First federal skilled workers-only draw in Canada’s Express Entry history

IRCC conducted the 4th Express Entry Draw of 2023 today.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued invitations to 3,300 candidates with a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 489. For the first time since Express Entry was introduced in 2015, the draw was only applicable to candidates in the federal Skilled Worker Program. This was the second program-specific draw of 2023 following results on February 1 in which only candidates who had already received provincial nominations received an ITA.

Express Entry in 2023

Typically, there is an Express Entry draw every two weeks on a Wednesday. However, the draws in 2023 deviate from the routine seen since the inception of Express Entry in 2015.

The first draw this year took place on 11 January, after an unexpected six-week break following the draw on 23 November. IRCC contained in an email CIC Updates The stoppage was due to IT system glitch caused by the implementation of NOC 2021.

5,500 candidates were invited on January 11 with a minimum CRS score of 507. This was the highest number of candidates with the lowest CRS cut-off scores since all program draws resumed between December 2020 and July after an 18-month pandemic hiatus. 2022.

Another draw took place the following week on 18 January in which the same number of candidates were invited, but with a much lower minimum CRS score of 490. The draw came as a surprise as IRCC usually does not issue ITAs to candidates in consecutive weeks.

IRCC conducts Express Entry Draw for PNP candidates only

Most recently, the February 1 draw took place after an expected two-week pause, but was the first draw since June 2022 to invite only Express Entry candidates who received provincial nominations. It is unusual for the IRCC to hold event-specific draws even before a pandemic. With a few exceptions for the Federal Skilled Trades Program, nearly all Express Entry draws have been all-program draws.

IRCC has not conducted a PNP Express Entry draw only since the discontinuation of the all-program draw during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pause, Express Entry draws continued for candidates in the Express Entry pool who had already received provincial nominations.

Candidates nominated by a province automatically receive an additional 600 CRS points on their Express Entry application.

what to expect next

Express Entry is likely to change this year after the royal assent to Bill C-19. The new legislation gives the Minister of Immigration the authority to invite candidates to meet Canada’s economic priorities and to fill immediate gaps in the labor force. It is expected that IRCC will start targeting that specific attribute instead of issuing ITAs solely based on CRS score.

The IRCC recently completed a public consultation on what the new attribute-based categories might look like. Candidate qualities can range from occupation, education, work experience or language ability. The department says that the new category will be announced before the draw.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is the application management system for three Canadian immigration programs: the Canadian Experience Classes (CEC), the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). Provincial Nominated Program (PNP) candidates in the Express Entry pool are already eligible for at least one of these programs.

Express Entry uses the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), a points-based system, to rank candidates’ profiles. Top scoring candidates receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) and can then apply for permanent residence.

After a candidate applies, an IRCC official reviews the application and decides whether they are approved. Once this is completed, if approved, the candidate is now a permanent resident of Canada and one step closer to becoming a Canadian citizen.

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