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February 13 Express Entry

Canada invites 27,332 in one single February 13 Express Entry draw, lowest CRS ever

February 13 Express Entry draw. In a bold and history making move, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) held a rare Saturday draw on February 13, 2021, in which it invited a stunning 27,332 Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence. The February 13 Express Entry draw issued Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to candidates in the Canadian Experience Class and made history in many respects.

First, the February 13 Express Entry draw’s 27,332 ITAs obliterated the records for the most ITAs. Since its launch in 2015, the largest Express Entry draws record was 5,000 ITAs. 

The CRS cut-off score of 75 points was the lowest ever. This means that IRCC invited almost every Express Entry candidate that met the eligibility criteria of the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program. The previous record was in May 26, 2017 with a score of 199 for a Skilled Trades draw.

The February 13 Express Entry draw was the first ever to be held on a Saturday.

The biggest takeaway from the February 13 Express Entry draw is that the Government of Canada is serious about its determination to to achieve its Immigration Levels Plan target for 2021-2023. The government of Canada has outlined how it will make immigration the cornerstone of Canada’s plan to get the economy moving again and accelerate recovery from the devastating economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. In October 2020, the government of Canada announced dramatic increases to Canada’s immigration levels for 2021 to 2023, to boost its economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Canada aims to welcome more than 1.2 million newcomers between 2021 and 2023: 401,000 newcomers in 2021, another 411,000 in 2022, and 421,000 in 2023.

In the Fall Economic Statement released on November 30, 2020, the government noted that Canada’s immigration intake, the most important source of Canada’s population and labour force growth, has been severely disrupted by travel restrictions and application delays due to COVID-19. See Canada to spend Millions on immigration to spark economic recovery.

IRCC has now issued 37,986 ITAs through six draws to start 2021.

The Express Entry immigration selection system

In order to enter the federal Express Entry pool, candidates must first create an Express Entry profile. You must meet the eligibility requirements for one of the three programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Class; the Federal Skilled Trades Class; and the Canadian Experience Class. A job offer is not required to enter or be selected from the Express Entry pool although additional CRS points are awarded to those who already have a job.

When the coronavirus crisis began in Canada in March 2020, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) switched its Express Entry draws exclusively to Provincial Nominee Program and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates, because these candidates were more likely to already be in the country. However, in August 2020, IRCC resumed regular all-program draws that include foreign skilled worker classes, setting a record of four consecutive largest single draws of 5,000 ITAs in the November 18 and 25, and December 9 and 23 draws.

Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are very popular among candidates applying to immigrate to Canada.  The PNPs are the second main way Canada welcomes skilled worker immigrants. Under the PNPs, Canada’s provincial and territorial governments are able to nominate individuals to reside in the province/territory as permanent residents in order to meet their labor force and economic needs. An applicant must apply for and receive a Provincial Nomination Certificate (PNC) from the provincial government where they intend to ultimately settle.

Candidates who have created a profile in the federal Express Entry system AND have also applied for and received a PNC, are awarded an additional 600 points toward their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score at the federal level, on top of the points that they have in the federal Express Entry pool. The additional 600 CRS points virtually guarantee that the candidate will receive an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

Canada’s Express Entry immigration system is competitive. Only a limited number of candidates with the highest CRS points in the pool are issued Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for Canadian permanent residence through regular draws which typically take place every two weeks. A candidate’s CRS score is based on factors such as age, education, skilled work experience and proficiency in English or French.

February 13 Express Entry

Based on your personal information you will be given a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. Your CRS is a numerical value, out of a possible 1,200, determined by your core human capital. This is essentially your age, work experience, educational background, ability to adapt and language skills.

The CRS points may be awarded to an individual or a couple. Candidates do not need to have any experience in Canada in order to be invited to apply for permanent residence. They do not need a job offer, but a job offer may give them some extra points.

Once your profile has been completed and your CRS has been calculated, you will be placed into a pool of candidates ranked by their CRS score. Find out if you are potentially eligible to enter the Express Entry pool. The Canadian federal government and the provincial and territorial governments regularly draws candidates from this pool to issue ITAs based on particular needs and shortages in the country or provinces.

Candidates with the highest CRS scores get issued ITAs first. So once your CRS score meets the minimum cut-off point for a particular draw you will be issued an ITA.  If you receive an ITA, you can go ahead and submit a permanent residence application to IRCC.

Improve your CRS score

The February 13 Express Entry CRS score was merely 75 points, meaning that even candidates with some of the lowest scores in history were invited. However, it is advised that you continue to improve your CRS scoring in a number of ways.  See Tips for Improving Express Entry CRS Scores. It is not certain that IRCC will keep CRS scores at this low level for future draws or for how long. Before the pandemic, a candidate typically needed a CRS of around 470 to receive a permanent residence invitation. This usually requires candidates to have several years of post-secondary and perhaps multiple educational credentials, several years of work experience, and a strong English and/or French language proficiency. It is therefore best to continue improving your CRS score to the highest possible.

Top questions about Express Entry profiles

See all questions about Express Entry draws