Express Entry: 671 PNP candidates invited

Shelby Thevenot, Mohanad Moetaz
Published: March 8, 2021

Canada invited 671 Express Entry candidates to send in their applications for permanent residence on March 8.

Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invited candidates who had a minimum score of 739. This score requirement seems high, but that is because everyone invited had previously received a nomination from a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

Express Entry candidates who get a provincial nomination are automatically given 600 points on top of their original human capital score. Meaning those who had the minimum score of 739, had a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 139 without the provincial nomination.

"Provincial nominees have demonstrated that they will benefit provincial labour markets," said Attorney David Cohen, Senior Partner of Campbell Cohen. "In turn, provinces support their Express Entry application with an award that guarantees they will be invited to apply for permanent residence."

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Candidates who had the minimum score of 739 were only included if they submitted their Express Entry profile before February 16, 2021 at 19:10:25 UTC, as per the tie-break rule.

So far this year, Canada has issued 38,657 Invitations to Apply (ITA).  This is more than three times greater than the number of ITAs that IRCC issued at the same time last year. Due to the low numbers of new immigrants admitted in 2020, Canada has set the ambitious target of welcoming 401,000 newcomers in 2021. Most of these are allocated to come through the Express Entry system.

The majority of these invitations came from when IRCC issued 27,332 ITAs from the previous draw on Saturday, February 13. This is not only the biggest Express Entry draw ever, but it also had a historically low CRS requirement of 75.

It is unusual to see draws happen more than two weeks apart. Today's draw comes 22 days after the Saturday draw when every single candidate in the pool who was eligible for the Canadian Experience Class was invited to apply for permanent residence.

How does Express Entry work?

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

Candidates in these programs, as well as some PNPs, are given a score based on the 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. They do not need a job offer, but it may give them some extra points. It is not necessary to have ever worked or studied in Canada, though during the pandemic IRCC is prioritizing candidates who are already in the country.

The highest-scoring candidates receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence through regular Express Entry rounds of invitation. Once an application has been submitted, IRCC will make a final decision and send a Confirmation of Permanent Residence if they accept the application. The final step for approved permanent residents is to settle in Canada and apply for a PR Card. At this stage, such individuals are officially Canadian permanent residents and may eventually apply for citizenship.

Who is invited?

The following is a hypothetical scenario of someone who may have been invited in the new Express Entry draw.

Himari is 34 with a Master’s degree and has been working as a database analyst for ten years. She wrote the IELTS and scored a 7.5 in listening and a 6.5 in every other category. She has never worked or studied in Canada. Himari entered the Express Entry pool and also submitted a profile to the Canadian province of Saskatchewan through the International Skilled Worker: Saskatchewan Express Entry stream. She entered the Express Entry pool with a CRS score of 360. Shortly after submitting a profile to Saskatchewan, Himari was invited to apply for provincial nomination. After being nominated, her Express Entry CRS score increased to 960 and Himari received an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence in today's Express Entry draw.

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