Canada has held its fourth all-program Express Entry draw since July 6.
IRCC issued 2,250 Invitations to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. The Comprehensive Ranking System score (CRS) cut-off was 525. Express Entry is one of Canada’s most popular immigration pathways for skilled newcomers.
Overall, 7,500 candidates have been issued ITAs since all-program draws resumed on July 6. The number of candidates invited has consistently increased by 250 with each draw while the minimum CRS score is steadily declining each week by eight or nine points. The current cut-off score is 33 points lower than the July 6 draw, which was 557. Today’s CRS represents a decline of 8 points compared to the last draw on August 3.
All-program Express Entry draws were paused by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for over 18 months. 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.
Express Entry aims to target skilled workers who are best suited to helping close the gaps in Canada’s labour force by responding to labour market needs, including French language immigrants outside Quebec. Canada plans to welcome 55,900 permanent residents through Express Entry in 2022 and this number will dramatically increase to 111,500 by the end of 2024.
By inviting candidates through Express Entry, IRCC can process applications more efficiently as the candidates have already met a baseline of eligibility, according to their CRS score. Now that draws have resumed, IRCC aims for a processing standard of six months for new applications.
However, IRCC is now considering holding Express Entry draws that target specific skills and occupations in the future, rather than relying solely on a CRS score. Immigration Minister Sean Fraser told CIC News in June that in doing so, Canada would be able to select more immigrants who are already primed for success in the labour market.
“The goal is really to maximize the contribution that a newcomer can make in their communities, so they’re set up for success when they arrive, but also that they’re going to meet the needs of the community where they’re going to reside,” said Fraser. “I expect we’re going to see potential increase of retention rates have opened up because people are coming in where they know they have opportunities because that was the basis of their invitation to apply.”
Express Entry is the application management system for three Canadian immigration programs: the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates in the Express Entry pool are already eligible for at least 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.
After the candidate applies, an IRCC officer reviews the application and makes a decision. The officer will ask for biometrics and may set up an interview or request more documents. Once this is complete, if approved, the candidate is now a permanent resident of Canada and one step closer to becoming a Canadian citizen.
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