Canada’s Express Entry draw invites 6,000 CEC immigration candidates

Shelby Thevenot, Kareem El-Assal, Alexandra Miekus, Mohanad Moetaz
Published: June 24, 2021

Canada held another Express Entry draw today, on June 24, 2021.

A total of 6,000 candidates were invited to apply for permanent residence through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). The Comprehensive Ranking System score requirement (CRS) was 357. This CRS cutoff is the second-lowest ever for a CEC-only draw. The lowest was 75 during the historic February 13, 2021 draw that saw 27,332 CEC candidates invited to apply for permanent residence.

The CRS requirement continues to fall in CEC-only draws as Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) looks for even more in-Canada candidates to invite to support its goal of welcoming 401,000 new immigrants this year.

CEC candidates have a minimum of one year of Canadian work experience in a skilled occupation, and at least an intermediate level of English or French.

IRCC published a cut-off time for the tie-break rule. This is an administrative requirement, it does not mean there was necessarily an actual tie. In the new draw, candidates who had the minimum score were only invited if they submitted their Express Entry profile before February 17, 2021 at 10:15:50 UTC.

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When will IRCC hold another all-program draw?

Throughout the pandemic, IRCC has been holding only CEC- and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)-specific draws. This is because these candidates are more likely to already be living in Canada. Up until June 21, approved permanent residents could not travel to Canada to complete their landing and activate their status. IRCC held a PNP-only Express Entry draw this week inviting 1,002 candidates.

Although Canada's travel restrictions are to starting to scale back, the border is still closed to non-essential travel and the flight ban from India has been extended another month. Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, however, has indicated that more travel restrictions could be lifted in the coming weeks.

IRCC has not indicated when it will hold its next all-program Express Entry draw. They have yet to consider Federal Skilled Worker Program and Federal Skilled Trades Program candidates in 2021.

On the other hand, there are two major reasons to believe IRCC will resume all-program draws in the second half of this year. First, it is less likely that those invited for permanent residence in Express Entry draws in the second half of this year will have their permanent residence process completed by the end of 2021. IRCC is pursuing an ambitious Immigration Levels Plan with a goal of landing 401,000 new immigrants in 2021. Given this, IRCC will likely be more willing to hold all-program draws later this year since most of those who receive invitations, irrespective of whether they are currently in Canada or overseas, will be unlikely to complete their landing until 2022.

Secondly, with Canada's travel restrictions being eased and the pandemic situation beginning to improve in many of Canada's top immigrant source countries, including India, there are likely to be fewer coronavirus-related disruptions in the months to come, which means Canada should see more immigrants from abroad physically entering the country to complete their landings. With such disruptions abating, IRCC is likely to be in a stronger position to consider Express Entry candidates abroad.

Over 88,000 ITAs so far in 2021

The federal government is planning to admit record-breaking numbers of new immigrants over the next three years. In 2021 alone, 108,500 new immigrants are supposed to come through Express Entry-managed programs.

This year, Canada has invited almost twice as many Express Entry candidates as we saw at the same time last year. This is largely due to the historic February 13 draw where IRCC invited every CEC-eligible candidate in the pool, a total of 27,332 people. About 87 per cent of those invited that day applied for permanent residence before the 90-day deadline, IRCC told CIC News in an email.

IRCC has already issued 88,715  Invitations to Apply (ITA) in 2021. It issued 46,392 ITAs at the same time last year.


PNP-only and CEC-only draws have very different score requirements. This is because PNP candidates automatically get 600 points added to their score. CEC candidates are not competing for invitations from other programs. As a result, IRCC takes more off the top allowing for cut-off scores to dip into the lower levels. In recent CEC-only draws, the CRS cut-off has gone lower and lower as IRCC seeks even more candidates living in the country to transition to immigration status.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is a points-based application management system 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, issuing Invitations to Apply for permanent residence to the highest-scoring candidates.

After you submit, an IRCC immigration officer will make a decision on your application. 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 scenario of a CEC candidate that was successfully invited in today's draw:

Ganesh is 36 and has a bachelor’s degree. He has one year of professional work experience in Canada as a financial analyst. Before coming to Canada, Ganesh worked in the same occupation in India for six years. Ganesh is fully fluent in English. His CRS score of 456 would have been more than enough for him to obtain an ITA in today's Express Entry draw.

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