Canada invites 7,000 candidates to Surprise Express Entry draw

IRCC has invited candidates for the 8th Express Entry Draw of 2023.

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued Invitations to Apply (ITA) to 7,000 candidates in an all-program draw with a minimum CRS score of 484. An all-program draw means that candidates are considered from the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Classes (CEC) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).

The draw comes after the biggest ever program draw on March 15, in which 7,000 candidates with a minimum CRS score of 490 got the ITA. The previous record-high all-program draw came when the IRCC invited 5,500 candidates on 18 January.

All draws were all events between July and November 2022, with only 1,500 candidates invited to the smallest draw on 6 July. It was the first all-program draw after an 18-month stoppage due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Express Entry draw in 2023 primarily focuses on candidates in the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). There have been four PNP-only Express Entry draws so far this year, most recently on March 1, when 667 PNP candidates were invited. Earlier, three other PNP draws were held and one targeted candidates in the federal Skilled Worker Program on February 2.

Immigration minister supports multi-year PNP levels plan

At a recent meeting of the Forum of Ministers Responsible for Immigration (FMRI), provincial immigration ministers met to discuss common issues and ways to attract and retain more newcomers.

One outcome of the meeting was the endorsement of the first multi-year provincial immigration plan. It would work similarly to the federal immigration status plan, which outlines immigration goals for three years. Provinces will now know in advance their allocation of provincial enrollments and will be able to plan accordingly for housing and infrastructure needs to better support and retain newcomers.

Following the meeting, some provinces have announced an increase in PNP allocations for this year from 2022. For example, Manitoba’s allocation for 2023 has increased 3,175 places from 2022 to 9,500 and Saskatchewan will have an allocation of 7,250 nominees in 2023, increasing to 8,500. In 2025.

Alberta will also see a significant increase in allocations for 2023, from 6,500 places in 2022 to 9,750. Like Saskatchewan, the allotment will continue to grow over the next two years and will reach 10,849 by 2025. Other provinces have not yet released data on their expected number of PNP allocations.

Express Entry candidates can increase their chances of obtaining an ITA by obtaining a provincial nomination (a process known as advanced nomination). Being nominated by a province as an Express Entry candidate automatically adds 600 points to one’s CRS score and makes it more likely that the IRCC will issue an ITA.

Economic immigrant candidates who are not in the Express Entry program may still be enrolled by a province (base enrollment). This can strengthen the candidate’s application for permanent residence through their chosen immigration route.

CEC candidates worry PGWP will end

Although the CEC candidates were included in the March 15 draw, the IRCC is yet to provide data to profile the candidates who have received ITAs based on the Express Entry programme. Many candidates in CEC are waiting for the draw as their Post-Graduate Work Permits (PGWP) are nearing their expiry date.

These candidates have the option of applying for another work or study permit to maintain their temporary resident status or obtain a visitor visa or visitor record to stay in Canada. If they do not maintain status, they will no longer be allowed to work or live in Canada and must leave until their permit expires.

Those who choose to apply for a visitor record or visa will be allowed to stay in Canada, but will not be eligible to work until they are invited to apply for permanent residence.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is an application management system for three economic immigration programs; Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and Canadian Experience Classes (CEC).

These programs allow the IRCC to select candidates for permanent residency based on cut-off scores selected in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). CRS ranks all the candidates in the Express Entry pool and the candidates with the highest scores receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA). Provincial Nominated Program candidates who receive an invitation to the draw are already Express Entry candidates.

Once a candidate receives the ITA, he/she has 60 days to submit his/her application to IRCC. An IRCC official will then review the application and decide whether the applicant is approved.


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