Express Entry: Huge CEC draw with low CRS cutoff

Shelby Thevenot, Mohanad Moetaz
Published: June 10, 2021

Canada invited 6,000 more Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence on June 10.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invited candidates with scores of at least 368. 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, as this is a key eligibility requirement of the CEC. Candidates also have at least an intermediate language proficiency in English or French.

As per administrative requirements, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) published a cutoff time for the tie-break rule, whether or not there was any actual tie. In the new draw, candidates who had the minimum score were only invited if they submitted their Express Entry profile before April 28, 2021 at 05:45:14 UTC.

Canada has been holding CEC-only draws with historically low score cut offs. The previous CEC draw only required candidates to have a score of 380. At the time, it was the lowest for a CEC-only draw since the record-breaking February 13 draw. CEC candidates with scores as low as 75 got invitations in that draw.

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IRCC keeping draws focused in Canada despite talk of easing of travel restrictions

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 were approved overseas after March 18, 2020, cannot travel to complete their permanent residency landing.

Canadian government officials have not given a firm date as to when the border will reopen to international travel, but have stated that the easing of restrictions will come in phases. The health minister suggests the 14-day quarantine will be the first to go for travellers who have been fully vaccinated.

Even amid travel restrictions, Canada 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.

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. 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.

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 cutoff scores to dip into the lower levels.

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.

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 CEC-specific draw.

Mahroo is 38, holds a bachelors degree and has been working as a management consultant outside of Canada for six years. Mahroo has an advanced English language proficiency and worked in Canada for a year. Mahroo's CRS score of 445 as well as her eligibility under the CEC would have allowed her to get an ITA in the new Express Entry draw.

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