Mohanad Moetaz - 21 May, 2021
Canada held a surprise Express Entry draw on May 20, inviting 1,842 immigration candidates to apply for permanent residence.
This is the lowest CRS requirement since Canada's historic February 13 draw when it was just 75.
The cutoff time for the tie-break rule was April 24, 2021 at 12:09:24 UTC. This means that candidates with a CRS score of at least 397 were only invited if they submitted their Express Entry profile before this date and time.
Invited candidates were eligible through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program. This is a program for candidates who have at least one year of work experience in Canada.
Program-specific draws became the norm after Canada introduced temporary measures in March 2020 to slow the spread of the virus. Some of these measures include closing the border to non-essential travel and implementing travel restrictions.
Canada have been alternating between CEC-only Express Entry draws and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) only draws. The PNP is a program that allows Canadian provinces to select and nominate candidates for permanent residence.
Those who receive a provincial nomination receive an additional 600 CRS points.
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Express Entry is the system that the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) uses to manage permanent residence applications through Canada’s three main economic-class programs
Those in the Express Entry system are given a CRS score. This point score is based on factors like their age, work experience, education, and their language proficiency in French or English.
CRS points can be given to one individual or to a couple. Canada regularly invites the highest-scoring candidates in the Express Entry pool to apply for permanent residence.
After receiving an invitation, candidates should submit their applications to the Canadian federal government. After that, IRCC makes a final decision. There may currently be processing delays due to COVID-19.
If a candidate is successful, they will receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence and a visa on their passport if they need one. The final step would be to move to Canada and receive their Permanent Residence (PR) card.
These draws bring the total number of invitations issued so far in 2021 to 68,317. By the same time last year, this number was 38,200.
Canada focusing on candidates already in the country
In 2021, Canada has only held Express Entry draws that target candidates who are likely to be in Canada. This is in an effort to admit 401,000 new permanent residents this year.
PNP candidates often need work experience, study experience or other connections to the province in order to receive a nomination.
CEC candidates also need to have at least one year of Canadian work experience in order to be eligible.
It is therefore likely that these candidates are currently residing in Canada.
The country also aims to welcome over 400,000 immigrants in 2022 and in 2023.
For 2021, Canada is looking to welcome 108,500 immigrants under Express Entry. Canada is aiming to welcome 110,500 immigrants in 2022 and 113,750 in 2023.
Candidates can still submit an Express Entry profile despite the COVID-related travel restrictions in place. IRCC continues to accept submissions to the Express Entry system, even from candidates who live overseas.