Express Entry: 512 PNP candidates invited to apply for permanent residence

Shelby Thevenot, Mohanad Moetaz
Published: August 4, 2021

Canada's newest Express Entry draw, on August 4, targeted candidates who had previously received provincial nominations.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invited 512 candidates with scores of at least 760. The relatively high score was because Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates automatically get 600 points when they receive their provincial nomination.

In the previous PNP invitation round, 462 Express Entry candidates were invited to apply for permanent residence with scores of at least 734.

IRCC also published a cutoff time for the tie-break rule. This is an administrative requirement, and it does not mean there was any actual tie. Candidates who had the minimum score were only invited if they submitted their Express Entry profile before March 5, 2021 at 22:38:31 UTC.

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Why a PNP-only draw?

Since the start of 2021, IRCC has been holding only PNP- and Canadian Experience Class (CEC)- specific Express Entry draws. This has been an effort on IRCC's part to admit candidates who are already in Canada.

Although PNP candidates are not necessarily in Canada, at least not in the numbers as CEC candidates, it only makes sense for the federal government to keep working with its provincial partners. In Canada, immigration is a shared jurisdiction. Numerous studies have shown immigrants succeed when they are selected on local labour market needs. Both PNP and CEC candidates have shown to have better outcomes in the labour market, on average, than candidates who have never set foot in Canada before getting permanent residency.

Travel restrictions are also less of a concern for outland PNP applicants. This is because Canada opened its border to approved permanent residents on June 21. Also, those invited today could have months ahead of them before they receive their Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR), which is the final document needed to before becoming a landed permanent resident in Canada.

Express Entry invitations ahead of 2019 levels

The number of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) has almost doubled compared to the same time last year. This suggests that IRCC is doubling down on its efforts to admit 108,500 newcomers through the Express Entry system in 2021. So far this year, 99,316 PNP and CEC candidates have been invited.

The minimum score requirements have been up and down due to the nature of CEC- and PNP-only draws. CEC draws typically have lower cutoffs because the draws are concentrated in the one silo of applicants. They are not competing with others in the Federal Skilled Worker Program, for example. So, with bigger draw sizes, IRCC can invite more candidates, thus bringing the score down.

On the other hand, PNP candidates automatically get 600 points with their provincial nomination. By this fact alone, PNP draws will always be higher than any other type of Express Entry draw.

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.

The CRS is out of a possible 1,200 points. The vast majority have less than 500 points, except for PNP candidates because having a provincial nomination means an automatic 600 CRS points added to their original score.

IRCC invites the highest scoring candidates to apply for permanent residence during regular rounds of invitation. Invited candidates get to officially apply for Canadian immigration.

Who was invited?

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

Olu is 39, holds a bachelor’s degree and has been working as a food services manager for six years. Olu has an advanced English language proficiency and has never worked or studied in Canada. He entered the Express Entry pool with a CRS score of 386. He recently obtained a provincial nomination through Alberta’s Express Entry stream. His new CRS score of 986 would have been high enough to obtain an ITA during the new Express Entry draw.

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