The latest Express Entry draw for immigration to Canada, which took place on March 24, has seen another 3,749 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) issued to candidates in the pool with 441 or more Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. This is the second draw to have taken place through the month of March, and though the gap between the two most recent draws was slightly longer than usual, candidates in the pool — as well as those invited to apply — may well see it as a positive that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) continues to announce at least two draws per month.
In fact, over recent months, more and more candidates have been invited to apply than ever before. At this point last year, a total of 9,465 ITAs had been issued. So far this year, a total of 24,652 ITAs have been issued, an increase of more than 160 percent. Because of this — and because of improvements made to the system towards the end of last year — there has also been a decrease in the CRS requirement year-on-year. Though the CRS cut-off threshold for the March 24 draw was seven points higher than in the March 1 draw, a CRS threshold of 441 is still lower than any threshold for any draw that took place in the entire year of 2016.
The slight increase in the CRS cut-off threshold since March 1 may be attributed, at least in part, to the slightly longer gap between draws this time around. This may have allowed more candidates to enter the pool between draws than usual, and more candidates in the pool may have been able to increase their CRS score in meantime, for example by obtaining a nomination certificate through a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).
Candidates who receive an ITA are now in a position to submit an application for Canadian permanent residence to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Accompanying family members, including spouses or common-law partners, as well as dependent children, may also come to Canada along with the principal applicant.
A CRS threshold of 441 means that it is possible that a candidate who is educated at Bachelor’s Degree level, and who has no work experience in Canada and no additional points for a provincial nomination, or for a job offer, or for previous study in Canada, could obtain an ITA, assuming that he or she has demonstrated advanced proficiency in one of Canada’s official languages (English or French).
A few scenarios
For example, Carmen is a 29-year-old single candidate with advanced English ability. She has completed three years of skilled work abroad, and has never worked or studied in Canada. She also holds a Bachelor’s Degree, but no higher level of education. Without a qualifying job offer or a provincial nomination, she is still awarded 441 CRS points, enough to obtain an ITA in the March 24 draw.
Alejandro is 29 years old, with advanced English ability, three years of work experience outside Canada, and a Bachelor’s Degree. His spouse similarly has a Bachelor’s Degree and advanced English, and neither partner has ever worked or studied in Canada. In total, his profile is awarded 443 CRS points.
Myra, 31, has adequate intermediate language ability in English. She has a Master’s Degree and three years of work experience, both obtained outside Canada, but she has also completed a year of work in Canada. This gives her 442 CRS points.
Abilash is 37 years old, with a Bachelor’s Degree and five years of work experience obtained outside Canada. He has adequate intermediate English ability. He entered the pool with 292 CRS points, but having seen that his occupation was in-demand in Saskatchewan’s International Skilled Worker – Express Entry PNP category (which allows eligible candidates to be nominated without a job offer), he prepared and reviewed his documents for that program in anticipation of a future intake period. When such an intake occurred, he reacted quickly and successfully submitted an application. Later, when he obtained his nomination, he updated his Express Entry profile and his points total increased to 892. This was more than enough for him to be awarded an ITA for permanent residence.
“This eagerly awaited draw comes as welcome news for Express Entry candidates, both those who have been invited to apply this around as well as those remaining in the pool. For the latter group, I would encourage staying up to date on all Provincial Nominee Programs, and taking any other possible steps to increase the points total, such as proving a higher language ability or completing additional work experience,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“For eligible individuals and families interested in immigrating to Canada who have not yet created an Express Entry profile, it is important to note that the number of candidates being invited is higher than ever, and 2017 looks like being a groundbreaking year for this immigration system. As such, getting into the pool is the first major step towards realizing your goals.”
The CRS Calculator
Use the CRS Calculator to find out what your score would be under the Comprehensive Ranking System.
To find out if you are eligible to immigrate to Canada permanently, fill out a free online assessment form.
Candidates who receive an ITA and want to learn more about the next steps may complete this short form.
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