The number of Express Entry candidates receiving Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for immigration to Canada has increased yet again, and for the second time in eight days. On October 19, a total of 1,804 candidates were invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence. Candidates with 475 or more Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points received an ITA, down from 484 in the October 12 draw, when a total of 1,518 ITAs were issued to candidates in the pool.
Together, the latest Express Entry draws represent the largest upswing in the number of candidates being invited to apply since the system was first introduced in January, 2015. Just two months ago, draw sizes were in the range of 750 ITAs per draw. Now, candidates and invited persons alike are looking forward to a system has recently gone into overdrive, with larger draws, lower CRS requirements, and a range of active Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) categories attracting candidates in the pool.
Furthermore, the department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is expected to issue more ITAs as the end of 2016 approaches, in order to reach annual target intake levels. An IRCC representative, speaking at an event held in Edmonton in May of this year, revealed that this may be the case, and it is now becoming apparent that those predictions are becoming reality.
Canada’s PNP immigration options have become more active and dynamic over recent months. This was most recently demonstrated by the reopening of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) International Skilled Worker – Express Entry sub-category on October 12, the eighth occasion on which this SINP sub-category had opened since it was first introduced last year. This SINP sub-category operates on a first-come, first-served application basis and typically reaches its quota within hours of reopening. Eligible Express Entry candidates who prepare in advance are best positioned to submit an application under these time-sensitive intake periods.
A provincial nomination certificate obtained through the SINP International Skilled Worker – Express Entry sub-category (or any other enhanced PNP sub-category) gives a candidate 600 additional points under the CRS, placing him or her at the front of the line for selection at a subsequent Express Entry draw.
Saskatchewan wasn’t the only province busy on October 12. The very same day, British Columbia conducted one of its regular draws for the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP). Among the 805 candidates who were invited to apply to the BC PNP on October 12 were 325 candidates in the federal Express Entry pool. These candidates are now well on the way to obtaining 600 additional CRS points.
The importance of being alert to ongoing PNP developments should not be underestimated. The government of Canada’s own year-end 2015 Express Entry report revealed that most (57 percent) of candidates who received an ITA in 2015 had Core CRS scores below 450. Core CRS indicates a candidate’s score without the additional 600 points for a job offer or an enhanced provincial nomination certificate. A score of 450 has been the lowest CRS cut-off point of any draw that has taken place until this point. Many of these selected candidates first entered the pool with CRS scores below 450 before subsequently obtaining an enhanced provincial nomination certificate from a province through a PNP.
“The past few Express Entry draws have been received positively by candidates, and continued large draw sizes may lead to a reduction in CRS point requirements for selection in future draws,” says Attorney David Cohen. “Draw sizes that may get up to 2,000 ITAs issued or beyond, together with a range of active PNP categories that aim to attract Express Entry candidates to certain provinces, give all stakeholders cause for optimism as we approach the final months of 2016.
“Moreover, an exciting year ahead in 2017 beckons. The Minister of Immigration, John McCallum, has made it clear that he wants to increase the overall number of new immigrants to Canada over the coming years, and his immigration plan is scheduled to be released next month.
“Not only that, but the Express Entry system may also be modified. The exact changes, if and when they happen, are not known at this time. Accordingly, and taken together with these ever-larger Express Entry draws, I would encourage eligible individuals who wish to immigrate to Canada to enter the Express Entry pool as soon as possible. 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 their PNPs, as well as employers hiring through Express Entry.”
To view a complete list of Express Entry draws, including dates, numbers of ITAs issued, and CRS point requirements, click here. You may also read Attorney Cohen’s recent article on tips for improving your CRS score.
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