The February 10 Express Entry draw issued Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to 654 candidates who had a minimum score of 720. The draw targeted only candidates who have provincial nominations. It was the third draw aimed exclusively at PNP candidates since August 19, 2020. The draw’s CRS score was 21 points lower than that of the previous PNP-specific round of invitations held on January 20, 2021. Canada has now issued 10,654 ITAs through five program-specific draws in 2021, consisting of three PNP draws for 1,278 ITAs, and two CEC draws for 9,376 ITAs.
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. To that end, Canada set a new record for total 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
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 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) which is the target of the February 10 Express Entry draw, 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.
The February 10 Express Entry draw’s cut-off score of 720 means that candidates only needed to obtain 120 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points for their human capital characteristics. The other 600 points they obtained were by securing a provincial nomination certificate (PNC).
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.
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
Top questions about Express Entry profiles
- What do I do if I lost my GCKey username or password?
- What do you mean by Primary Occupation?
- What is a personal reference code for Express Entry? Where can I get a one?
- My personal reference code is not working. What should I do?
- Where can I find my Express Entry profile number and/or Job Seeker validation code?
- How do I find my National Occupation Classification (NOC) code?