New Express Entry draw invites 3,350 candidates to apply for Canadian permanent residence

Stephen Smith, Eman Katem, Lauralee Beaurieux, Noah Turner
Published: February 20, 2019

The Government of Canada has issued 3,350 invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence to candidates in the Express Entry system in a draw held February 20.  

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has now issued a total of 14,500 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) in 2019, which remains the biggest start to a year since the Express Entry system's introduction in 2015.

The 14,500 ITAs are an increase of 70 per cent over the number issued at this same juncture in 2018 — a year that saw IRCC set the current Express Entry ITA record of 89,800.

The Express Entry system manages the pool of candidates for Canada's three Federal High Skilled economic immigration programs — the Federal Skilled Worker ClassFederal Skilled Trades Class and Canadian Experience Class — and is designed to expedite the immigration process for those candidates invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

Invitations are issued in accordance with a candidate's Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, which is based on factors including age, education, skilled work experience and proficiency in English or French.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issues invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence, known as ITAs, to a set number of the highest-ranked candidates through regular draws from the pool, which typically take place every two weeks.

Find out if you are eligible to enter the Express Entry pool

The minimum Comprehensive Ranking System score in today's draw was 457, an increase of 19 points from the previous draw on January 30.

The fact the minimum CRS score increased in the February 20 draw can be largely attributed to the three weeks that elapsed since the previous draw on January 30.

More time between draws allows more time for the Express Entry pool to replenish with higher-scoring candidates, which can have the effect of increasing the cut-off score.

By contrast, the January 30 draw was held just one week after the previous invitation round on January 23, meaning fewer candidates had a chance to submit a profile and resulting in a lower CRS minimum score of 438.

IRCC applied its tie-break rule in the February 20 draw. The time stamp used was December 6, 2018, at 12:38:11 UTC. This means that all candidates with a CRS score above 457, as well as those candidates with scores of 457 who entered their profile in the Express Entry pool before the selected date and time, received an ITA in this invitation round.

An Express Entry candidate's CRS score can be improved and one of the best ways to do so is to obtain a nomination through Canada's Provincial Nominee Program.

Express Entry candidates with a provincial nomination for permanent residence receive an additional 600 points toward their CRS score, which effectively guarantees an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

Provinces including Manitoba, British Columbia and Ontario have issued invitations to apply for a provincial nomination to Express Entry candidates during the three-week gap between today's draw and the previous invitation round on January 30.

The following are hypothetical examples of candidates who would have obtained an ITA in the February 20 draw:

Jamel is 32 and has two bachelor’s degrees. He has never worked or studied in Canada and has an advanced English language proficiency.  He has been working for three years as a business consultant. His CRS score of 458 would have been sufficient to obtain an ITA in today’s draw.

Jorge and Ludmilla are 29 and 32, respectively. They both hold a bachelor’s degree, wrote the IELTS and demonstrate advanced English language proficiency. Jorge has been working in human resources for three years. They have never worked or studied in Canada but Jorge has a sibling in Toronto. Jorge and Ludmilla entered the Express Entry pool with Jorge as the principal applicant. His CRS of 458 would have been sufficient to obtain an ITA in today’s draw.

Kathleen is 33 and has a master’s degree. She has never worked or studied in Canada. She took the CELPIP exam and obtained a score of 10 in all categories. She has been working as a real estate agent for three years. Her CRS score of 459 would have been sufficient to obtain an ITA in today’s draw.

"Canada has set higher admission targets for 2019 and 2020 through the three economic immigration categories managed by the Express Entry system, so there's a good chance we'll get back to bigger draws or more frequent draws in the weeks and months ahead. If that's the case, we may also see the CRS minimum score decrease," said David Cohen, senior partner at the Campbell Cohen Canadian immigration law firm in Montreal.

Find out if you are eligible to enter the Express Entry pool

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