Express Entry: Canada invites 3,000 CEC candidates

Shelby Thevenot, Mohanad Moetaz
Published: August 5, 2021

Canada invited 3,000 Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence on August 5.

Invited candidates needed to be eligible for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), with scores of at least 404.

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In the previous CEC draw, candidates needed a score of 357. This score requirement was tied with the second-lowest ever for this class of draw. The lowest is still the February 13 draw, when every single CEC-eligible candidate was invited and the lowest score in the pool was 75.

Candidates who had the minimum score were only included if they had submitted their profiles before August 3rd, 2021 at 05:39:26 UTC, as per the tie-break rule. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) publishes this detail as an administrative requirement, and it does not mean there was any actual tie.

Why a CEC-only draw?

Since the start of 2021, IRCC has been holding only CEC- and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)- specific Express Entry draws. Candidates in these programs are largely in Canada, or at least have some ties in the country.

The vast majority of CEC candidates are already in Canada since Canadian work experience is among the immigration program's key eligibility criteria. An estimated 90 per cent of CEC candidates in the Express Entry pool are in Canada at any given time.

Canada has been prioritizing domestic candidates since they are less likely to run into coronavirus-related hurdles. Up until June 21, Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) holders could not come to Canada and complete their landing.

Also, the federal immigration targets are set at a record goal of 401,000 newcomers to Canada in 2021. In the first half of the year, IRCC has admitted 143,000 new permanent residents across all programs. In order to meet its target of 401,000 newcomers in 2021, Canada will need to land about 43,000 newcomers per month.

Express Entry invitations ahead year-over-year

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 in 2021, Canada has invited 102,316 Express Entry candidates.

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. The minimum score cutoff dips down as more CEC candidates are selected from the top. As for PNP candidates, they get an automatic 600 points by virtue of receiving a provincial nomination.

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.

Guan is 38, holds a bachelors degree, and has been working as a management consultant outside of Canada for six years. She has an advanced English language proficiency and worked in Canada for a year, in 2019. Guan’s CRS score of 445 as well as her eligibility under the CEC would have allowed her to receive an ITA in the new Express Entry draw.

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