Updated: Feb 15, 2021
Canada invited 5,000 immigration candidates with a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of at least 468 on December 23. The new CRS requirement is just slightly lower than the previous draw on December 9, when candidates needed a minimum score of 469. This draw brings the number of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) issued this year to 107,350, a record-high number of invitations.
In the early months of the coronavirus pandemic and amidst the most stringent travel restrictions, IRCC only conducted program-specific draws. Since then, and despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada has taken steps to facilitate immigration processes for most of its programs and to ensure the continued selection of skilled workers for permanent residence.
Express Entry is Canada’s immigration application management system for three federal economic-class programs: Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class. Candidates in these programs, as well as some Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), are given a score based on the CRS. Points are awarded depending on a candidate’s human capital factors such as age, education, work experience, and language ability in English or French. This year is the first since Express Entry’s launch in 2015 where the number of ITAs has exceeded 100,000.
A number of Express Entry-linked provincial nominee streams have been active in recent weeks. Provinces like Ontario, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia have all held Express Entry-linked provincial draws over the past four weeks. Express Entry candidates who receive a provincial nomination are awarded an additional 600 points toward their CRS score and move to the front of the line for an ITA. These 600 points are especially valuable to candidates with lower CRS scores who have yet to make the cut-off in a federal Express Entry draw.
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