Express Entry: First draw of 2021 PNP only

Shelby Thevenot, Alexandra Miekus, Kareem El-Assal, Michael Schwartz, Mohanad Moetaz
Published: January 6, 2021

Canada kicked off the new year issuing invitations to Express Entry candidates who have provincial nominations on January 6.

Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invited candidates who had 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.

The 250 invited candidates can now officially apply to become Canadian permanent residents.

Express Entry is Canada’s application management system for three federal immigration programs: Federal Skilled Worker ProgramFederal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class.

Get a Free Express Entry Assessment

Candidates in these programs, as well as some PNPs, are given a score based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). These points are awarded based on the candidate's human capital factors such as age, education, work experience, and language ability in English or French.

The points may be awarded to an individual, or a couple. Although Express Entry candidates do not need to have any experience in Canada, or even a job offer, though it may give them some extra points.

The highest-scoring candidates receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence through regular Express Entry rounds of invitation. After they apply, IRCC will then make a final decision on their immigration application and send them a Confirmation of Permanent Residence if their application is successful. The last step for approved permanent residents is to make their landing in Canada, and apply for their PR card. At this point, they have officially immigrated to Canada, and can eventually apply for citizenship.

CRS cutoff scores dropped slightly toward the end of 2020. This could be because IRCC started holding bigger draws, meaning more of the top-scoring candidates were invited from the Express Entry pool.

In case of a tie between candidates, IRCC applies the tie-breaking rule. In the latest draw, candidates who had a CRS score of 469 or more, needed to have submitted their Express Entry profile before November 2, 2020 at 11:11:52 UTC in order to receive an invitation.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 was a record-breaking year for Express Entry. By the end, Canada had issued 108,350 ITAs to Express Entry candidates. 2021 is expected to be an even bigger year, as IRCC has raised immigration targets to make up for the reduced number of new permanent residents admitted to Canada last year.

Canada is expected to welcome 401,000 new immigrants next year, of these, 108,500 are allocated to come through an Express Entry-managed program. These targets are expected to go up over the next three years, rising to 110,500 in 2022 and 113,750 in 2023.

Who is invited?

Abdullah is 25 and single. He is a carpenter by training and holds a two-year trades certificate from Pakistan. He worked for three years in Pakistan, and then moved to Manitoba, where he has spent the last two years working. He has a CLB 6 for English in all four levels. Abdullah obtained a provincial certification in his occupation and received a provincial nomination from Manitoba under its Express Entry stream. His initial CRS score is a 422 but jumps to a 1022 thanks to his provincial nomination, allowing him to get an ITA in today's draw.

Priya is single, 31, and has a 1-year certificate in automobile repair from her home country. She has 5 years experience as an automobile repairwoman, all from her home country. She received ILETS scores equaling CLB 5 in speaking and writing CLB 4 reading and listening. She submitted an Express Entry profile on September 20, 2020 and recently received an offer of a job working in automotive repair in Nova Scotia. The province granted her a provincial nomination through NS Labour Market Priorities Stream. Her initial CRS score of 213 then rose to 813, enabling her to receive an invitation in today's Express Entry draw.

Get a Free Express Entry Assessment

© CIC News All Rights Reserved. Visit to discover your Canadian immigration options.

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at
Related articles
Who received ITAs in the last Express Entry healthcare category-based selection draw?
Helpful volunteer taking care of senior lady at healthcare home
IRCC issues 2,500 ITAs in category-based Express Entry draw for French language proficiency
A view of the Toronto skyline at sunrise.
Get Your English Language Proficiency Scores Faster with CELPIP
Girl with Laptop
The current state of the Express Entry pool: February 2024
A group of people's faces shown in collage style.
Top Stories
Some citizens of Mexico now require a visa to visit Canada
Five red flags to watch out for when choosing an immigration representative
A newcomer’s guide to making Montreal home
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
More in Provinces
A newcomer’s guide to making Montreal home
Montreal skyline
Study: More newcomers are choosing to stay in Atlantic Canada
More skilled newcomers are choosing to stay in Atlantic Canada.
British Columbia, Alberta and PEI issue provincial nominations this week
A photo at Jasper park of a canoe on Maligne Lake. This week Alberta and BC issued invitations via their PNPs.
Alberta pauses processing for Alberta Opportunity Stream applications; will launch stream for tourism and hospitality
The AAIP has temporarily paused applications for the Alberta Opportunity Stream.
Link copied to clipboard