Express Entry: Canada holds third largest PNP draw of the year

Shelby Thevenot, Alexandra Miekus
Published: October 27, 2021

Canada invited 888 Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence on October 27.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invited candidates who had scores of at least 744. All invited candidates had received an automatic 600 points because they had a provincial nomination from a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Without the nomination, the lowest-scoring candidates would only have scores of 144.

This is the third largest PNP draw of the year. The largest was 1,002 Express Entry candidates invited on June 23, and the second largest was 940 on June 9.

In the previous PNP draw, IRCC invited 681 candidates with scores of at least 720.

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Only PNP draws since September

Throughout the pandemic, Canada has been holding Express Entry draws that target PNP and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates. However, IRCC has not held a CEC draw since September 14.

Because of this, the number of Express Entry candidates invited over the past month has been significantly less. CEC draws are typically larger than PNP draws because there are significantly more candidates.

Even with the reduced number of invitations issued this month, Canada has still invited a record number of Express Entry candidates this year. So far in 2021, Canada has invited 111,265 Express Entry candidate to apply for permanent residence. Last year, Canada invited a grand total of 107,350 immigration candidates, a record at the time.

Also due to the PNP draws, the average score cutoffs have remained relatively high. This is entirely due to the 600-point award that comes with the provincial nomination.

In a response to a CIC News media request, IRCC did not say exactly why there has not been a CEC draw since September. A media representative said, "IRCC aims to hold regular invitation rounds. However, at times, we may have to adjust the timing of when Invitations to Apply are issued to align application intake with the Multi-Year Levels plan."

Canada's new immigration minister

On October 26, Fraser became Canada's new immigration minister. Former immigration minister, Marco Mendicino, took over as the minister of public safety.

The immigration minister's job is to oversee IRCC. Fraser will be the figure head of the department who approves new policies, and makes the announcements on government initiatives that relate to immigration.

Now that the new minister has been chosen, IRCC can once again start to make major decisions on the Express Entry strategy. During an October 21 meeting between immigration lawyers and IRCC, the lawyers asked when Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) draws would resume. These candidates were the leading recipients of Express Entry invitations before the pandemic.

The IRCC representative said they were waiting on the cabinet to be shuffled, according to briefing notes obtained by CIC News. Now that Fraser is the minister of immigration, he will sign off on how to proceed with Express Entry over the coming months.

What is Express Entry?

Canada’s most popular immigration programs use the online Express Entry system to manage applications. There are three programs that use Express Entry: 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.

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?

Vuyo is 34 with a Master’s degree and has been working as a database analyst for ten years. He wrote the IELTS and scored a 7.5 in listening and a 6.5 in every other category. He has never worked or studied in Canada. Vuyo entered the Express Entry pool and also submitted a profile to the Canadian province of Manitoba. He entered the Express Entry pool with a CRS score of 360. Shortly after submitting a profile to Manitoba, Vuyo was invited to apply for provincial nomination. After being nominated, his Express Entry CRS score increased to 960 and Vuyo received an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence in the new Express Entry draw.

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