A new Express Entry draw held November 28 has now pushed Canada ahead of the number of invitations issued at this same point in 2017 — a year that set the current Express Entry invitation record of 86,023.
Today’s draw issued 3,900 invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence (ITAs), bringing the 2018 year-to-date total to 82,000. The minimum CRS score was 445, a decrease of four points over the previous Express Entry draw on November 15, which had a CRS minimum of 449.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is now only 4,024 ITAs away from breaking last year’s record total with another month to go in 2018.
On average, IRCC holds two Express Entry invitation rounds a month, and it has issued 3,900 invitations in six of the last seven all-program draws held since September 5. If this trend continues through December, IRCC will surpass its 2017 ITA record of 86,023.
The federal Express Entry system manages the pool of candidates for Canada’s three Federal High Skilled economic immigration programs — the Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class and Canadian Experience Class.
Eligible candidates are given a score under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) that determines their position in the Express Entry pool, and a set number of the highest-ranked are issued ITAs through regular draws from the pool.
IRCC used its tie-break rule in this latest invitation round. The date and time used was October 22, 2018, at 14:40:13 UTC. This means that all candidates with a CRS score above 445, as well as those candidates with scores of 445 who submitted their profile before October 22, 2018, at 14:40:13 UTC, received an ITA in this invitation round.
Today’s draw occurred less than two weeks after the previous draw on November 15, which likely contributed to the CRS minimum dropping by four points. When less time is allowed to elapse between draws, fewer candidates have a chance to enter the Express Entry pool and this can have the effect of lowering the minimum score.
The inverse is also true, as we saw in November 15 draw — more than two weeks elapsed, allowing more candidates to enter the Express Entry pool, and the CRS minimum rose to 449.
Express Entry candidates who are looking to improve their CRS score can potentially do so in a number of ways, including a nomination through an Express Entry-linked Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) stream.
A provincial nomination through an Express Entry-linked stream is the most valuable factor under the CRS and results in an additional 600 CRS points, which effectively guarantees an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
The nine Canadian provinces and two territories that participate in Canada’s PNP all have at least one immigration stream that is linked to the Express Entry system.
In the past week, we have seen five PNP pathways issue invitations to Express Entry candidates, including all three of Ontario’s Express Entry-linked streams and Saskatchewan’s Express Entry sub-category.
Under Canada’s updated multi-year immigration levels plan, IRCC has a 2018 admissions target for its Federal High Skilled immigration category of 74,900 new permanent residents. The majority of candidates admitted to Canada through the Federal High Skilled category have their applications for permanent resident status processed through the Express Entry system.
Admission targets are set to increase each year between 2019 and 2021 for a total increase of 18.6 per cent over the 2018 target.
The following are hypothetical examples of candidates who would have obtained an ITA in today’s draw:
Kevin is 35 years old and holds a master’s degree. Although he has never worked or studied in Canada, Kevin has been working for four years as a consultant overseas. He obtained CLB 10 in the listening, speaking and reading categories of the CELPIP exam and received CLB 9 in writing. His CRS of 445 would have been sufficient to obtain an ITA in today’s draw.
Lola and Pedro are 30 and 33 years old, respectively. Lola has a bachelor’s degree and a certificate. She has been working as a translator for four years outside Canada. Pedro has a Bachelor’s degree and has been working for two years as a retail assistant. Neither of them have worked or studied in Canada.
Lola took the IELTS exam, and obtained a score of 7 in all categories except listening, for which she received a 9. Pedro on the other hand, took the CELPIP exam, and received CLB 6 in all categories. Lola applied as the principal applicant and their CRS score of 445 would have been sufficient to receive an ITA in the November 28 draw.
“We’re on track for an exciting finish to 2018,” said David Cohen, senior partner with the Campbell, Cohen Canadian immigration law firm in Montreal. “If IRCC holds another two big draws in December, that will be enough to set a new Express Entry ITA record.”
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