Express Entry: Canada invites 4,750 CEC candidates

Alexandra Miekus, Michael Schwartz, Mohanad Moetaz
Published: January 8, 2021

Canada held another Express Entry draw on January 7, the second invitation round held in two days. 

Invitations were issued to a total of 4,750 Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates. A Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 461 was enough to ensure an Invitation to Apply (ITA). 

Results of the draw were released today, January 8, 2021.

Two days ago, Canada kicked off the new year issuing invitations to Express Entry candidates who have provincial nominations.

A total of 250 candidates were invited by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in the January 6 draw and they needed a minimum score of 813.

Candidates who have received nominations from an Express Entry-aligned Provincial Nominee Program (PNPs) automatically get 600 points added to their overall score, which is why the score requirement is relatively high compared to other rounds of invitation.

It may still be too early to tell whether IRCC will return to organizing only program-specific draws, as it did last year in the midst of the pandemic and when Canada first closed its borders.

IRCC was holding CEC program-specific draws between March and August. They would take place shortly after PNP-specific draws, and the number of ITAs from the two draws combined usually added up to a round number. Towards the end of 2020, IRCC returned to all-program draws, with some of the highest numbers of invitations ever issued and gradually declining CRS cut-off scores. 

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Express Entry is a system that the federal government uses to manage applications for Canada’s three main economic-class programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Most provinces also have immigration streams that are aligned with the Express Entry system.

In the Express Entry system, candidates are ranked based on their CRS score that considers multiple factors including their age, work experience, education and proficiency in French or English. In some cases, the date and time at which the Express Entry profile was created is also a ranking factor. 

Unlike all-program invitation rounds, which draw from the entire Express Entry pool and tend to result in higher cut-off scores, program-specific draws like the one specifically targeting CEC candidates today can produce lower cut-off scores given they involve a smaller pool of candidates.

Today’s draw saw the tie-break rule implemented. The tie-break rule is used to rank candidates who have the same CRS score (at the cut-off) based on the date and time the profile was created.

The tie-breaking rule for today’s draw was implemented for September 12, 2020, at 20:46:32 UTC. This means that candidates with a CRS score of 461 were only invited if their profile was submitted before this date and time.

This draw brings the total number of invitations issued in 2021 so far to 5,000.

Canada has targeted the arrival of some 110,000 Express Entry immigrants per year under its 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan.

Candidates who wish to submit their Express Entry profile may still do so despite any coronavirus-related restrictions in place. IRCC continues to accept submissions to the Express Entry system.

The following is a hypothetical scenario of someone invited in today's draw:

Flory is 30 and a nurse, with a bachelor's degree and three years of nursing experience in the Philippines. Her husband Olaf is a 31-year-old welder, with a one year certificate and five years of work experience. They have each worked in Canada for five years in their occupations. Flory has a sister named Fiona who is a Canadian permanent resident. Flory obtained a CLB 9 across all four language testing levels (reading, writing, listening, and speaking). Olaf scored a CLB 8 in reading and writing and a CLB 9 in listening and speaking. With Flory as the Principal Applicant, they received a CRS score of 482, resulting in them successfully receiving invitations to apply today.

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