Second Express Entry draw in five days invites candidates with scores as low as 467

Alexandra Miekus, Shelby Thevenot, Mohanad Moetaz, Noah Turner
Published: March 23, 2020

The Government of Canada has released the details of this week's Express Entry draw, inviting 3,232 candidates to apply for permanent residence.

Invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence were issued to Canadian Experience Class program candidates with Comprehensive Ranking Scores (CRS) as low as 467 in a new Express Entry draw held March 23, 2020.

The program-specific draw was the second since 2015 to specifically target candidates in the Canadian Experience Class, which is open to foreign nationals with at least one year of work experience in Canada, among other criteria.

The Canadian Experience Class is one of three Federal High Skilled immigration programs managed by the Express Entry system. The other two are the Federal Skilled Worker Class and the Federal Skilled Trades Class.

Find out if you are eligible for any Canadian immigration programs

The vast majority of Express Entry draws involve candidates from all three classes and today’s draw was one of the rare exceptions to this rule.

The previous Express Entry draw held March 18 only included candidates that had provincial nominations and issued 668 invitations to apply (ITAs). Given Canada’s higher admission targets for its three Federal High Skilled immigration programs in 2020 and 2021, it is expected that Immigration, Refugees Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will hold more frequent and larger draws in the weeks and months to come.

All eligible Express Entry candidates are given a score under the Comprehensive Ranking Scores CRS that is based on factors such as age, education, skilled work experience and proficiency in English or French and are entered into the Express Entry pool.

Unlike all-program invitation rounds, which draw from the entire Express Entry pool and tend to result in higher cut-off scores, niche draws for a specific cohort like Canadian Experience Class candidates can produce lower cut-off scores given they target a smaller pool of candidates.

Today’s cut-off score of 467 was three points lower than the lowest cut-off score this year in an all-program Express Entry draw, which was 470.

The tie-break used by IRCC in the March 23 draw was November 25, 2019, at 14:00:35 UTC. This means that all Canadian Experience Class candidates with a CRS score above 467, as well as those with scores of 467 who entered their profile in the Express Entry pool before this date and time, received an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence.

This draw brings the total number of ITAs issued so far this year through Canada’s Express Entry system to 22,600.

Today’s draw is a reminder of the various ways Express Entry candidates with lower CRS scores may receive an ITA.

Several Express Entry-aligned provincial nomination streams also have lower CRS requirements compared to all-program federal draws.

Express Entry candidates with a provincial nomination receive an additional 600 CRS points and are effectively guaranteed an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

In order to be considered for a nomination through most Express Entry-aligned provincial streams, the first step is to submit an Express Entry profile.

The following are hypothetical examples of candidates who would have obtained an ITA in today’s Canadian Experience Class draw:

Ram is 28 years old and has been working in Canada for one year as a programmer since completing his bachelor's degree in Canada. Ram wrote the IELTS and scored an 8 in listening, a 7.5 in speaking, a 7 in writing and a 7 in reading. Ram’s CRS of 468 would have been high enough to obtain an ITA during the March 23 Express Entry draw.

Sara is 33, holds a bachelor's degree and has been working as an IT manager outside of Canada for 6 years. Sara has an advanced English language proficiency and worked in Canada for a year, in 2019. Sara’s CRS score of 472, as well as her eligibility under the CEC, would have allowed her to obtain an ITA in the March 23 Express Entry draw.

Find out if you are eligible for any Canadian immigration programs

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