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Express Entry: CRS drops again in 2nd draw in 24 hours

Alexandra Miekus

Shelby Thevenot

Kareem El-Assal

Noah Turner

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Canada’s Express Entry draws are seeing a downward trend in score requirements for Canadian Experience Class (CEC)-specific draws, as the May 15 draw had the lowest points cut off for this cohort since January 2019.

The new Express Entry round issued 3,371 invitations to CEC candidates with Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores of 447 or higher.

The cut-off score of 447 is a decrease of five points from the previous CEC draw on May 1, which had a minimum score of 452 and was previously the lowest CRS requirement of 2020.

The May 15 draw was the second invitation round in 24 hours to issue Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for Canadian permanent residence.

Another 529 ITAs were issued to Express Entry candidates nominated through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) yesterday, May 14. The minimum CRS score for these candidates was 718.

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Canada’s Express Entry system manages the profiles of candidates for three of Canada’s main economic-class immigration programs — the Federal Skilled Worker ClassFederal Skilled Trades Class and Canadian Experience Class.

Candidates are ranked based on a score awarded under Express Entry’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) that considers factors such as age, education, skilled work experience and language ability in English or French.

A set number of the highest-ranked candidates receive an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence, or ITA, through regular draws from the pool and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) typically aims to process applications for permanent residence within six months.

Today’s draw continued a trend that has seen the cut-off CRS score decrease in each of the last four CEC draws. This trend may be explained in part by the relatively regular interval and frequency between draws that IRCC has maintained during the last two months.

The time between draws is an important factor that can have an effect on the CRS cut-off score. Shorter intervals between draws mean fewer candidates have time to enter a profile in the Express Entry pool.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) employed its tie-break rule in this draw and the date and time used was Dec. 23, 2019 at 10:01:06 UTC. This means that all CEC candidates with a CRS score above 447 as well as those candidates with scores of 447 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 38,200.

Despite the fact that Canada’s immigration policies and procedures have undergone major changes since March 18 due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), the Express Entry system has remained operational and candidates can still submit a profile.

IRCC has held ten Canadian Experience Class and Provincial Nominee draws over the past 9 weeks, inviting nearly 19,500 Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence.

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

In addition, provinces continue to hold draws as well through the Provincial Nominee Program.

Provincial nomination can make candidates extremely competitive in the Express Entry pool. Those who receive a provincial nomination through one of the provincial Express Entry streams are awarded 600 additional points.

The following are hypothetical examples of candidates who would have obtained ITAs in today’s draw:

Roshan is 37, holds a bachelor’s degree and has been working as a systems analyst in Canada for just over one year. Before coming to Canada, Roshan worked in IT for an additional four years. Roshan is in Canada on a work permit while his wife, Lea, is studying in Canada. Both Roshan and Lea have advanced English language proficiency. Lea completed a bachelor’s degree before coming to Canada to continue her studies. They entered the Express Entry pool with Roshan as the principal applicant. His CRS score of 451 would have been high enough to obtain an ITA during the May 15 Express Entry draw.

Sarah is 35 and obtained her Master’s degree in Canada. Since graduating in April 2019, she has been working in Canada as an accountant. She has an intermediate English language proficiency and before coming to Canada had three years of skilled work experience. Sarah’s CRS score of 450 would have been high enough to obtain an ITA in the May 5 Express Entry draw.

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