The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued invitations to 699 candidates who scored a minimum of 791 on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The draw was only applicable to candidates in the Provincial Nominee Program. This was the third program-specific draw of 2023 following the results on February 1 and February 2. Only candidates who had already received a provincial nomination were invited for the February 1 draw, and the February 2 draw was a program-specific draw for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP).
The 2023 Draw Pattern Has Not Been Determined
In 2023, Express Entry draws have varied significantly from the patterns established before the COVID-19 pandemic and in 2022’s second half.
There have been some significant differences in the way Express Entry draws have been conducted since the first draw of this year on January 11. IRCC has implied that the pause in the January 11 draw was a result of an IT system glitch that was caused by the implementation of NOC 2021, which resulted in the draw taking place after an unexpected six pause.
In the second draw, which was held only a week later, the number of ITAs that were issued was the same as on January 11, but the CRS score was significantly lower.
On February 1, IRCC did wait two weeks for the next draw, which did occur as expected. In this case, ITAs were only issued to candidates who had already received a nomination under a provincial nomination program. There had not been a PNP-only draw at IRCC since June 2022. This draw was unique in that it was not an all-program draw. As a result, IRCC has restarted the all-program draws that had been halted between January 2021 and July 2022 because of pandemic restrictions and border closures.
There was one recent draw on February 2, when IRCC issued invitations to candidates who had applied for the FSWP. This was a significant draw since Express Entry was launched in 2015. Since then, there has been no FSWP-only draw. One of the most prominent immigration paths under Express Entry is the FSWP.
It is the sole discretion of the immigration minister and IRCC to determine when Express Entry draws will be held. As far as the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act is concerned, there is no law that dictates when draws will take place, how many candidates will be selected, or what the minimum CRS cut-off score should be. It is possible that the minister could decide that drawing on a daily or once every several months is the best way for Canada to meet its economic priorities, but it is totally at his discretion.