to five years from the current maximum of three years.
  • Category II – The minimum monthly salary requirement for category II will be expressed as a range of MYR 5,000 to MYR 9,999, rather than the current minimum of MYR 5,000. This leaves the minimum threshold unchanged. Likewise, the maximum permit validity will remain unchanged at two years.
  • Category III – The minimum monthly salary for Category III will increase as well – though not as dramatically as Category I – from a range with a low of MYR 2,500 and a high of MYR 4,999 to a range of MYR 3,000 to MYR 4,999. The maximum permit validity period will remain unchanged at twelve months, with the option of two renewals.


THE NETHERLANDS | New Policy Encourages Foreign Nationals to Start Businesses
Effective April 1, a new policy from the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) will give highly skilled foreign migrants, foreign students, and foreign scientific researchers more freedom to start their own businesses in the country. Under the new policy, these individuals may engage in self-employment alongside their primary work or course of study for which their current residence authorization was granted. They are free to start their own businesses so long as their primary work or study is not adversely affected. Scientific researchers under Directive 2005/71 will also have the option of either starting a business or taking employment alongside their work as a scientific researcher.


SINGAPORE | MOM Switching to CorpPass for Online Employment Pass and Work Permit
Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower is adopting the use of the new Singapore Corporate Access (CorpPass) digital identity for access to the Employment Pass Online (EP Online) and Work Permit Online (WP Online) application processing systems. Currently, CorpPass is an optional user authentication operating alongside the popular SingPass digital identity; however, CorpPass is expected to become mandatory and the sole method of access to both the EP Online and WP Online systems by the end of 2017. Reportedly, more than 1,500 companies already use CorpPass as their key to accessing various government services. Pro-Link GLOBAL recommends that companies who have not already established CorpPass accounts do so now in order to avoid delays when its use becomes mandatory later this year.