Canada invited 613 Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence on November 24.
All invited candidates had previously received nominations through a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). The automatic 600 points that come with the nomination drove the minimum cut-off score to 737. Without the nomination, the lowest-scoring candidate would have had 137 points.
This is the sixth PNP-specific Express Entry draw that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has held in a row. In the previous draw, IRCC invited 775 candidates with scores of at least 685.
Express Entry during the pandemic
Canada closed its border on March 18, 2020. Since then, IRCC has focused on admitting immigrants who are already in the country. Part of its strategy was to invite Express Entry candidates who were more likely to be residing in Canada, or who were nominated by a PNP.
There was a period where Canada invited Express Entry candidates from all programs, but in 2021 IRCC has only invited candidates from the Provincial Nominee Class and Canadian Experience Class (CEC). Canada has held 33 PNP-specific Express Entry draws in which 17,785 candidates received invitations to apply for permanent residence. In the same timeframe, Canada has held 27 CEC draws that rendered 133,868 invitations.
There are generally more CEC-eligible candidates in the Express Entry pool at any given time, so these figures are not surprising. PNP candidates need to go through a separate application process with a province or territory in order to get the nomination. Once they do though, it is almost guaranteed that they will be invited to apply for Canadian immigration.
IRCC has continued to invite PNP candidates due to the federal government’s immigration agreements with the provinces and territories. Although Canada has the final say on who gets permanent residence and citizenship, the provinces get to nominate newcomers who can help them meet their strategic plans for population and economic growth. Studies have shown both PNP and CEC candidates tend to do well in the labour market.
Canada’s border is currently open for fully vaccinated tourists and other essential travellers. As of January, 2022, it will only be open to people who are fully inoculated with a vaccine from an approved manufacturer.
What is Express Entry?
Express Entry is the application management system for Canada’s three most popular immigration programs: the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program. PNP candidates in the Express Entry pool have already qualified for one of these programs.
Express Entry uses a points-based system, the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), to rank candidates’ profiles. The top-scoring candidates receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA), and can then apply for permanent residency.
Then an IRCC officer reviews their application and makes a decision. After that, they will ask for biometrics and may set up an interview or request more documents.
If the application is approved, IRCC issues a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR). Approved permanent residents can then complete the landing process. If they are outside Canada, they can access pre-arrival services to help them with the first steps for settling in Canada.
Who was invited?
The following is a hypothetical example of someone who may have received an ITA in the new Express Entry draw.
Raymond is 39, holds a bachelor’s degree and has been working as a construction manager for six years. He has an advanced English language proficiency and has never worked or studied in Canada. He entered the Express Entry pool with a CRS score of 386. Raymond recently received a provincial nomination. His new CRS score of 986 would have been high enough to get an ITA in the new Express Entry draw.
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