The Express Entry Year-End Report 2020 was issued on December 13, 2020, as opposed to previous years when it was published in the summer. It reveals who could immigrate to Canada via Express Entry and how the epidemic affected Canada's primary immigration application procedure.
For instance, despite the fact that Canada issued a record number of invitations to Express Entry candidates in 2020, the number of new permanent residents admitted through Express Entry fell to a three-year low, which in turn shows the real trend of Canada immigration.
Since one application might include the lead applicant and their family members, more permanent residents are usually granted than invites. However, due to the pandemic, Express Entry admissions will fall below the level of ITAs in 2020. In 2020, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued moreover than 107,000 Invitations to Apply (ITAs), up from 85,300 in 2019. As a result, only 63,923 Express Entry candidates and their family members were granted permanent residence out of the ITAs issued in 2020, compared to 109,601 new permanent residents accepted in 2019.
IRCC failed to fulfil the processing goal of completing 80 percent of Express Entry applications within six months. The average processing time was nine months, one month less than in 2019. According to IRCC, around 51% of applications in 2020 were completed within the six-month deadline.
Due to the pandemic, IRCC extended the validity term of an ITA from 60 to 90 days to provide applicants additional time to complete their applications. Previous IRCC figures show that 36 percent of Express Entry candidates used the extra time between March 18, 2020, and April 6, 2021, whereas 49 percent applied inside the two-month term.
IRCC targeted qualified applicants for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) because they are more likely to be physically based in Canada and less likely to be harmed by public health interventions.
The proportion of Express Entry candidates asked to apply from within Canada increased from 47 percent in 2019 to 63 percent in 2020. According to IRCC, this is due to an increase in invitations sent to CEC applicants.
Although the number of applicants invited from India fell to 10% in 2020, from 18% in the previous year which means more candidates were invited from India than from any other foreign country.
The top six countries of residency for invites remained the same as in prior years: Canada, India, the United States, Nigeria, the United Arab Emirates, and Pakistan. However, Lebanon entered the top ten list for the first time since the program's inception in 2015.
India was also the most prevalent citizenship nation among individuals who acquired ITAs, followed by China, Nigeria, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom.
Men continue to dominate the pool, but women are gaining ground
Like in previous years, men submitted more Express Entry profiles than women. However, the number of women in the Express Entry pool increased to 43% in 2020, up from 41% in 2019.
Despite the fact that fewer women were in the pool, their profiles were more likely to be eligible for at least one program compared to males, which was consistent with the previous two years. According to IRCC, 77% of women and 71% of men who submitted profiles were qualified for at least one program.
In 2020, a somewhat more significant proportion of males than women were major candidates seeking permanent residence. Both genders applied most frequently to the CEC and least often to the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).
Men were more likely than women to apply for each program. However, the gap was greater under the FSTP and less under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP).
Tech talent is leading the way
Once again, computer technology and business and financial services occupations dominated among those asked to apply for permanent residency. However, more foodservice managers and administrative assistants got ITAs in 2020. According to IRCC, this is most likely the effect of more CEC-specific invitation rounds.
Foodservice managers and computer programmers were the most prevalent vocations among candidates who received arranged employment points. This is also new for 2020, and it is most likely the consequence of the CEC drawings.
Although there were more applicants in the pool with a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score in the range of 351-400, a rising proportion fell into the range of 451-500, as in prior years. The proportion of applicants with these higher scores climbed to 27% in 2020, up from 22% in 2019 and 18% in 2018. As a result, around 27% of applicants were in the 300-350 range.
According to IRCC, applicants with Canadian education received 42 percent of invites in 2020, up from 28 percent in 2019. This is also another effect of the increased number of CEC-only draws.
Last year, IRCC held 21 program-specific invitation rounds out of 37 total: 10 CEC draws, 10 PNP drawings, and one FSTP draw. Minimum CRS scores for PNP-specific rounds varied from 687 to 808 and from 431 to 467 for CEC-specific rounds. The cut-off score for the single FSTP draw was 415.
When only all-program draws were considered, the CRS cut-off score range in 2021 was somewhat higher than in 2019. In 2020, scores averaged around 472, compared to 461 in 2019. This rise suggests that the Express Entry pool for FSWP and FSTP applicants grew more competitive in 2020 due to IRCC's efforts to prioritize CEC and PNP candidates.
In addition, IRCC enhanced the number of points available to French-speaking and bilingual applicants in the Express Entry pool in 2020. On October 20, 2020, the number of Express Entry points increased from 15 to 25 for French-speaking applicants and from 30 to 50 for bilingual candidates. This adjustment is designed to help Canada's aim of growing French immigration outside of Quebec to 4.4 percent by 2023 while also enhancing the odds of French speakers acquiring an ITA.
The number of candidates in the Express Entry pool that satisfied the requirement for bonus points for being fluent in French increased from 4% in 2019 to 5% in 2020.
Nearly two-thirds of primary candidates who submitted through Express Entry in 2020 listed Ontario as their province of residence, a modest increase over 2019. In addition, compared to 2019, the number of primary applicants planning to relocate to Saskatchewan, British Columbia, and New Brunswick grew in 2020, while the number of applications planning to go to Alberta and Nova Scotia fell.
These figures and facts show a smooth but solid recovery in the Canada immigration process which will further help the Canadian economy to recover from the losses rapidly.
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