The number of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) issued to Express Entry candidates for immigration to Canada has increased to 1,000 in the latest draw from the pool, which took place on September 7, 2016. In addition, the number of Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points required in order for a candidate to receive an ITA decreased substantially, compared to the previous draw, from 538 to 491.
Until this week’s draw, the number of ITAs issued in any one draw had not reached the 1,000 mark since April, 2016. The previous draw, which took place on August 24, saw 750 ITAs issued to candidates.
Candidates who have been issued an ITA have 60 days to submit an application for Canadian permanent residence, from which point the government of Canada aims to process the application within six months. Accompanying family members, including spouses or common-law partners, as well as dependent children, may also immigrate to Canada along with the principal applicant.
A significant shift
With the number of ITAs having increased and the CRS cut-off point going down substantially, many candidates who did not receive an ITA on this occasion remain optimistic about achieving their Canadian immigration goals.
The increase in the number of ITAs issued in the September 7 draw may reflect a desire on the part of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to issue more invitations through the fall season in order to reach annual target intake levels. An IRCC representative, speaking at an event held in May of this year, made comments to that effect, and it is quite possible that we are now seeing the beginning of an increase in the number of ITAs issued per draw. Other things being equal, this should have the corresponding effect of the CRS cut-off point coming down.
Getting an ITA
According to the government of Canada’s year-end 2015 Express Entry report, 57 percent of candidates who received an ITA in 2015 had Core CRS scores of less than 450 (the lowest CRS point requirement of in any Express Entry draw that has taken place so far is 450). Core CRS indicates a candidate’s score without the additional 600 points for a job offer or an enhanced provincial nomination certificate.
Many of these selected candidates entered the pool and subsequently received an enhanced provincial nomination certificate from a Canadian province. Since Express Entry was first introduced in January, 2015, more and more Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) options have become available to Express Entry candidates. With many of these PNP streams opening and closing quickly, evidence suggests that being ready to apply for such opportunities in advance is key to ultimately receiving an ITA for permanent residence.
Aside from keeping up to date with PNP streams, there are many other potential actions that candidates may take to increase their CRS score, and thereby increase their chances of receiving an ITA. (To learn more tips for improving Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System scores, click here.)
Increasing the numbers
“In the short, medium and long terms, individuals around the world who wish to immigrate to Canada have every reason to be optimistic,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“First, the latest Express Entry draw has seen an increase of exactly one third in the number of Invitations to Apply issued, compared with the previous draw. It had been many months since a thousand or more invitations were issued in any one draw, and, following earlier remarks made by IRCC, there may well be a gradual increase in the number of invitations issued over subsequent draws.
“Moreover, the Minister of Immigration, John McCallum, has made it quite clear that he wants to increase the overall number of new immigrants to Canada over the coming years. Not only that, but the Express Entry system may also be modified. The exact modifications, if and when they happen, are not yet known. Consequently, and taken together with an expected increase in invitations issued over the coming draws, I would encourage individuals who are currently eligible to enter the pool to do so. It is only once they are in the pool that they can attract the attention of Canadian provinces that are looking to welcome newcomers through a PNP, as well as employers hiring through the system.”
To find out if you are eligible for immigration to Canada, including through the federal economic programs that are processed under Express Entry, please fill out a free online assessment today.
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