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The Express Entry system is now able to rank candidates in the Express Entry pool with tied scores under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) according to the date and time they submitted their profile. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) introduced this feature, along with other changes to the CRS, on June 6, 2017.

Candidates in the Express Entry pool continue to be ranked according to their CRS score, as has always been the case since the introduction of Express Entry in January, 2015. However, this update enables candidates with tied scores to be ranked with greater precision. Profiles submitted earlier are ranked higher, while recent profile submissions are ranked lower. IRCC has clarified that updating a profile will not change the time stamp of the original submission, however, if a candidate withdraws his or her profile and creates a new one, or if a candidate's profile expires and he or she submits a new one, the time and date stamp of the original profile submission will be lost.

In order to be in a position to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) in an Express Entry draw, individuals are first required to meet the eligibility criteria of one of the three immigration programs managed through the Express Entry system — the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC), Federal Skilled Trades Class (FTSC), or Canadian Experience Class (CEC). Upon entering the pool, candidates are assigned a CRS score based on factors including civil status information, education, work experience, language ability, and other criteria. This score determines their ranking in the pool, and candidates with the same score are ranked according to the date and time they submitted their profile. During periodic draws, IRCC issues ITAs to the highest-ranking candidates. Those candidates who receive an ITA  may submit an application for Canadian permanent resident status.

Prior to this update, all candidates in the pool with the minimum CRS score required at the time of a draw received an ITA. IRCC has stated that this '[made] it hard for the Department to manage invitation rounds.' 

Please consult the below table for an example. This table represents an example only, and is not based on actual statistics from the Express Entry pool, or actual minimum CRS score required in order to receive an ITA in any specific draw. For example, if the minimum CRS score in a future draw is 419, and IRCC invites the top-ranked 3,300 candidates, the following may apply:

Rank CRS score Date and time of profile submission Status
3298 419 September 21, 2016, at 12:31:04 Invited to apply
3299 419 December 1, 2016, at 23:00:01 Invited to apply
3300 419 February 2, 2017, at 08:03:48 Invited to apply
3301 419 February 2, 2017, at 15:33:20 Still in the pool
3302 419 May 4, 2017, at 20:12:56 Still in the pool

Candidates in the Express Entry pool know their CRS score, but they do not know their ranking within the pool. Consequently, candidates are not required to update or modify their profiles as a result of this update to the ranking of candidates.

To learn more about your Canadian immigration options through the programs managed under Express Entry, as well as through other currently available programs, please fill out a free online assessment today.