Canada’s largest ever Express Entry draw saw it surpass the annual record for Invitations to Apply with well over a month to spare. The 5,000 ITAs issued on November 18 is a record for an individual draw and brings the total for 2020 to 92,350, beating 2018’s record of 89,800 and passing 90,000 in a calendar year for the first time. Candidates required a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 472 to qualify, six points lower than the previous draw.
It shows Canada’s commitment to skilled worker immigration, put forth in the federal government’s plan to power the economic recovery from COVID-19 by welcoming more than 400,000 newcomers per year from 2021. The latest draw was also the second since Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) moved to increase the points available for French speaking and bilingual candidates.
It saw the tie breaking rule implemented on October 27, 2020. If more than one candidate had the minimum CRS score, only those who submitted their Express Entry profiles before this date and time received invitations.
Meaning of Express Entry
Express Entry is an immigration system implemented by Canadian immigration authorities (IRCC) on January 1, 2015 which manages skilled worker applications under Federal Economic programs. This includes the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program the Canada Experience Class and parts of the Provincial Nomination Programs.
Stakeholders expect to see continued high numbers of invitations issued as Canada builds towards its target of more than 400,000 new permanent residents in 2021, with a majority of draws featuring CRS scores around 470.
With the coronavirus crisis striking in March, Canada switch to program specific draws aimed at Canadian Experience Class and Provincial Nominee Program candidates. This had the effect of significantly increasing the number of individual draws beyond previous years.
What Should Candidates Do
It is expected that the majority of applicants to be issued ITAs in 2020 will require a CRS score around 470 points, enabling a significant number of applicants to receive permanent admission to Canada without a job offer or nomination under a provincial immigration program. However, securing an approved offer of employment is highly recommended.