Express Entry: Second-lowest CRS for a PNP draw during the pandemic

Shelby Thevenot, Alexandra Miekus
Published: November 10, 2021

On November 10, Canada invited 775 Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence.

All of the invited candidates had previously received nominations through a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Since provincial nominees automatically get a 600-point award, the score cut off was 685. Without the nomination, the lowest-scoring candidate would have had just 85 points.

Lately, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has only been drawing PNP candidates from the Express Entry pool. In the previous draw, IRCC invited 888 candidates with scores of at least 744.

Today's draw had the second-lowest cut-off score in this category since IRCC started holding PNP-only draws in March 2020. The lowest score requirement for a PNP draw happened in March 2021.

Get a Free Express Entry Assessment

Why only PNP draws?

Since the start of the pandemic, IRCC has been focusing on admitting immigrants who are already in the country. When the Canadian government closed the border, it also closed the door to people who were approved for permanent residence from outside Canada.

The restrictions that forbid approved permanent residents from making their landings persisted between March 2020 and June 2021. During this time, IRCC most often held Express Entry draws that invited PNP and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates. For a period in 2020, they held all-program draws, which included Foreign Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) candidates as well as Foreign Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) candidates (although FSTP candidates got their own draw in August 2020, since their scores tend to be lower than other programs).

From January 2021 on, IRCC only held Express Entry draws for PNP and CEC candidates. While CEC candidates are most likely to already be in Canada, PNP candidates have demonstrated to a Canadian province or territory that their immigration would bring an economic benefit to the region.

For the past five Express Entry draws, IRCC has only invited PNP candidates to apply for permanent residence. If IRCC did not invite these candidates, it would make it impossible for the provinces and territories to meet their immigration goals, which oftentimes complement economic and population growth strategies.

In the summer months, IRCC ramped up CEC draws, inviting record-breaking numbers of 6,000 at a time to meet the immigration department's revised plan to admit 141,000 CEC candidates in 2021. Invitations issued after July would most likely not be processed before the year's end, according to an internal memo obtained by CIC News through an access to information request.

This figure is far more ambitious than the immigration levels plan, which says IRCC is aiming to admit at least 108,500 immigrants through the Express Entry system in 2021. Although not everyone who receives an invitation will get permanent residency, IRCC has already invited more than it needs to meet this goal for the year. Plus, those who are invited in this draw, and the draws for the rest of the year, will likely see their applications processed in the new year.

At this point, Immigration Canada is aiming to admit 110,500 Express Entry candidates in 2022. Although, that might change when the new immigration targets are announced.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is the application management system for Canada’s three most popular immigration programs: 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 request 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?

The following is a hypothetical example of someone who may have received an ITA in the new Express Entry draw.

Khaled and Mona married and are 34 and 31 respectively. They each hold a bachelor’s degree, and each wrote the IELTS and scored an 8 in listening and a 7 in reading, speaking and writing. Mona has been working as a software engineer for the past three years while Khaled has been working in human resources for four years. They entered the Express Entry pool with Mona as the principal applicant and a CRS score of 421. Mona later received a provincial nomination from the Province of Ontario. Monta's CRS score increased to 1,021 and she received an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence in the new Express Entry draw.

Get a Free Express Entry Assessment

© CIC News All Rights Reserved. Visit CanadaVisa.com to discover your Canadian immigration options.

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at media@canadavisa.com
Related articles
How to Avoid a Rejected Educational Credential Assessment
If Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) rejects your ECA your immigration process could be delayed. Keep reading to learn how to avoid a rejected ECA.
10 Frequently Asked Questions about Proof of Funds for Express Entry
young couple boyfriend and girlfriend smiling together looking at the camera
British Columbia and Manitoba issue provincial nominations in latest PNP results
A closeup of a person kayaking through a lake in Manitoba.
How to be considered for jobs in Canada while still in the Express Entry pool
A person having an online interview with a recruiter
Top Stories
Do I need a language test to immigrate to Canada?
IRCC increases number of permits it will process under temporary special measures for Palestinian extended family in Gaza
What kind of school should I apply to as an international student in Canada?
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
Subscribe
More in Study
What kind of school should I apply to as an international student in Canada?
Two men collaborating on a computer project.
Has IRCC’s LOA verification system successfully protected Canadian international students?
Girl using laptop to have a video call with her friend
Which country allows international students to work the most hours?
teacher helping teenager students at College, learning technology and science in preparatory course for university
Who can study in Canada without a study permit?
friends in university or college bonding in a fun social conversation
Link copied to clipboard