Express Entry: New PNP draw invites 266 candidates

Shelby Thevenot, Mohanad Moetaz
Published: April 14, 2021

Canada invited 266 Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence on April 14.

In order to be invited in this draw, candidates needed a score of 753. This minimum score requirement may seem high compared to the average all-program, or Canadian Experience Class-only draw, but that is because invited candidates needed to have previously received a nomination from a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

PNP candidates automatically get 600 points just for receiving the provincial nomination. Without the nomination, the lowest-scoring candidate would have 153 points.

Candidates who had the minimum score of 753 were only invited if they submitted their Express Entry profile before March 01, 2021 at 15:22:18 UTC, as per the tie-break ruleImmigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) publishes the cut-off time for the tie-break rule as an administrative requirement, regardless of whether there was an actual tie.

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Express Entry draws in 2021

"It has been a record-breaking first quarter for the Express Entry system," said David Cohen, Senior Attorney of Campbell Cohen. "If all goes well for the rest of the year, Canada might just meet its ambitious immigration targets for 2021."

IRCC has now invited 49,390 Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence so far in 2021, nearly double what it was at the same time last year. This is because on February 13, IRCC sent 27,332 invitations, one for every eligible CEC candidate in the pool.

Canada is ramping up its Express Entry intake in order to meet its 2021 immigration targets. Last fall, the federal government committed to welcome 401,000 newcomers in 2021, about a quarter of these would come through the Express Entry system.

Since the start of 2021, Canada has held 12 draws. All of them have either targeted CEC candidates or PNP candidates.

PNP-specific draws require a higher score cut off because of the 600-point award that comes with a provincial nomination. CEC-only draws tend to have lower minimum score requirements because they are not competing with candidates of other classes, so more top-scoring candidates can be invited in a given invitation round.

IRCC is also prioritizing candidates who are already in Canada. The immigration department provided CIC News a snapshot of the Express Entry pool on April 7. About 95 per cent of CEC candidates were already in Canada, the largest proportion of any Express Entry-managed program. This could be because Canadian work experience is one of the key eligibility requirements for the CEC. There were more than 21,000 CEC-eligible candidates in the pool.

Express Entry candidates can be eligible for more than one Federal High Skilled program. All PNP candidates are eligible for one other Express Entry-managed program. These candidates have demonstrated to a province or territory that they have the connections and experience to succeed in the labour market that nominated them. PNP had the smallest number of candidates in the pool at 104 that day, but about 69 per cent of them were in Canada.

Although there were more than 141,000 Federal Skilled Worker candidates in the pool, about 95 per cent of them were outside of Canada. Almost 55 per cent of Federal Skilled Trades candidates were in Canada, out of a total of 669 candidates.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is an application management system for three federal immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class.

If you want to immigrate to Canada through an Express Entry-managed program, the first step is to check to see if you are eligible. If so, you get a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on your work experience, education, age, and official language ability, among other factors.

IRCC then issues Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to candidates with high CRS scores through regular rounds of invitation.

Most provinces and territories have a PNP that is aligned with the Express Entry system, Quebec and Nunavut are the only exceptions. Provincial governments may invite certain Express Entry candidates to apply for a provincial nomination based on their profile. In some cases, candidates need to file an Expression of Interest with the province that they want to immigrate to. Receiving a provincial nomination improves your ranking in the Express Entry pool. Provincial nominees automatically receive 600 CRS points, and they are effectively guaranteed to receive an ITA.

Who was invited?

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

Yusuf is 31 years old, holds a bachelor’s degree and has an advanced English language proficiency. He has been working as a software engineer for five years. Yusuf has never worked or studied in Canada. He entered the Express Entry pool with a CRS score of 430. Yusuf was issued a notification of interest from Ontario’s Human Capital Priorities Stream and was then able to apply for a provincial nomination through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program. Yusuf’s CRS score increased to 1030 and he received an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence in the new Express Entry draw.

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