Canada rewrote the Express Entry records on Saturday with a draw more than five times bigger than any seen before in the history of the selection system.
In holding the historic Canadian Experience Class draw, immigration, refugee and citizenship Canada (IRCC) said it was “developing new ways to engage those who are already here and hard at work” during the coronavirus crisis.
“Their status may be short-term, but their contributions are lasting – and we are hoping to help more of them stay permanently,” said a statement from IRCC.
Stakeholders and private individuals had been wondering what was going on after IRCC first missed its regular two-weekly draws for Express Entry draws on February 3 and then held one draw aimed at Provincial Nominee Program candidates on Feb, 10.
Was Canada moving to decrease the number of Express Entry invitations issued because of the lingering coronavirus pandemic?
On Saturday, IRCC delivered its answers, rolling out 27,332 Invitations to Apply to CEC candidates with Comprehensive Ranking System scores as low as Seventy-five (75). These candidates now have Ninety (90) days to submit a full application.
Successful Canada Experience Class candidates have at least one year of Canadian work experience, have proven that they can contribute to the Canadian economy, and have paid taxes, IRCC says.
prior to Saturday, candidates who sat in the Express Entry pool with 450 points were wondering if they would ever receive the most sought-after invitation to apply (ITA). In one swoop, IRCC changed the lives of thousands of candidates, of which it says approximately ninety (90) percent are already in Canada.
“This means they are not affected by current travel restrictions and will not face the same barriers as other applicants abroad when gathering the required documentations and undergoing criminality and medical screening,” IRCC says.
That means about 24,600 people here will temporarily take a major step towards permanent status as a result of this bold move. When compared to the 2021 target of 401,000 new permanent immigrants, you can see why IRCC needed to take action.
Without immigration, Canada’s economic recovery from COVID-19 pandemic will be much slower and more difficult than with the help of newcomers.
But with international travel restrictions still in effect, for the foreseeable future, IRCC has moved to tap the only reliable source of new permanent immigrants it has: those already here.
“From large companies to major labor unions, Canadians agree that immigration is crucial to our economy,” IRCC says.
“One in three businesses in Canada with employees is owned by an immigrant, creating thousands of jobs from construction to retail sector.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, newcomers have played a massive role in Canada’s response, accounting for over thirty percent of our doctors and pharmacists.
“Put simply, immigration is essential to Canada’s short-term recovery and long-term prosperity.”
The need for leadership and decisive timely action in these times of uncertainty is very clear. At least on immigration, Canada has shown it is prepared to go all in.
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