Canada invited 27,332 Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence in its latest historic draw — you read that right.
Canada’s immigration department, IRCC, invited candidates from the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) on Feb 13. This historic Express Entry invitation round only needed candidates to have a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of at least Seven-five (75)— the lowest CRS requirement ever.
This historic draw was almost six times bigger than the largest Express Entry draws ever (5,000 invitations were sent out in four straight draws between Nov. 18 and Dec. 23 last year).
Prior to today’s draw, the lowest CRS cut-off requirements ever was 199 points in the May 16, 2017 draw which only invited Federal Skilled Trade Program candidates. Express Entry was introduced in January 2015.
On Wednesday, Canada also conducted an Express Entry draw inviting 654 Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates to apply for Canadian permanent residence, which makes a sum total of 27,986 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) sent out this week.
IRCC implemented the tie-break rule, meaning candidates who had the minimum score of Seventy-Seven (75) were only included if they lodged their Express Entry profile before Sept. 12, 2020, at 15:31 UTC.
Today’s draw goes to show Canada’s commitment to achieving its target of 401,000 new permanent immigrants in 2021. Of those, IRCC is planning to welcome 108,500 new immigrants via Express Entry-managed programs, according to its 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan. Next year that target rise to 110,500, and then to 113,750 in 2023.
Canada has given Federal High Skilled programs— which are processed and managed by the Express Entry system— the biggest share of new immigrant allocations for the next three years. This means the Express Entry system will continue to be Canada’s major source of new immigrants for the nearest future.
Canada’s minister for immigration, Marco Mendicino, lately said that IRCC will make efforts to achieve the ambitious immigration targets by transitioning more temporary residents to permanent residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The unprecedented draw today seems to show that IRCC is planning to issue as many invitations as it can at the beginning of this year so that it can finalize the permanent residence landings of successful Express Entry candidates later in 2021.
This would provide Ottawa with a greater opportunity to achieve its immigration levels target amidst ongoing COVID-19 disruptions across the world. At the same time, IRCC and Mendicino continue to reiterate that they will also look to global talent including those presently outside of Canada to support the country’s post-pandemic recovery.
IRCC held this program-specific Express Entry draws for consecutive three months after Canada first went into lockdown in March 2020. By Sept. the department was back to conducting all-program draws held every two weeks until the end of the year.
It is very likely that IRCC will once again carry out all-program draws in 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic, as they have done before. It noted today’s press release that “IRCC will continue to accept and process Express Entry application and look forward to welcoming skilled workers from overseas when travel resumes.”
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