Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) held the latest program-specific express entry draw on May 31, inviting 5,956 Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates to apply for permanent residency.
Candidates with a CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) score of at least 380 were invited to be eligible for the CEC.
Today's draw was the third-largest Express Entry draw on record and had the second-lowest CRS score in 2021. Previous draw records were also set this year, with IRCC having invited a record 27,332 CEC candidates in a draw in February and 6,000 CEC candidates each in two separate draws in April.
Compared to the previous CEC draw two weeks ago, Canada invited 4,114 more applicants today and the scoring requirement was 17 points lower. Three weeks ago, Canada also hosted a CEC draw, inviting candidates with scores as low as 401.
Priority to candidates in Canada
Canada gives priority to applicants who are more likely to already live in the country since the start of the year. With the current travel restrictions in place, applicants approved overseas cannot travel to complete their permanent residency. According to the Canadian government, it makes more sense to target national candidates.
According to IRCC data as of May 6, approximately 95% of CEC applicants were in the Express Entry pool at that time. IRCC holds CEC draws approximately every two weeks, except this three-week spring after a surprise draw on May 20. In addition, every two weeks, the Immigration Department holds a draw targeting Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates.
Despite the pandemic, Canada is still admitting a record number of new immigrants over the next three years. This year alone, 108,500 new immigrants are expected to go through the programs managed by Express Entry. To date, IRCC has invited 74,773 Express Entry applicants to apply for permanent residence.
The large number comes from the historic February 13 draw in which IRCC invited all eligible applicants to the CEC in the pool - a total of 27,332 people. For that draw alone, 23,877 invited applicants completed their applications before the 90-day deadline.
PNP Only and CEC Only prints have very different CRS requirements. Indeed, PNP candidates automatically obtain 600 additional points for their overall score. CEC applicants do not compete for invitations from other programs. As a result, IRCC takes more perspective, which allows the cutoff score to drop. In the last draw for CECs, the CRS requirement dropped to 397.
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