The Government of Canada issued 3,200 invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence to Express Entry candidates in a draw held December 19.
The minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score in this latest invitation round was 469, a decrease of three points over the previous draw held December 11.
The Express Entry system manages the pool of candidates for three of Canada’s main skilled labour immigration categories — the Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class and Canadian Experience Class.
Candidates are ranked in the pool based on a score awarded under the CRS that considers factors such as age, education, skilled work experience and proficiency in English or French.
A job offer is not required in order to be eligible for an Express Entry invitation to apply (ITA), though additional CRS points are awarded if a candidate has one.
A set number of the highest-ranked candidates are invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence through regular draws from the pool. These invitation rounds typically take place every two weeks and the vast majority involve candidates from all three Express Entry-managed categories.
The minimum CRS score is determined by factors including the number of candidates in the Express Entry pool, the time between draws and the number of ITAs issued.
Shorter interval between draws
The lower cut-off score in today’s draw may be attributed to the fact only eight days elapsed between invitation rounds.
When draws are held at shorter intervals, fewer new candidates with higher scores have time to enter the pool and that can have the effect of lowering the minimum required score.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) applied a tie-break time and date of November 14, 2019, at 08:41:33 UTC in this draw. This means that all candidates with a score of 469 who submitted their profile before this date and time received an ITA.
IRCC has now issued 85,300 ITAs in 2019. This is 4,500 ITAs short of the 89,800 that were issued in 2018, which stands as the most ITAs issued in a single year through the Express Entry system.
Under Canada’s multi-year immigration levels plan, the coming year will see the target for new permanent resident admissions through the three Express Entry-managed immigration programs rise to 85,800, up from 81,400 this year.
The admissions target for Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program, or PNP, is also set to increase from 61,000 to 67,800 in 2020, a portion of which is managed by the Express Entry system.
Nine Canadian provinces and two territories have what are known as “enhanced” PNP streams that are linked to the Express Entry system.
These streams allow them to select Express Entry candidates and invite them to apply for a provincial nomination for Canadian permanent residence and many have lower or even no CRS score requirements.
Express Entry candidates who obtain a provincial nomination receive an additional 600 points toward their CRS score and are effectively guaranteed an ITA.
“The lower minimum score in today’s draw is what usually happens when IRCC holds draws in quick succession,” said David Cohen, senior partner with the Campbell Cohen Canadian immigration law firm.
“With Canada’s larger targets for 2020 and 2021, there’s always the chance of larger draws and possibly even quicker draws — and that would be great news for Express Entry candidates with lower CRS score.”
The following are hypothetical examples of candidates who would have obtained an ITA in today’s draw:
Bartek and Yakira are 32 and 33-years-old, respectively. They both hold a master’s degree and they both took the General Training IELTS test and have Advanced English proficiency in all four categories. Bartek has been working for four years as a data scientist outside of Canada. Bartek entered the Entry pool as the principal applicant, and his CRS score of 469 would have been sufficient to obtain an ITA in today’s draw.
Denis is 29 and holds a master’s degree. He has been working for four years as a business analyst outside of Canada. He took the CELPIP and has Initial Advanced English proficiency in all four categories. While Denis has never worked or studied in Canada, his CRS of 469 would have been sufficient to obtain an ITA during the December 19 draw.
John is 30 and holds a bachelor’s degree. He has been working for three years as an administrative coordinator outside of Canada. He took the TEF Canada exam and obtained 275 in Reading, 400 in writing and speaking as well as 330 in Listening. He also took a General Training IELTS exam and obtained 3.5 in Reading and 5.0 in Listening, Writing, and Speaking. John also has a sibling who is a citizen living in Ottawa. His CRS score of 469 would have been sufficient to obtain an ITA in today’s draw.