Cut-off score decreases by three points in new Express Entry draw

Stephen Smith, Noah Turner
Published: June 26, 2019

The Government of Canada invited 3,350 Express Entry candidates to apply for Canadian permanent residence in a new draw held June 26. 

The cut-off score in today's draw was 462, which is three points lower than the previous draw held June 12.

This was the second consecutive draw to see the cut-off score decrease since May 29, when it reached 470.

The Express Entry system is Canada's main source of skilled foreign workers. It manages the pool of candidates for three of Canada's main economic-class immigration categories - the Federal Skilled Worker ClassFederal Skilled Trades Class and Canadian Experience Class.

Eligible candidates under these categories are entered into the Express Entry pool, where they are ranked based on their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores.

A candidate's CRS score is based on factors that include age, education, skilled work experience and proficiency in English or French, among others.

A job offer is not required in order to be eligible for the Express Entry pool.

The highest-ranked candidates are issued invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence, known as ITAs, through regular draws from the pool, which typically happen every two weeks.

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

The lower cut-off scores in the last two Express Entry draws may be attributed to the fact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) returned to this two-week period between draws.

The higher than usual cut-off score in the May 29 draw reflected the fact nearly a month passed between draws involving all three of the main Express Entry-managed immigration programs.

When more time passes between draws, the Express Entry pool has additional time to replenish with higher-scoring candidates, which can have the effect of driving up the cut-off score.

The tie break used by IRCC in the June 26 draw was May 11, 2019, at 17:40:54 UTC.

This means that all candidates with a CRS score above 462, as well as those with scores of 462 who entered their profile in the Express Entry pool before this date and time, received an ITA.

Today's draw brings the number of invitations issued in 2019 to 41,800.

This puts the current year 2,100 ITAs ahead of IRCC's 2018 pace.

Last year saw IRCC issue a record 89,800 ITAs, a number it could surpass this year given Canada's higher admissions targets for both 2019 and 2020 for its three main Express Entry-managed programs.

The following are hypothetical examples of candidates who would have obtained an ITA in the June 26 draw:

Mohit is 32, has a master’s degree and has been working as an accountant for three years. He wrote the IELTS and scored an 8 in each category. While Mohit has never worked or studied in Canada, his CRS score of 462 would have been high enough to obtain an ITA in today's draw.

Shruti is 31, has two bachelor’s degrees and has been working as a management consultant for three years. Shruti is married to Ram, who is 37 and holds a bachelor’s degree. Shruti and Ram wrote the IELTS and scored an 8 in each category. Neither Shruti nor Ram have ever worked or studied in Canada. They entered the pool with Shruti as the principal applicant. Their CRS score of 462 would have been high enough to obtain an ITA during the June 26 Express Entry draw.

"This is the second consecutive draw that's seen the CRS cut-off decrease thanks to IRCC's return to a two-week interval between draws," said David Cohen, senior partner with the Campbell, Cohen Canadian immigration law firm in Montreal.

"If this interval continues or even quickens, or we begin to see larger draws, that could result in the CRS cut-off going down further."

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

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