Logic behind Express Entry Draws

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) of 2002 provides the legislative authority for Canada’s immigration program. IRPA contains various provisions that allow the Minister to issue special Instructions to immigration officers to enable the Government of Canada to best attain its immigration goals.


The North American Financial year starts in January and ends by December. At the commencement of each financial year, the federal and provincial premiers decide on the various immigration aspects for the new financial year. The decisions and government policies that may take shape as a part of these meetings play a key role in the Express Entry system too


The Express Entry application system is primarily governed by Ministerial Instructions. These instructions are authorized by s.10.3(1) of the IRPA, which includes provisions that authorize the Minister to issue instructions to manage most features of the Express Entry system. Each Express Entry Ministerial Instructions include:

  • The economic immigration programs included in Express Entry and associated eligibility criteria;
  • The electronic submission process a candidate must complete in order to submit an Express Entry profile, and any associated exemptions;
  • How candidates will be ranked in the Express Entry pool;
  • Information on Invitation to Apply (ITA) draws;
  • Time limits for the maximum amount of time a candidate can be in the Express Entry pool, and if invited, within how much time they must submit an application for permanent residence;
  • Candidate information that can be shared with third parties including other government departments; and,
  • How candidates will be notified about any matter relating to their expression of interest.

In the current 2018 financial year, the total target intake is 3,10,000 new immigrants from all around the world.


Note: On 1 November 2017, the government of Canada announced multi-year immigration targets spanning from 2018 to 2020. An estimated 9,80,000 immigrant will be welcomed by Canada from 2018 to 2020. For complete projected statistics and other valuable information, click here.


The Express Entry draws usually happen once in every 2 weeks. However, it need not necessarily be so. That is, it is not necessary that the draw should happen exactly every two weeks – it can happen more often or maybe less often as well. Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has only a fixed target for a financial year, or else – like the multi-year immigration target announced recently in 1 November 2017 – for more than one financial year. The total number of immigrants welcomed in 2018 is going to be 3,10,000. This is the highest immigrant intake in the history of Canadian immigration. Assuming there will be 24 biweekly draws in the current year (FY 2018), the total average of each draw is around 13,000, which clearly is not the case considering the current draw intake statistics. The draws invited applicants in the range of 2700 to 3000. The surplus (that is, 12916-2700 or 3000) will need to be accommodated in additional draws.


The explanation above has been given for ease of understanding for a person with only limited knowledge into the Express Entry selection system. The intake of 3,10,000 immigrants in 2018 is the total intake in all categories. That is, it should not be misunderstood to be the total intake for the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) alone.

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