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Express Entry: First all-program draw since start of pandemic

Alexandra Miekus

Shelby Thevenot

Kareem El-Assal

Noah Turner

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Canada has resumed all-program Express Entry draws and is now issuing invitations to apply to Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) candidates.

Canada’s first all-program Express Entry draw since March 4 has issued 3,900 invitations to apply (ITAs) for permanent residence. Candidates needed a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of at least 478 to be invited in the July 8 invitation round.

Since the coronavirus was labelled a pandemic and Canada introduced travel restriction to prevent its spread, Express Entry draws have been limited to Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates. This left FSWP and Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSTP) candidates in limbo.

Most CEC candidates are already in Canada and therefore are not affected by Canada’s current travel restrictions. PNP candidates continue to be invited as well to allow provinces to meet their labour market needs. It is important to note however that even when Canada was excluding FSWP and FSTP candidates, some of the CEC and PNP candidates being invited in previous draws were also outside of Canada.

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Today’s draw was the same size as the previous all-program invitation round held March 4, which issued 3,900 ITAs.

It is the 22nd draw of 2020 and brings the total number of ITAs issued this year to 53,800, a new record for this date.

Today’s minimum score of 478 was seven points higher than the previous all-program invitation round on March 4, which had a cut-off score of 471.

The higher CRS cut-off is a function of FSWP candidates once again securing ITAs. Given the length of time since the last draw featuring FSWP candidates, today’s draw featured ITAs to candidates with higher CRS scores who would have otherwise been invited in earlier months had the coronavirus pandemic not affected IRCC’s Express Entry policies.

IRCC used its tie-break rule in the today’s draw. The time stamp used was February, 11, at 13:08:31 UTC. This means that all candidates with a CRS score above 478, as well as those candidates with scores of 478 who entered their profile in the Express Entry pool before the selected date and time, received an ITA in this invitation round.

The Express Entry system is Canada’s primary source of skilled foreign workers. It was introduced in 2015 to manage the pool of candidates for three of Canada’s three federal high-skilled immigration programs — the Federal Skilled Worker Program,  Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class.

Eligible candidates for each program are issued a score under Express Entry’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), which awards points for factors such as age, education, skilled work experience and proficiency in English or French.

While a job offer is not required in order to be eligible under the Express Entry system, the CRS does award additional points to candidates who have one.

A set number of the highest-scoring candidates are issued an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence (ITA) through regular draws from the pool, which typically take place every two weeks.

The Government of Canada has a processing standard of six months for permanent residence applications filed through the Express Entry system.

Who is invited?

The following is a hypothetical example of someone who may have been invited in the latest Express Entry draw:

Tanya is 29, holds a Master’s degree and has been working as an accountant for four years. She wrote the IELTS and scored an 8 in each category. While Tanya has never worked or studied in Canada, her CRS of 478 would have been high enough to obtain an ITA during the July 8 Express Entry draw.

Find out if you are eligible for any Canadian immigration programs

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