Canada’s first Express Entry draw of 2020 has issued 3,400 invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
The minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score required to receive an invitation in the January 8 draw was 473.
The Express Entry system is Canada’s primary source of skilled foreign workers. It was introduced in 2015 to manage the pool of candidates for three of Canada’s three federal high-skilled immigration programs — the Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class and Canadian Experience Class.
Eligible candidates for each program are issued a score under Express Entry’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), which awards points for factors such as age, education, skilled work experience and proficiency in English or French.
While a job offer is not required in order to be eligible under the Express Entry system, the CRS does award additional points to candidates who have one.
A set number of the highest-scoring candidates are issued an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence (ITA) through regular draws from the pool, which typically take place every two weeks.
The Government of Canada has a processing standard of six months for permanent residence applications filed through the Express Entry system.
Canada has higher admissions targets for 2020 and 2021 for the various programs managed by the Express Entry system.
The target for new permanent resident admissions through the three federal high-skilled programs is slated to rise to 85,800 this year and 88,800 in 2021.
The target for Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), a portion of which is also managed by the Express Entry system, is set to rise to 67,800 in 2020 and 71,300 in 2021.
Nine Canadian provinces and two territories have what are known as “enhanced” PNP streams that are linked to the Express Entry system.
These streams — many of which have lower or even no CRS score requirement — allow participating provinces and territories to select Express Entry candidates and invite them to apply for a provincial nomination for Canadian permanent residence.
Express Entry candidates who obtain a provincial nomination receive an additional 600 points toward their CRS score and are effectively guaranteed an ITA.
Today’s draw was slightly larger than the previous invitation round held December 19, which issued 3,200 ITAs. The minimum CRS score was also up compared to the December 19 draw, which had a cut-off score of 469.
The higher minimum score in today’s draw could be explained by the fact a total of 20 days elapsed between these invitation rounds. When more than two weeks pass between draws, the minimum score has a tendency to rise.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) applied a tie-break time and date of December 27, 2019, at 13:35:09 UTC in this draw. This means that all candidates with a score of 473 who submitted their profile before this date and time received an ITA.
The following are hypothetical examples of candidates who would have obtained an ITA in today’s draw:
Ahmed is 30-years-old, holds a master’s degree, and has been working as an IT analyst for three years. He wrote his IELTS and scored an 8 in each category. While Ahmed has never worked or studied in Canada, his CRS of 473 would have been high enough for him to obtain an ITA in the January 8 Express Entry draw.
Joe and Christelle are married and are 35 and 29-years-old respectively. They each hold bachelor’s degrees, speak French at an advanced level, and have been working as accountants for four years. While neither has ever worked or studied in Canada, Christelle has a sister who is a Canadian permanent resident residing in Ontario. They entered the pool with Christelle as the principal applicant and their CRS score of 473 would have been high enough to obtain an ITA during the January 8 Express Entry draw.