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Prepared by Samuel Francis Gills; Shreeya A Pal; Edited by Veronica Laurent on January 7, 2022

Canada held its first Express entry aligned Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draw on January 05, 2022, inviting 392 Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence. The invited candidates required a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 808 to receive an invitation. All candidates invited held a provincial nomination which automatically added 600 points to their base Express Entry scores.

Since September, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has only held PNP draws. According to an internal briefing memo, IRCC has been focusing on PNP applicants as immigration officers are processing a backlog of applications. Before accepting candidates from other programs, the immigration department hopes to reduce Express Entry backlogs by at least 50%.

The federal government has made various statements hinting that Express Entry reforms are on the way. The federal government had announced a proposal in Budget 2021 to give the immigration minister more flexibility in inviting Express Entry candidates who fit Canada’s labour market criteria.

In a mandate letter, prime minister Justin Trudeau requested Immigration Minister Sean Fraser to increase permanent residency pathways for international students and temporary foreign workers through Express Entry.

Canada plans to accept 411,000 new immigrants in 2022 and 421,000 new immigrants in 2023 under the Immigration Levels Plan 2021-2023. The government of Canada kick-started the new year by inviting 392 Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence. The graph below shows the number of ITA’s issued during the same period for 2021 & 2022.



Since the beginning of the pandemic, IRCC has prioritised admitting only migrants who are already in the country. From January 2021 onwards, IRCC solely hosted Express Entry draws for PNP and CEC applicants. While CEC applicants are most likely already in Canada, PNP candidates have demonstrated to a Canadian province or territory that their immigration will enhance the region’s economy.

The minimum CRS score requirement varies for PNP, and CEC draws. PNP draws have higher CRS cut-off score requirement due to the automatic addition of 600 points to the candidate’s Express Entry profile on receiving a nomination from the province.

On the other hand, CEC draws have comparatively lower CRS score cut-off since the draw is concentrated on a specific group of people. However, these streams do not compete with Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) specific Express Entry draws. The graph below shows the CRS score cut-off scores for the last 10 draws.



Express Entry

Express Entry is an electronic selection system used by the Federal as well as Provincial governments of Canada [to select], as well as designated Canadian employers [to nominate] candidates for Canadian permanent residence under three of its popular economic [skilled] immigration programs:

Candidates eligible for any of the above programs are given a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score in the Express Entry Pool. It is based on their Core/Human capital factors such as age, work experience, education, and language ability in English and/or French, etc. And, based on scores, candidates are periodically invited (or nominated) for permanent residence.

Check out Owlspriority Immigration’s Canada Settlement Resources to learn more about ways to find a new job in Canada, making your initial days in Canada stress-free and confident, etc.

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