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Express Entry: CRS in new CEC draw matches 2nd lowest score Canada invited CEC candidates with scores of at least 357.

Shelby Thevenot

Mohanad Moetaz

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A total of 4,500 Express Entry candidates received invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence on July 22.

Canada’s immigration department invited candidates with scores of at least 357. Candidates needed to be eligible for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) in order to be invited. Also, if they had the minimum score they were only included if they had submitted their profiles before February 14, 2021 at 09:04:15 UTC, as per the tie-break rule.

In the previous CEC invitation round, 4,500 candidates were invited and the cutoff score was 369. However, the CEC round before that also had a cutoff of 357. This draw matches the second lowest score for a CEC draw, ever. The lowest was when Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invited CEC candidates with scores of at least 75 on February 13.

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CEC and PNP draws

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, and less likely to be disrupted by public health measures like travel restrictions.

Coronavirus-related measures in Canada are starting to roll back. Canada’s border is reopening to non-essential travel to fully vaccinated U.S. travellers in August. Then in September, the border will open to fully vaccinated people from all other countries. However, direct flights to India are still suspended until August 21.

Canada set a target to welcome 401,000 new immigrants to Canada this year, according to its immigration levels plan. About a quarter of these are allotted to come through the Express Entry system.

This year, Canada has invited almost twice as many Express Entry candidates compared to the same time last year. 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.

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 system that manages immigration 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.

Who was invited?

Here is a hypothetical example of someone who may have been invited in the new Express Entry draw.

Shanice is 36, has a bachelor’s degree, and has been working in Canada as a database analyst for just over one year. Prior to coming to Canada, she worked for six years in her field. Shanice has an advanced English language proficiency. Her CRS score of 456 would have been high enough to obtain an ITA in the new Express Entry draw.

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