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Canada invites 5,000 CEC candidates for PR in March 18 Express Entry draw

In the March 18 Express Entry draw, Canada issued 5,000 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to candidates in the Canadian Experience Class with CRS score of 449 and above. It was the first CEC draw since February 13, when, in a bold and history making move, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invited a stunning 27,332 Express Entry CEC candidates to apply for permanent residence, with a minimum CRS score of 75.

With the March 18 Express Entry draw, IRCC has now issued 43,840 ITAs through nine draws in 2021, including five PNP draws totalling 2,132 ITAs, and four CEC draws, issuing 41,708 ITAs. This is more than three times higher than the number of ITAs issued at the same time last year.

See also Eligibility for the Canadian Experience Class (Express Entry) – 2021 Guidelines

Canada is committed to a new plan to increase immigration to more than 400,000 newcomers a year in 2021 and up to 1.2 million by 2023. Canada believes that immigration will spur economic recovery after the coronavirus crisis.

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 (PNP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates, because these candidates were more likely to already be in the country. 

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.

March 18 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

It is advised that you continue to improve your CRS scoring in a number of ways.  See Tips for Improving Express Entry CRS Scores. Before the pandemic, a candidate typically needed a CRS of around 470 points in a regular all-program draw 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