It's been over a year since Canada's last all-program Express Entry draw. On December 22, Canada welcomed 746 Express Entry applicants to apply for permanent residency. Invited applicants were already nominated through a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), which added 600 points to their baseline human capital score. As a result, the cut-off for this draw was set at 720.
PNP draws have only been held by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) since September, and this is the eighth in a straight. According to an internal briefing note, IRCC has halted CEC invites to catch up on its backlog.
The agency stated in the memo that it wanted to decrease Express Entry backlogs in half before considering admitting applicants from other programs.
IRCC invited a record-breaking 1,032 PNP hopefuls to apply in the recent PNP draw. In that draw, the minimum score was 698.
It has been a year since Canada staged an Express Entry lottery for candidates from all programs. Since December 23, 2020, IRCC has not solicited candidates for Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) or Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).
IRCC has only staged Express Entry draws for PNP and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates throughout the year.
The policy was designed to allow IRCC to focus on admitting immigrants who were already in the country. Candidates applying for Canadian immigration from outside Canada were not permitted to cross the border until June to activate their permanent resident status.
However, according to an IRCC briefing paper, focusing on inland candidates and constructing the Temporary Residence to Permanent Residence (TR to PR) track resulted in a substantial backlog of candidates.
While announcing that the Atlantic Immigration Pilot will become a permanent program in 2022, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser stated that Canada would return to admitting immigrants from both within and outside the country.
"I anticipate that as we move forward, we will have a healthy mix of people who are already here with some experience in Canada and other employees who may not yet be here who will come to Canada through a program such as the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, as the public health situation allows," Fraser told reporters.
Since the outbreak, Canada has hosted 35 PNP-specific Express Entry draws, with 19,563 individuals receiving invitations to apply for permanent residence.
Canada hosted 27 CEC lotteries over the same time period, resulting in 133,868 invitations. Since March 18, 2020, there have only been 11 lotteries inviting Express Entry applicants from all programs, including the FSWP.
Canada has received more Express Entry applicants than the previous year in order to apply for permanent residence in 2021. Part of this might be attributed to Canada's February 13 draw, in which all 27,332 CEC applicants were invited at the same time.
The cut-off scores have stayed relatively high because IRCC has only held PNP drawings. Therefore, PNP applicants in the Express Entry pool are certain to receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence because of their high scores.
The Express Entry system is in charge of processing applications for Canada's three main immigration programs: the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program. As a result, Express Entry applicants for the PNP have already qualified for one of these programs.
The Comprehensive Ranking System is a point-based system used by Express Entry to rate candidate profiles (CRS). Individuals with the highest scores are awarded an Invitation to Apply (ITA) and may subsequently apply for permanent residency.
Following that, an IRCC officer will review their application and make a decision. Following that, they will request biometrics and may want an interview or other documents.
If your application is approved, IRCC will provide you a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR). The landing procedure can thereafter be completed by approved permanent residents. If they are not currently in Canada, they can take advantage of pre-arrival programs to help them with the first steps in establishing themselves in the country.
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