January 21 Express Entry

Canada invites 4,626 CEC candidates in January 21 Express Entry draw

The January 21 Express Entry draw is the second draw within 48 hours! An earlier January 20 draw issued Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to 374 provincially nominated candidates who had a minimum score of 741. The January 21 draw issued permanent residence invitations to 4,626 candidates in the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). The Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) cut-off requirement was 454 points.

With the January 21 Express Entry draw Canada has now issued 10,000 ITAs so far in 2021.


Canada is committed to a new plan to increase immigration to more than 400,000 newcomers a year from 2021 and up to 1.2 million by 2023. Canada believes that immigration will spur economic recovery after the coronavirus crisis.  Of these targets, Canada is aiming to welcome some 110,000 Express Entry immigrants per year. To that end, Canada set a new record for total Express Entry ITAs in 2020 at 107,350, despite the immigration system’s significant disruption by the coronavirus pandemic. The previous record for ITAs in a calendar year was the 89,800 issued in 2018.

The Express Entry immigration selection system


Express Entry is Canada’s primary way of managing skilled worker applications for Canadian permanent residence.

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.

You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.

When the coronavirus crisis began in Canada in March 2020, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) switched its Express Entry draws exclusively to PNP 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 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.

January 21 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.

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

Candidates with scores below the latest cut-off can improve their CRS scoring in a number of ways. Despite the low cut-off score (454) for the January 21 Express Entry draw, it is expected that the cut-off CRS score for 2021 will be around 470 points. This is low enough to enable a significant number of applicants to receive permanent admission to Canada without a job offer or nomination under a provincial immigration program. However, improving your CRS score to meet or surpass 470 points is highly recommended. See Tips for Improving Express Entry CRS Scores

Top questions about Express Entry profiles

See all questions about Express Entry draws

You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.