Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has invited 2,801 more candidates to apply for Canadian permanent residence, in an Express Entry draw that took place on October 4. Candidates in the pool with 438 or more Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points were issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) on this occasion.
Invited candidates have 90 days to submit a complete application, including supporting documentation. IRCC aims to complete the processing of these applications within six months, a time frame that has successfully been met in the majority of cases.
In order to enter the Express Entry pool and be assigned a CRS score, potential immigrants to Canada need to be eligible under one of Canada’s federal economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), or the Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC).
The October 4 draw, the 23rd to take place this year, comes as we enter the final quarter of 2017. So far this year, a total of 72,221 ITAs have been issued, far surpassing the total number issued over the first two years of Express Entry, which was first introduced in January, 2017. This number also more than doubles the 25,982 ITAs issued over the first 23 draws of 2016.
Though the CRS cut-off threshold went up slightly on this occasion, relative to the previous draw, which took place on September 20, it may be noted that the current threshold is still comfortably lower than the lowest threshold over the whole of 2016, when the threshold never dipped below 450. The lowest ever threshold was on May 31 of this year, when candidates with 413 or more CRS points were invited to apply.
Soon after that draw IRCC introduced changes to the system whereby candidates with a sibling in Canada were able to receive 15 additional points. Candidates with French ability also benefited from those changes, with 15 or 30 additional points available. Following those changes, the cut-off threshold went up to 449 on June 28.
IRCC is due to announce its immigration levels plan for the coming year within the next few weeks, in which the department is expected to reveal the target number of immigrants to arrive under the various immigration programs, including the programs managed under Express Entry. The Minister of Immigration, Ahmed Hussen, earlier this year stated that the current overall target of 300,000 new immigrants annually will form the ‘baseline’ target over the coming years. Just how many of these newcomers will arrive through Express Entry remains to be seen. A higher target for Express Entry programs would result in either larger and/or more frequent draws, thereby contributing to a possible decrease in CRS thresholds over time.
The following hypothetical scenarios reflect the diversity of candidates who receive ITAs under the Express Entry system.
Aisha, aged 29, has completed a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and has been working in the same field for the past three years. She has perfected her English language skills, and scored 8 in each of the IELTS categories. Though she has never been to Canada for work or study, she is looking forward to immigrating having received her invitation to apply due to her CRS score of 438.
Gustavo, 30, and his wife Larissa, 33, are looking to move to Canada after having visited for the first time last year. Both have a bachelor’s degree from their home country, and the couple has also achieved advanced English scores on their respective IELTS tests. With Gustavo’s three years of work experience in the service industry, his CRS score of 438 means that the couple can look forward to building their lives in Canada having received an ITA.
Kaito, aged 35, completed his bachelor’s degree in Canada as an international student and fell in love with the country. Since returning home, he finished his Master’s degree and completed one year of work experience in the field of technology. After taking the IELTS test for a second time, his score reflected an initial advanced level of English, which increased his score to 441, resulting in an ITA.
“Receiving a coveted invitation to apply for permanent residence is both the culmination of something and the beginning of something. It is the culmination of much preparation and planning, but also the beginning of your life in Canada, as you get to showcase your full credentials to IRCC and plan your journey in earnest. It marks a moment when the Canadian Dream becomes a little bit more real,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“But the first step is to have your eligibility evaluated and plan a pathway that makes sense for you and your family, if applicable.”
The CRS Calculator
The CRS Calculator allows you to find out what your score would be under the CRS.
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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