IRCC conducts first Express Entry draw of April

IRCC has conducted another Express Entry draw.

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued a total of 3,500 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to candidates in an all-program draw. The minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) cut-off score was 486. In an all-program draw, candidates are considered from the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). ,

This draw comes after three consecutive Express Entry draws in which 7,000 candidates were invited. The most recent draw on March 29 saw the lowest CRS cut-off score since December 2020 at 481.

More ITAs have already been issued in 2023 than in the whole of 2022.

Last November, the IRCC unveiled its most ambitious immigration leveling plan yet. The plan outlines immigration targets for permanent residents in all sectors of business over three years. This year, 82,880 will obtain permanent resident status through Express Entry, rising to 114,000 by 2025.

An unprecedented month for Express Entry

March was an unprecedented month in the history of Express Entry. IRCC issued 21,667 ITAs in four draws. This was the second highest monthly total since the introduction of Express Entry in January 2015. The record for inviting the most candidates in a single month was set in February 2021, when IRCC invited 27,332 candidates in a single draw, targeting candidates in the Canadian Experience category.

Today’s draw follows three of the second largest Express Entry draws ever. The first was on March 15 when 7,000 candidates were invited with a CRS score of 490.

Typically, Express Entry draws only take place on Wednesdays every two weeks. However, the next draw took place only a week later, on 23 March, and the IRCC invited another 7,000 candidates with CRS scores less than 484.

Another 7,000 candidate draw (for candidates with a minimum CRS score of 481) took place on 29 March. In this, 21,000 candidates were invited for three consecutive weeks. The remaining 667 candidates were invited to a draw of candidates only targeted at the provincial nominating event on 1 March.

PGWP extension available till April 6

The larger all-program draw could be beneficial to candidates in the CEC, many of whom are raising concerns as their post-graduation work permits (PGWP) are set to expire soon.

To assist PGWP holders, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser recently announced that with effect from 6 April, PGWP holders are eligible to apply for an 18-month open work permit extension.

The PGWP is a one-time open work permit for international students who graduate from a post-secondary institution in Canada. If a candidate’s PGWP expires before receiving an ITA, they are no longer eligible to apply for permanent residence. Finding alternative work permits or obtaining visitor records can be costly and time consuming.

Between November 2022 and February 2023, some CEC candidates received ITAs after a six-week unscheduled draw pause, followed by four program-specific draws that did not target CEC candidates.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is an application management program that was established in 2015. It was developed to objectively evaluate high-skilled economic immigrants based on criteria such as occupation, work experience, age, language ability, education and other human capital factors. These factors are ranked and scored using a comprehensive ranking system.

The higher the CRS score, the more likely the candidate is to receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence.

Once a candidate receives the ITA, he/she has 60 days to submit his/her final application to IRCC. An officer will then evaluate the application and decide whether the candidate is approved for permanent resident status.

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