The Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently held its 13th Express Entry draw for candidates of all Express Entry-managed programs. This draw extended invitations to 4800 candidates and proved to be a crucial turning point in the immigration procedure, as it invited candidates from all the 3 programs under the Express Entry system i.e. the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score cut-off 488 points as the threshold for this draw.
Let’s examine this draw’s specifics and discover how the Express Entry method is evolving.
The All-Program Express Entry Draw
This year, the Express Entry draws have had an unusual pattern in terms of the quantity of applicants invited, the frequency of draws, or even the sort of draws.
In the initial months, the draws occured bi-weekly including candidates from all programs, however most draws were program specific for the Provincial Nominee Program. In February, IRCC held the first-ever four program-specific draws for the Federal Skilled Workers Program.
A total of three draws were held in February, while there were weekly draws in March, resulting in invitations being sent to over 21,000 applicants all throughout the month. In the history of Express Entry, this represented the second-highest number of ITAs granted in a single month.
April month again witnessed a single all-program draw taking place bi-weekly. This helped to maintain the balance between the different streams and programs within the Express Entry system.
As the year progresses, it is expected that rather than depending primarily on high CRS scores, IRCC will introduce draws that particularly focus on the quality of candidates applying for Express Entry. This shift became feasible when Bill C-19 obtained Royal Assent in June 2022. Under this legislation, the immigration minister can exercise his power to invite applicants who are more likely to contribute to Canada’s economic objectives, especially dealing with the issue of labor shortages in certain industries.
It’s crucial to remember that the IRCC and the immigration minister have complete discretion over the frequency, program focus, quantity of candidates, and minimum CRS cut-off score of Express Entry draws. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act states that there are no established guidelines governing these draws. In other words, if the minister decides it is not essential, IRCC is not required to follow any particular pattern or conduct draws at all.
This recent Express Entry draw held by the IRCC has given fresh hope to 4,800 applicants to become permanent citizens of Canada. Even though the patterns and characteristics of draws in 2023 are yet unknown, continuing improvements to the Express Entry system seek to match immigration laws with the nation’s economic objectives. The Express Entry program is essential to luring talent from around the world and safeguarding the country’s growth and prosperity as Canada continues to welcome skilled immigrants.