Express Entry: CEC candidates need CRS of at least 403 to receive invitation in new draw

Shelby Thevenot, Alexandra Miekus
Published: August 19, 2021

Canada invited 3,000 Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence on August 19.

Invited candidates needed to be eligible for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), with scores of at least 403. This is one point less than the previous CEC draw score cutoff.

Candidates who had the minimum score were only included if they had submitted their profiles before August 01, 2021 at 10:13:57 UTC, as per the tie-break ruleImmigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) publishes this detail as an administrative requirement, and it does not mean there was any actual tie.

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Why a CEC-only draw?

So far in 2021, IRCC has only been drawing two types of candidates from the Express Entry pool: CEC and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). There have been 16 draws of each type since the start of the year.

The reason for only holding these two types of draws is pandemic-related. Express Entry candidates who are eligible for the CEC or PNP are highly likely to be in Canada already. 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.

Express Entry invitations ahead year-over-year

The number of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) has almost doubled compared to the same time last year. So far there have been 105,779 invitations issued to Express Entry candidates. In 2021, IRCC hopes to admit 108,500 Express Entry applicants.

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 one group 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.

Ajax is 30 years old, married and completed his bachelor’s degree in Canada in May, 2019. Since completing his bachelor’s degree, he has been working as a restaurant manager in Canada. Before coming to Canada, he worked as a restaurant manager overseas. His wife, Tiffany, is 33 years old and has been working as an accountant in Canada for one year. She got her bachelor’s degree before coming to Canada. They each wrote the IELTS and scored a 6 in all categories. They entered the pool with Ajax as the principal applicant. Their CRS score of 437 would have been high enough to obtain an ITA in the new Express Entry draw.

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