On March 15th, 2023, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) held the seventh Express Entry draw of the year. In this draw, 7,000 candidates were issued invitations to apply (ITAs) for permanent residency with a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 490. This draw breaks the record of the previous all-program draw on January 18th, 2023, where 5,500 candidates were invited. All-program draws consider candidates from all three Express Entry programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
This draw marks a break in a pattern of program-specific draws that have been occurring over the past two months. Since the last all-program draw, there have been four program-specific rounds of invitations, three for PNP-only and one for FSWP candidates. The most recent draw was PNP-only, and only 697 candidates received ITAs on March 1st, 2023.
Before 2023, all Express Entry draws between July and November 2022 were all-program draws that invited over 1,000 candidates each time, and as the minimum CRS score decreased, the number of ITAs grew.
IRCC Releases 2021 Data
IRCC recently released a report summarizing the Express Entry data for 2021, a unique year in the program’s history. Starting in December 2020, all program draws were paused to ease the backlog caused by COVID-19-related travel restrictions and border closures. IRCC continued to issue ITAs to candidates in the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) until September 2021, when CEC draws were also paused.
In 2021, 114,431 ITAs were issued, and all 42 Express Entry draws were program-specific for the PNP and the CEC, with no ITAs issued to FSWP or Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) candidates. Of the ITAs issued in 2021, 64% went to candidates between the ages of 20-29 years, who received 100 CRS points under the Comprehensive Ranking System. Candidates receive fewer points after they turn 30.
While the majority of ITAs were issued to candidates who were already living in Canada as temporary residents due to the pauses in all-program draws, some ITAs were still issued to candidates living abroad. The top five nationalities receiving ITAs in 2021 were Canada (102,806 ITAs issued), India (3,826 ITAs issued), Nigeria (1,432 ITAs issued), the USA (806 ITAs issued), and the People’s Republic of China (687 ITAs issued).
What is Express Entry System?
The Express Entry application management system oversees three programs: the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). Candidates in the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) are already eligible for at least one Express Entry program.
Express Entry programs rank candidates using the points-based Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Points are awarded based on work experience, language ability, education, and human capital factors. Candidates with the highest scores will receive an ITA and can then apply for permanent residency. Candidates have 60 days to complete and submit their application, which is then reviewed by an IRCC officer to decide if the candidate is approved.
Overall, the recent all-program draw with 7,000 ITAs issued is a positive development for potential permanent residents, as it offers more opportunities to candidates from all three Express Entry programs to apply for permanent residency.