Each year, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) releases an annual report on Express Entry – the federal government’s primary immigration route for foreign skilled workers seeking Canadian permanent residency (PR).
Launched in 2015, Express Entry administers three separate programs: the Canadian Experience Classes (CEC), the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). It also administers a portion of the Provincial Nominated Program (PNP), however, PNP candidates must also be eligible for one of the above programs.
Comment: All the data given below is from January to December 2021.
The total number of invitations (ITAs) issued to apply for Canadian PRs was 114,431. Through all ITAs, 155,810 people (including principal applicants + family members) obtained permanent residency. This was despite a landmark decision by the IRCC to halt Express Entry ITAs for all federal High Skilled Immigration Programs (CEC, FSWP, and FSTP) on September 20, 2021. IRCC did not invite any FSWP & FSTP candidates during 2021. After CEC initially conducted most of the 2021 draws, IRCC stopped them in September. In 2021 only PNP draws took place regularly, usually on a bi-weekly basis.
Over 440,000 Express Entry profiles submitted
By the end of 2021, IRCC has received a total of 443,004 Express Entry Profile submissions. This is an increase of 23% from 2020. About 74% of these profile submissions were eligible for at least one Express Entry program while about 26% were deemed ineligible. Of all profile submissions, 77% of women were eligible for at least one Express Entry program, compared to 71% of men.
Most of the people who made it to the Express Entry pool had a CRS score between 351 and 400
Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score is used to rank the qualified candidates on the basis of numerical value assigned to various factors. As noted in the report, it is important to remember that “[Express Entry] The pool is dynamic and the distribution of CRS scores changes” with every new eligible profile submission.
Nevertheless, 31% of all the qualified candidates had a CRS score between 351 and 400 marks. The other most common CRS score ranges among eligible candidates were 401-450 (27% of profiles), 451-500 (21%) and 301-350 (16%).
CRS cut-off scores ranged from 682 points to 813 points for the PNP-specific draw and fell between 75 and 462 points for the CEC-specific draw (more on the programme-specific draw later).
More than half (58%) of all eligible profiles did not meet the criteria for awarding any additional points at the time of submission. Of these, more than half (54%) were presented by men. Of the remaining eligible profiles, 21% received additional points for a Canadian education, while 13% were rewarded for having a sibling in Canada.
Comment: The remaining 12% of eligible candidates were given additional CRS points for either securing employment or showing French-language proficiency.
There has been a 6% increase in the number of ITAs granted since 2020
In 42 program-specific Express Entry draws, a total of 114,431 ITAs were issued in 2021 – a six percent increase from 2020. In line with Canada’s desire to bring in young immigrants, 64% of all ITA recipients were 20–29 years old.
Comment: No All-Program Express Entry Draw was held in 2021
ITAs were focused on two programs throughout the year, CEC (17 draws, accounting for 87% of all ITAs) and PNP (25 draws, 13% of all ITAs), while no invitations were issued to FSWP or FSTP applicants.
Most ITA recipients work in food services, administration, and retail
The most common primary occupation among ITA recipients in 2021 was “food service supervisor.” The National Occupation Classification (NOC) 2021 code for this job is 62020. The total number of ITA recipients serving in this role was 13,097. In this group, 60.4% of the people in this role were women.
In order, the five most common occupations among ITA recipients are listed below, along with their NOC 2021 codes and the number of people in these jobs who receive ITAs.
1. Food Service Supervisor (NOC 2021: 62020) – ITA Issued: 13,097
2. Administrative Assistant (NOC 2021: 13110) – ITA Released: 5,930
3. Retail Sales Supervisor (NOC 2021: 62010) – ITA Issued: 5,020
4. Software Engineers and Designers (NOC 2021: 21231) – ITA Issued: 4,916
5. Cook (NOC 2021: 63200) – ITA Issued: 4,624
Outside Canada, most ITA recipients lived in India and Nigeria.
