CRS score drops again in latest Express Entry draw

Alexandra Miekus, Shelby Thevenot, Noah Turner
Published: May 1, 2020

The Government of Canada has issued 3,311 Invitations to Apply to Express Entry candidates through a program-specific draw held May 1.

The Invitations to Apply, or ITAs, were issued to Express Entry candidates under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). The minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score for these candidates was 452.

This is the lowest CRS requirement so far in 2020, three points under the April 16 CEC draw that had a minimum CRS cut off of 455.

Another 589 ITAs were issued to Express Entry candidates nominated through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) earlier this week. The minimum CRS score for these candidates was 692.

Express Entry candidates with a provincial nomination receive an additional 600 points toward their CRS score, which explains the higher cut-off score. For example, a candidate who enters the Express Entry pool with a CRS score of 300 and then obtains a nomination from a Canadian province would see their CRS score increase to 900.

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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) employed its tie-break rule in this draw and the date and time used was October 10, 2019 at 19:15:28 UTC. This means that all CEC candidates with a CRS score above 452 as well as those candidates with scores of 452 who submitted their profile before this date and time, received an ITA in this invitation round.

Today’s draw brings the total ITAs issued in 2020 to 34,300.

The graph below shows a comparison of ITAs issued to date and annual target admissions since the Express Entry system was launched in 2015.

Increased frequency of program-specific invitation rounds

Program-specific invitation rounds are no longer the exception to the norm for Express Entry draws. Since travel restrictions were introduced on March 18, IRCC has held eight program-specific draws focusing specifically on PNP and Canadian Experience Class applicants.

Both categories of applicants are most likely to be already in Canada than those coming through other Express entry programs, which means they will not be impacted by the current travel restrictions.

Before the pandemic, the vast majority of draws included candidates from all programs managed under the Express Entry system.

The last time an all-program draw was held was March 4, 2020. That draw, saw 3,900 candidates receive invitations with a minimum CRS score of 471.

The Express Entry system is Canada’s principal source of skilled foreign workers. It manages the profiles of candidates for Canada’s three Federal High Skilled economic class immigration programs — the Federal Skilled Worker Class, the Federal Skilled Trades Class, and the Canadian Experience Class.

Eligible candidates are entered into the Express Entry pool and are ranked based on a CRS score that considers factors such as age, education, skilled work experience and proficiency in English or French.

A set number of the highest-ranked candidates are issued an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence through regular draws from the Express Entry pool.

The following is a hypothetical example of candidates who would have obtained an ITA in today's draw:

Lee is 30 years old and completed her bachelor's degree in Canada in April, 2019. Since graduating, Lee has worked as a marketing analyst in Toronto. Lee wrote the IELTS and scored an 8 in listening and a 7 in each other ability. Lee’s CRS score of 457 would have been high enough to obtain an Invitation to Apply during the May 1 Express Entry draw.

Ibrahim is 32 and completed his bachelor's degree in Canada. He wrote the IELTS and obtained an 8 in listening and reading and a 7.5 in speaking and writing. He graduated in early 2019 and has since been working in Canada as a sales manager. He is married to Mary, who is currently living outside of Canada. Mary holds a bachelor's degree and also has an advanced English language proficiency. They entered the pool with Ibrahim as the principal applicant. Their CRS score of 453 would have been high enough to obtain an ITA in the May 1st Express Entry draw.

Find out if you are eligible for any Canadian immigration programs

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