The long-awaited wait is finally over – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has officially conducted its first Express Entry-PNP draw of 2023! All have warmly welcomed this exciting news for potential immigrants to Canada.
On February 1, 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) held its third Express Entry draw of the calendar year.
893 Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) applicants with a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 733 received invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence in the Express Entry draw held on February 1.
Since July 2023, this was the first program-specific Express Entry draw held by the IRCC. IRCC ran invitation rounds for all programs of Express Entry between July and this draw. Candidates from one of the three streams controlled by the Express Entry system were asked to participate in these all-program draws without receiving a provincial nomination.
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
- Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
- Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
On December 9, 2023, at 10:49:57 UTC, the tie-breaking criteria for the February 1 draw were established. Only people who had submitted their profiles to the Express Entry pool before this date were asked to apply if they satisfied the minimal score criteria. Candidates were eligible for this invitation round if they had received a provincial nomination from a Canadian PNP (except Quebec).
Before being nominated by a Canadian PNP, Express Entry candidates needed a minimum CRS score of 133 to be qualified because earning a provincial nomination awards the applicant an additional 600 points.
Recent Express Entry Draws
On January 11, Canada began its all-program Express Entry draw after a six-week break. Following this draw, IRCC held another on January 18. The initial draw included 5,500 candidates with minimum CRS scores of 507, followed by a surprise draw on January 18 with the same number of invites but with a slightly lower CRS level of 490.
The IRCC intends to expand the number of candidates eligible for ITAs through Express Entry by reducing the CRS score. This has been the pattern since the return of all-program Express Entry draws on July 6.
The IRCC’s application backlog determines the size and frequency of the invitation rounds. With a few exceptions, Express Entry draws are typically performed every two weeks on a Wednesday. The dates of the choices should be announced in advance.
Canada has spent millions of dollars and hired hundreds of extra workers to increase processing capacity. According to IRCC, the agency is working diligently to restore the regular frequency of draws.
In addition, with Canada’s new and improved Immigration Level Plans, the country is on track to welcome over 450,000 immigrants in 2023. As a result, ITAs with record-low CRS scores are being issued in considerable numbers.
Overall, IRCC’s first Express Entry-PNP draw of the year is an exciting moment for all Canadian immigration aspirants. This draw brings new opportunities for people to pursue their dreams of settling in Canada. More people can reach permanent resident status in Canada by taking advantage of the Express Entry points system and PNP streams.