The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has just held an all-program Express Entry draw for the month of April, inviting a total of 3,500 candidates to apply for permanent residence in Canada. The minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) cut-off score for this draw was 486, with IRCC considering candidates from all programs.
Express Entry is the main way the Canadian government manages economic-class, immigration candidates. Those eligible for at least one of the three Express Entry programs: Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) may receive a CRS score based on a variety of human capital criteria, such as their age, education, language skills, and work experience.
In 2022, the IRCC unveiled its most c
omprehensive Immigration Levels Plan implemented this year. The strategy specifies immigration goals for long-term residents across all business sectors for the next three years. Through Express Entry, 82,880 people will be granted permanent residence status this year; by 2025, that number will be 114,000.
The IRCC has recently broken from its usual draw schedule and held draws back-to-back in the month of March. The IRCC conducted three drawings in a row, inviting 7,000 applicants. The lowest CRS score was 481, recorded in the draw that was held on March 29. It is evident, however, that the total number of ITAs granted in 2023 already exceeds that of 2022.
Note: When IRCC issues ITAs to applicants from all three Express Entry federal programs, this is known as an all-program draw. They differ from program-specific lotteries, where the IRCC will only take into account candidates from that program.
IRCC Considered March as a Historic Month, Issued ITAs to 21,667 candidates
With IRCC’s announcement on Immigration Levels Strategy in 2022, Canada’s immigration system was highly put into effect in 2023. During the following three years, the strategy outlines immigration targets for long-term residents across all business sectors. By 2025, a total of 82,880 persons will be given permanent residency status through Express Entry, increasing to 114,000.
In the history of Express Entry, March was a landmark month. Over four draws, IRCC distributed 21,667 ITAs. Since Express Entry’s inception in January 2015, this was the second-highest monthly total. When 27,332 candidates were invited in a single draw by the IRCC to be considered for the Canadian Experience Class in February 2021, it broke the previous record for the most applicants invited in a single month. Following three of the second-largest Express Entry draws in history is this draw.
IRCC recorded March as a significant month in Express Entry history. The reason is, IRCC distributed 21,667 ITAs across four draws in the month of March, making it to be the second-highest monthly total since January 2015.
- On 15th March, a total number of 7,000 applicants were invited with a CRS score of 490;
- Right after a week, IRCC invited additional 7,000 applicants with even lower CRS score of 484;
- On March 29, 7,000 applicants were issued invitations with a minimum CRS score of 481;
- On March 1, a draw limited to PNP-specific welcomed the remaining 667 candidates.
The IRCC set a new record for the number of applicants invited in a single month in February 2021 when it invited 27,332 people in a single draw to be considered for the Canadian Experience Class. This draw appears to be the second-largest Express Entry draws in history.
Also, many of the Candidates in the CEC, who have been raising concerns as their Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWPs) are about to expire, may benefit from these large all-program draws. Sean Fraser, the minister of immigration, recently stated that from April 6, PGWP holders would be able to seek an 18-month open work permit extension.