Canada continues to increase ITAs in the latest Express Entry draw

Edana Robitaille
Published: August 31, 2022

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has held its fifth all-program Express Entry draw since July 6.

IRCC issued 2,750 invitations to apply (ITA) and the Comprehensive Ranking System score (CRS) cut-off was 516. Express Entry is one of Canada’s main immigration pathways for skilled newcomers.

There was no program specified for this draw which means that candidates from the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) were eligible to be invited.

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IRCC paused all-program Express Entry draws for over 18 months, starting in December 2020. During this time, only candidates eligible for permanent residence under the CEC or the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) were invited to apply. However, CEC draws were also paused in September 2021.

The pause of the draws was in response to an overwhelming number of permanent residence applications submitted while the global COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing. During this time Canada’s border closed and travel regulations changed frequently.

This draw marks the largest increase in ITA's, up by 500, since all-program draws resumed on July 6. Until today's draw, the number of candidates receiving ITAs has been growing by exactly 250 with each draw. For example, the first July draw invited 1,500 candidates, the second 1,750 and so on. There has also been a gradual decline in the minimum CRS score, which has lost between eight or nine points each draw. The initial minimum CRS score was 557.

What is Express Entry?

Under the Express Entry application management system, candidates in three Canadian immigration programs: the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) may be eligible to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence.

Express Entry uses the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), to rank candidates’ profiles according to factors such as age, education, work experience and language ability.  Those who meet or exceed a draw's minimum cut-off CRS score may receive an ITA.

An IRCC officer reviews the final application decides if a candidate is approved. During this process, they may ask for biometrics  or set up an interview or request additional documents.

Looking Ahead

IRCC aims to make a major change to Express Entry in 2023 that would provide the department with authority to issue ITAs that target individuals with specific work experience, education, or language ability groups it believes will be well-positioned to support Canada’s economy and labour force. This means that CRS scores could become less vital in some future draws.

In June, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser explained the rationale for this proposal while on stage at Collision, a technology conference, stating “If we can project skills that are needed over the next 20 to 30 years, we can bring people who can hit the ground running and make a major economic impact.”

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