The Government of Canada has invited 3,000 Express Entry candidates to apply for Canadian permanent residence in a new draw that took place on March 14. The minimum Comprehensive Ranking System score for this draw was 456.
This draw took place after the first three-week gap between draws in 2018. The previous draws this year took place every two weeks. Draws in 2018 have also seen the number of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) fluctuate between 2,750 and 3,000 and CRS scores range between today’s high of 456 and 442, which is the lowest score drawn thus far in 2018.
Given these fluctuations, it is interesting to contemplate when the next draw will occur and what the minimum CRS score will be.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) once again employed its tie-break rule in this latest draw. In this case, the time and date of the tie-break was March 3, 2018, at 02:12:11 UTC. This means that all candidates with a CRS score above 456, as well as those candidates with scores of 456 who entered their profile in the Express Entry pool before this time, received an ITA.
This latest draw was the fifth of 2018, which is the first year of the Canadian government’s new multi-year immigration levels plan. For 2018, Canada has established a target of 74,900 admissions through the three economic immigration classes administered through the Express Entry system — the Federal Skilled Worker Class, the Federal Skilled Trades Class and the Canadian Experience Class.
It is worth noting that the 2018 target for the three Express Entry classes is 3,200 more admissions than the target for 2017, which ultimately saw 86,023 ITAs issued and a record low CRS score of 413 in May. April and May 2017 also saw the biggest draws conducted that year with the largest taking place on April 12, when 3,923 ITAs were issued.
IRCC still has a long way to go toward reaching its 2018 and 2019 targets. Including the March 14 draw, Canada has now issued a total of 14,500 ITAs in 2018. It remains to be seen how the Government of Canada will meet its targets. It could mean larger draws or more frequent draws, or some other approach.
Express Entry candidates have also been the beneficiaries of an active start to 2018 for Ontario’s Human Capital Priorities Stream.
This Express Entry-linked stream, which is part of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), allows the province to search the Express Entry pool for candidates with a CRS score of at least 400, among other criteria.
Ontario held three draws in February through the Human Capital Priorities Stream, issuing a total of 1,088 invitations to apply for a provincial nomination to Express Entry candidates. Since the start of 2018, a total of 1,808 invitations have been issued to Express Entry candidates through the stream.
Express Entry candidates who successfully apply for a provincial nomination are awarded an additional 600 points toward their CRS score.
Express Entry-linked PNPs in Manitoba, Prince Edward Island and British Columbia have also been active so far this year.
In order to illustrate the type of Express Entry candidates who would have received an ITA in today’s draw, here are two fictional examples:
Shaun is 33 years old, has a Master’s degree and an advanced English language proficiency. He has been working as an IT consultant for five years. While he has never worked or studied in Canada, Shaun’s CRS score of 459 would have been sufficient to obtain an ITA during the March 14 Express Entry draw.
Ranya is 29, has a Bachelor’s degree, an advanced English language proficiency and has obtained three years of work experience as an advertising manager. Ranya has a sister who is a permanent resident of Canada residing in Edmonton, Alberta. While Ranya has never worked or studied in Canada, her CRS score of 456 would have been sufficient to obtain an ITA during the March 14 draw.
“This result is a good example of the variance between draws from the Express Entry pool,” said Attorney David Cohen, senior partner with the Campbell, Cohen immigration law firm in Montreal. “It’s important to remember that Canada still has a long way to go toward reaching its admissions targets for 2018 and 2019. How it will reach these targets is the big question, and we’re eager to see what’s in store.”
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