Canada Express Entry - Now is the Time to Apply for Canadian Permanent Residence

 Canada Express Entry Immigration

On Saturday, February 13, the Canadian immigration world awoke to a shock from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Any candidate with a valid profile in IRCC's Express Entry System with a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 75, and who met the eligibility criteria of the Canadian Experience Class, was issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Permanent Residence. The invitations, which came in over an amount of two days, translated to an amazing 27,332 Express Entry candidates being invited to apply for permanent resident status.

What's Express Entry?

The Express Entry (EE) system is an online system used to handle economic class applications under the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and certain Provincial Nominee Programs.

Within the Express Entry system, skilled workers who meet the minimum requirements of an Express Entry-eligible program can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to enter the Express Entry system's pool of candidates. Upon submission, a candidate's EOI is scored predicated on factors such as for instance their age, amount of education, proficiency in English and/or French, work experience, and pre-arranged work in Canada, among other factors. This score, called a CRS score, will generally dictate which candidates will receive an ITA for permanent residence.

Every couple of weeks, IRCC issues a circular of invitations, whereby all candidates in the pool with the absolute minimum CRS score (called the ‘stop score') set by IRCC are invited to apply for permanent residence. During general draws, candidates meeting the cut-off score for that round of invitation will receive an ITA irrespective of program eligibility, since March 23, we've seen more program-specific draws whereby only candidates eligible underneath the CEC received an ITA.

How is this Express Entry draw special?

Both size and the character of the round of invitations were unprecedented on the basis of the history of the Express Entry system.

In 2020, the Express Entry cut-off score varied between a low of 431 on June 25, and a most of 478 on November 5. Generally, each round of invitations saw between 3,000 and 5,000 ITAs being issued. This pattern has held since 2015 when the Express Entry system was launched and enabled candidates to predict the competitiveness of these CRS scores predicated on past rounds of invitations.

The round of invitations issued on February 13, drastically changed this pattern. In this round, which represented the 176th issuance of invitations underneath the Express Entry, any candidate who met the minimum requirements of the CEC and had a CRS score of 75 points or more was issued an ITA. This CRS point score might have enabled most people with 12 months of qualifying work experience in Canada, who'd met language testing criteria, to get an ITA. Invited candidates with lower scores under this draw would therefore not be required to show proof of education, an arranged offer of employment, or some other factor that before, might have generally been necessary for a competitive CRS score. As a result, this round of invitations led to almost all CEC-eligible candidates in the Express Entry pool being invited to apply for PR status.

With this type of large quantity of candidates meeting the cut-off score under this round of invitations, how many invitations were issued under this draw was over seven times what's normally seen.

Will this kind of Express Entry draw can happen again?

Recently, IRCC released ambitious immigration levels arrange for 2021-2025 which significantly increased targets from the prior immigration levels plan. In an endeavor to enhance the economic recovery after the downturn brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic, drive future growth, and create jobs for middle-class Canadians, the brand new plan seeks to welcome 401,000 new permanent residents, with figures increasing by 10,000 year-over-year. At the same time frame, IRCC in addition has prioritized the protection of public health by restricting the kinds of foreign nationals eligible to enter Canada. In striking this balance, IRCC seems to be looking to generally meet these levels by enabling foreign nationals from within Canada to become permanent residents.

It's difficult to predict how this historical draw will impact future rounds of invitations under Express Entry. With a six-month timeline targeted for 80 percent of applications processed underneath the Express Entry, it wouldn't be surprising if IRCC paused regular draws in the coming weeks or months to be able to continue meeting this target. It can be unknown at this time whether IRCC will continue steadily to issue ITAs to CEC-eligible candidates at significantly lower point scores than that which was generally required, or whether this is a one-time strategy to fully capture the advantages of awarding permanent resident status to those people who have already economically established in Canada and have obtained the necessary work experience. Either way, IRCC will probably continue steadily to draw from established pathways to permanent residence for foreign nationals already in Canada, to be able to meet the immigration targets for 2021 and beyond.

The most up-to-date round of invitations has demonstrated that the Express Entry system remains a flexible and responsive tool utilized by IRCC to generally meet immigration targets and address dynamic priorities. Because draws aren't announced ahead of time, even those candidates who'd previously not need to have a competitive CRS point score may decide to submit their profiles to the Express Entry pool to be able to take advantage of any future draws conducted by IRCC.

Express Entry Application Guidelines

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