What is Express Entry’s tie-break rule?

Mohanad Moetaz
Published: June 30, 2020

Since Canada's travel restrictions were put in place in mid-March to slow the spread of the coronavirus, every Express Entry draw has seen the tie-break rule implemented.

The tie-break rule is used to rank candidates who have the same Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. The candidates are ranked by the date and time their Express Entry profiles were added into the pool.

This means that the tie-break rule prioritizes profiles that have been in the Express Entry pool for longer. 

For example, the latest Express Entry draw of June 25 issued 3,508 invitations to apply for permanent residence to candidates with CRS scores of at least 431. In this draw, the tie-break rule was used. This means that candidates with a CRS score of 431 who had submitted their Express Entry profile before a specific date and time were issued an invitation. The date and time used for that draw was April 3, 2020 at 12:56:32 UTC.

The tie-break rule would usually apply to candidates whose CRS score is the same as the draw’s cutoff. In the June 25 draw, only candidates with a CRS score of exactly 431 would be affected.

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A candidate’s CRS score remains the primary factor in selecting candidates to be invited to apply for permanent residence.

It is worth noting that if a candidate makes changes to their Express Entry profile, this does not change the timestamp of when the profile was first submitted.

For example, if a candidate first submits their Express Entry profile in March, and makes changes in June that increases their CRS score to 431, they would still have been invited in the June 25 draw.

However, if a candidate deletes their profile and resubmits their profile after April 3 at 12:56:32 UTC, they would not have been invited in the June 25 draw.

The following table illustrates the candidates that are invited and the candidates that would still be in the pool. Note that the table is for illustrative purposes only.

Rank CRS score Date and time of profile submission Status
3507 431 April 1, 2020, at 19:38:41  Invited
3508 431 April 2, 2020, at 10:42:01  Invited
3509 431 April 3, 2020, at 12:59:39  Still in the pool
3510 431 April 4, 2020, at 22:33:58  Still in the pool

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