The minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score in the December 11 invitation round was 472.
The Express Entry system manages the pool of candidates for three of Canada’s main skilled labour immigration categories — the Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class and Canadian Experience Class.
Candidates are ranked in the pool based on a score awarded under the CRS that considers factors such as age, education, skilled work experience and proficiency in English or French.
A job offer is not required in order to be eligible for an Express Entry invitation to apply (ITA), though additional CRS points are awarded if a candidate has one.
A set number of the highest-ranked candidates are invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence through regular draws from the pool. These invitation rounds typically take place every two weeks and the vast majority involve candidates from all three Express Entry-managed categories.
The cut-off CRS score is determined by factors including the number of candidates in the Express Entry pool, the time between draws and the number of ITAs issued.
Larger draws tend to go deeper into the pool of candidates and often result in a lower CRS cut-off score. Conversely, the December 11 draw was on the smaller side for an all-program invitation round and produced a slightly elevated CRS cut-off score.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) applied a tie-break time and date of December 6, 2019, at 03:03:49 UTC in this draw. This means that all candidates with a score of 472 who submitted their profile before this date and time received an ITA.
IRCC has now issued 82,100 ITAs in 2019. This is 7,700 ITAs short of the 89,800 that were issued in 2018, which stands as the most ITAs issued in a single year through the Express Entry system.
Under Canada’s multi-year immigration levels plan, the coming year will see the target for new permanent residents admitted through the three Express Entry-managed immigration programs rise to 85,800, up from 81,400 this year.
The admissions target for Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program, or PNP, is also set to increase from 61,000 to 67,800 in 2020, a portion of which is managed by the Express Entry system.
Nine Canadian provinces and two territories have what are known as “enhanced” PNP streams that are linked to the Express Entry system.
These streams allow them to select Express Entry candidates and invite them to apply for a provincial nomination for Canadian permanent residence and many have lower or even no CRS score requirements.
Express Entry candidates who obtain a provincial nomination receive an additional 600 points toward their CRS score and are effectively guaranteed an ITA.
The past two weeks have seen enhanced nomination streams in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, British Columbia and Nova Scotia issue invitations to Express Entry candidates.
“It’s been a busy couple of weeks for enhanced PNP nomination streams and that is welcome news for Express Entry candidates with lower CRS scores,” said David Cohen, senior partner with the Campbell Cohen Canadian immigration law firm.
“While today’s draw was relatively small, there’s always the possibility of larger ones down the road, especially as we enter a new year with a higher admissions target.”
The following are hypothetical examples of candidates who would have obtained an ITA in today’s draw:
Dinesh is a 29-year-old programmer with a master’s degree and three years of work experience. He wrote the IELTS and scored an 8 in listening and speaking and a 7 in reading and writing. While Dinesh has never worked or studied in Canada, his CRS score of 472 would have been high enough to obtain an ITA during the December 11 Express Entry draw.
Sunny and Hanna are married and are 29- and 32-years-old, respectively. They each hold a bachelor’s degree and Sunny also holds another one-year post-secondary certificate. They also each wrote the IELTS and scored an 8 in each category. Sunny has been working as an accountant for four years and Hanna has been working as a management consultant for five years. Neither Sunny or Hanna has ever worked or studied in Canada.
They entered the pool with Sunny as the principal applicant and her CRS score of 472 would have been high enough to obtain an ITA during the Dec 11 Express Entry draw.
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