Canada’s Immigration Minister: “I am pleased to announce today that Express Entry draws have officially resumed and applications will be processed according to our 6-month processing standard. I look forward to welcoming skilled workers who will be essential to addressing Canada’s labor shortage.”
Canada has invited applicants to the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) for the first time since December 2020.
Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates were also considered in today’s Express Entry draw. This is the first time CEC candidates have participated in an Express Entry draw since September 2021.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has invited a total of 1,500 Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence. The minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score was 557.
Minister’s statement on today’s draw
Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Sean Fraser, stated the following in a written statement to CIC News:
“I am pleased to announce today that the draws for Express Entry have officially resumed and applications are being processed according to our standard of 6 months. I want to thank applicants from around the world for their patience as we work to clear the backlog before Express Entry draws resume. I look forward to welcoming skilled workers who will be essential to addressing Canada’s labour shortage.”
Why today’s draw is big news
The resumption of draws for all programs is significant for several reasons. Since its inception in 1967 through 2020, the Federal Skilled Worker Program has been Canada’s primary vehicle for admitting skilled immigrants. Prior to the pandemic, the FSWP accounted for about 45% of all individuals who received an Express Entry ITA.
The reinstatement of the lottery for all programs is also important news for CEC candidates. The CEC is the primary way for Canada’s large pool of international students and foreign workers to obtain permanent residency. The CEC has grown in importance in recent years as Canada relies on this pool to meet its immigration goals. Before the pandemic, CECs accounted for only 9% of all 341,000 immigrants Canada admitted under the corporate, family, and humanitarian categories. Last year, CECs accounted for nearly a third of the more than 405,000 immigrants who came to Canada.
Two weeks ago, Canada’s Immigration Minister Sean Fraser had told CIC News that the IRCC was on track to meet its goal of holding a program-wide draw for express entry on July 6. He confirmed this on Twitter on Monday. IRCC originally made the announcement in April. In addition, IRCC plans to reprocess most Express Entry applications within six months.
In the Express Entry draw for all programs, IRCC considers all applicants in the Express Entry pool and issues invitations to apply for permanent residency (ITA) based only on Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) results. Between the launch of Express Entry in 2015 and December 2020, IRCC conducted primarily program-wide drawings. This meant that applicants to the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) all had a chance to receive an ITA.
Beginning in January 2021, the IRCC focused on inviting only CEC applicants. The IRCC did this because most of these applicants were located in Canada and were less likely to face COVID-related issues than overseas applicants. However, in September 2021, the IRCC suspended invitations for CEC applicants to reduce the backlog of applications. In the meantime, IRCC continued to conduct bi-weekly draws inviting only Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) applicants to help provinces and territories meet their labor market needs.
How does Express Entry work?
Express Entry is a two-step process.
In the first step, applicants must confirm that they meet the criteria of at least one of the three Express Entry programs.
Once they meet the criteria, applicants can upload their Express Entry profile to the IRCC website. Applicants receive a Comprehensive Ranking System score based on their human capital characteristics, such as age, education, language skills, and work experience. Approximately every two weeks, IRCC invites the highest scoring applicants to apply for permanent residency.
Those invited to apply for permanent residency have 60 days to submit their applications to IRCC. The IRCC aims to process most applications within 6 months or less.
By 2024, Canada will admit more than 110,000 Express Entry immigrants annually.
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