Express Entry: Canada holds first CEC draw of September
Canada invited 2,000 Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence on September 14.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invited Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates with scores of at least 462. Invited candidates now have 60 days to apply for permanent residency.
This draw comes later than expected, as this year IRCC has typically held a CEC draw after a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draw. Usually, IRCC holds a PNP draw on Wednesdays followed by a CEC draw on Thursday. However, the CEC draw expected on September 2 did not come.
IRCC has now held the draw one day before the next PNP-specific Express Entry draw is expected to occur.
All hands on deck to process CEC applications
Although IRCC is backlogged, the department has pushed its resources to focus on processing CEC applicants, according to the government webpage. Currently, officers are finalizing CEC applications received in January. The department says all other Express Entry applicants can expect delays.
The majority of CEC candidates in the Express Entry pool apply from inside the country, since Canadian experience is a key eligibility factor. CEC candidates must have at least one year of full-time Canadian work experience in a skilled occupation.
Express Entry invitations almost double 2020 levels
IRCC has nearly doubled the number of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) issued year-over-year. With more invitations comes a higher chance that IRCC will admit its target of 108,500 newcomers through the Express Entry system in 2021.
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 group 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.
PNP candidates automatically get 600 points with their provincial nomination, so PNP draws will always be higher than any other type of Express Entry draw. PNP draws since June have ranged from the low 740s to 760.
What is Express Entry?
Canada's most popular immigration programs use the Express Entry system to manage applications. There are three: the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program. PNP candidates in the Express Entry pool have already qualified for one of these programs. They then applied for a nomination from a province and received it, which raised their score by 600 points.
Express Entry uses a points-based system, the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), to rank candidates' profiles. The top-scoring candidates receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA), and can then apply for permanent residency.
From there, an IRCC officer reviews their application and makes a decision. They will ask for biometrics, and may set up an interview or ask for more documents.
If the application is approved, IRCC issues a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR). Approved permanent residents can then complete the landing process. If they are outside Canada, they can access pre-arrival services to help them with the first steps for settling in Canada.
Who was invited?
Here is a hypothetical example of someone who may have been invited in the new Express Entry draw.
Parambrata is 30 and completed his bachelor’s degree in Canada. He wrote the IELTS and got an 8 in listening and reading and a 7.5 in speaking and writing. He graduated in early 2020 and has since been working in Canada as a sales manager. He is married to Koel, who is currently living outside of Canada. She holds a bachelor’s degree and also has an advanced English language proficiency. They entered the pool with Parambrata as the principal applicant. Their CRS score of 464 would have been high enough to obtain an ITA in the new Express Entry draw.
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