A total of 2,878 candidates in the Express Entry pool, as well as many of their accompanying family members, are another step on the way to obtaining permanent resident status in Canada after a draw that took place on December 22. Candidates in the pool with 475 or more Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points were issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA), and these candidates now have 90 days to submit a complete application, including supporting documents.
This draw came as a surprise to many candidates. Not only was there a draw less than a week ago, but this was also the first time ever that a draw took place on a Thursday. The additional ITAs issued this week means that more were issued in 2016 than in 2015, with a further increase in invitations expected in the coming year in line with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s intake targets for 2017.
The latest draw may be viewed as the latest in a series of positive developments that have taken place over recent weeks and months. Since the summer the number of ITAs issued per draw has increased steadily, to the point where IRCC issued nearly four times as many ITAs in the latest draw as it did in some draws just a few months ago. Moreover, the much-publicized recent improvements to the Express Entry system, which came into force on November 19, have made many candidates’ profiles more competitive than was previously the case. IRCC has stated that the changes would ‘balance the Comprehensive Ranking System to put greater weight on human capital, skills and experience.’
Experienced analysts of trends in Canada’s world-renowned immigration points system made the point soon after the recent changes to the CRS were brought in that those changes may actually have the short-term effect of increasing the CRS threshold. This is due to two points in relation to qualifying job offers under the new system. First, the requirements surrounding job offers have been relaxed to include many candidates holding an employer-specific work permit in Canada (such as a NAFTA work permit, or a work permit issued to an intra-company transferee). This has had the effect of increasing the number of candidates who may claim points for a job offer. On the other hand, the number of CRS points awarded for a job offer has decreased substantially — in most cases, from 600 points down to 50 points (though some senior managerial level positions are worth 200 points).
As a result, it was expected that the CRS cut-off for the first couple of draws after the changes have come into force may go up or remain relatively high to allow for the fact that more candidates with job offers may claim additional points. Once this initial group of candidates has exited the pool — as is now the case given the additional ITAs issued over the past week — IRCC expects the CRS cut-off point to decrease over time. Stakeholders should note IRCC’s desired and expected outcome of the recent changes which state that candidates without a job offer are likely to have a better chance of receiving an ITA. From January to September, 2016, 35 percent of ITAs were issued to candidates without a job offer or provincial nomination; IRCC expects this figure to increase as we enter 2017.
Express Entry is the system used by IRCC to select candidates for immigration to Canada through the federal economic immigration programs. Candidates who wish to apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class, and Canadian Experience Class are required to do so through Express Entry.
Eligible candidates create a profile which is submitted to the Express Entry pool. Upon entering the pool, candidates are assigned a CRS score which determines their ranking in the pool. The highest-ranking candidates are issued an ITA in IRCC’s periodic draws.
Candidates in the pool may increase their ranking in a number of ways. Learn more about increasing CRS score and ranking.
For more information on draws from the Express Entry pool that have taken place so far, consult this table.
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