Express Entry: Canada holds major draw inviting 5,956 immigration candidates

Shelby Thevenot, Mohanad Moetaz, Alexandra Miekus, Kareem El-Assal
Published: May 31, 2021

Canada held a new Express Entry draw on May 31, inviting 5,956 candidates to apply for permanent residence.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invited candidates with scores of at least 380. The new draw targeted candidates who are eligible for permanent residence under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). Invited candidates have had at least one year of skilled work experience in Canada plus intermediate official language skills, among other criteria, in order to be eligible for the CEC.

Today's draw was the third largest Express Entry draw ever and had the second-lowest Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) in 2021. Previous draw records were also set this year with IRCC inviting a record 27,332 CEC candidates in one draw in February and 6,000 CEC candidates each in two separate draws in April.

Compared to the previous CEC-only draw two weeks ago, Canada invited 4,114 more candidates today and the score requirement was 17 points lower. Three weeks ago, Canada also held a CEC draw, inviting candidates with scores as low as 401.

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In-Canada candidates at the top of the line

Canada has been prioritizing candidates who are more likely to be already living in the country, since the start of the year. With the current travel restrictions in place, candidates who are approved overseas cannot travel to complete their permanent residency landing. According to the Canadian government, it makes more sense to target domestic candidates.

According to IRCC data from May 6, about 95 per cent of CEC candidates were in the Express Entry pool at that time. IRCC has been holding CEC draws about every two weeks, with the exception of a surprise draw on May 20. Plus, every two weeks the immigration department holds a draw targeting Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates.

Despite the pandemic, Canada is still admitting record-breaking numbers of new immigrants over the next three years. This year alone, 108,500 new immigrants are supposed to come through Express Entry-managed programs. So far, IRCC has invited 74,773 Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence.

The large number comes from the historic February 13 draw where IRCC invited every CEC-eligible candidate in the pool, a total of 27,332 people. In this draw alone, 23,877 invited candidates filled out applications before the 90-day deadline, IRCC told CIC News in an email.

PNP-only and CEC-only draws have vastly different CRS requirements. This is because PNP candidates automatically get an additional 600 points toward their overall score. CEC candidates are not competing for invitations from other programs. As a result, IRCC takes more off the top allowing for the cutoff score to drop. In the previous CEC-only draw, the CRS requirement dropped to 397.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is a points-based expression of interest system. It manages the applications for the three Federal High Skilled programs, which include the: Canadian Experience ClassFederal Skilled Worker Program, and Federal Skilled Trades Program. Some PNPs also use Express Entry to invite candidates to apply for a provincial nomination.

If you are eligible for an Express Entry-managed program, you will get a score based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The CRS awards points based on skilled work experience, education, age, official language skills, and other factors.

IRCC holds regular rounds of invitation. The highest-scoring candidates receive an Invitations to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. This is your chance to get Canadian permanent residence.

After you submit an application, an IRCC immigration officer will make a decision. If you are approved, the last step is to complete the landing process and officially immigrate to Canada.

Who was invited?

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

Tara is 31 and got her bachelors degree in Canada. Since graduating, she has been working in Canada as a graphic designer. Prior to coming to Canada to pursue her bachelor’s degree, she was employed as an artist for four years. Tara wrote the IELTS and scored a 6 in each category. Tara submitted an Express Entry profile earlier this month. Her CRS score of 433 would have been high enough to receive an ITA during the new Express Entry draw.

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