Most Express Entry ITA receipts reside in Canada (102,806). However, the majority of foreign applicants who obtained ITAs were living in India (3,826) or Nigeria (1,432). This is a notable departure from 2019 and 2020, where the United States of America (USA) was ranked third on the list in both years.
Here are the top 10 countries of residence among 2021 ITA recipients (including number of ITAs issued):
1. Canada: 102,806 ITAs issued
2. India: 3,826 ITAs issued
3. Nigeria: 1,432 ITAs issued
4. USA: 806 ITAs issued
5. People’s Republic of China: 687 ITAs issued
6. United Arab Emirates: 465 ITAs issued
7. United Kingdom and overseas territories: 348 ITAs issued
8. Pakistan: 269 ITAs issued
9. Morocco: 235 ITAs issued
10. Lebanon: 215 ITAs issued
Most ITA recipients were citizens of India, China and Korea
Further data showed that the top countries of citizenship among ITA recipients also changed little over time. India has topped each of the last three years. In 2020 and 2021, the People’s Republic of China ranked second on the list. Finally, while 6,550 Nigerian citizens received ITAs in 2020 (ranking third), citizens of the Republic of Korea accounted for the third highest number of ITA recipients in 2021 (3,131).
Below are the seven countries that are among the top 10 countries of citizenship among ITA recipients. Listed next to each country is the number of ITAs that were issued to their citizens in 2021.
1. India: 65,565 ITAs issued
2. People’s Republic of China: 9,592 ITAs issued
3. Republic of Korea: 3,131 ITAs issued
4. Nigeria: 3,123 ITAs issued
5. Brazil: 2,877 ITAs issued
6. Philippines: 2,429 ITAs issued
7. United Kingdom and overseas territories: 2,298 ITAs issued
8. Iran: 1,700 ITAs issued
9. Socialist Republic of Vietnam: 1,514 ITAs issued
10. Republic of Ireland: 1,348 ITAs issued
CEC is now the most popular program under Express Entry
Nearly four-fifths (79.6%) of all applications for PR through Express Entry came from principal applicants entering Canada through the CEC. Meanwhile, PNP applicants filed 12,652 Express Entry PR applications and 8,245 people filed Canadian PRs as FSWP applicants. Taking all three programs into account, more men applied for PR in Canada through the PNP and CEC (57% and 58% of all PR applications, respectively), while 53% of all FSWP PR applications were submitted by women. They went.
A total of three economic immigration PR applications came from FSTP applicants.
80% Express Entry applications processed in nine months
Application processing time remains a significant concern for many potential Canadian immigrants. Overall processing time for all programs remained the same as in 2020, with IRCC finalizing 80% of applications in nine months. As per the program 80% CEC applications were processed within 7 months as compared to PNP (21 months), FSTP (23 months) and FSWP applications (26 months).
Most Express Entry PRs intend to settle in Ontario
A total of 96,535 people who submitted PR applications through Express Entry indicated they were going to move to Ontario. British Columbia (35,735) and Alberta (12,082) were the next two most popular destinations, with Canada’s three territories – Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon – being the least popular (187 total persons) destinations.
Note that immigration figures from Quebec are not accounted for here, as the province operates its own separate immigration program.
Express Entry in 2022 and 2023
In July 2022 the IRCC resumed all-program draws after pauses that began in January 2021 (for FSWP and FSTP) and September 2021 (for CEC). However, thus far in 2023, the two draws reverted to a program-specific structure, as the Department of Immigration held a PNP-only draw on 1 February and an FSWP-only draw – for the first time in Express Entry history – on 2 February.
In a move away from the typical style of Express Entry draws, which currently prioritize CRS scores, the IRCC is also planning to introduce category-based draws at some point this year. These draws will select candidates based on specific individual factors such as occupation, language skills, and education.
In recent years, IRCC has issued year-end Express Entry reports in December. Should this trend continue, we can expect to see Canada’s 2022 Express Entry report later this calendar year.
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