Federal Skilled Workers-only Express Entry draw held in Canada for the first time under which 3,300 candidates were issued invitations by IRCC.
CRS cut-off score was 489 in this draw. On 2nd February, the 4th Express Entry draw of Express Entry was held which was only applicable to candidates in the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP).
In the history of Express Entry since its formation in 2015, an FSWP-specific draw was held for the first time. This was the second program-specific draw of 2023 following the results on 1 February, in which ITA was obtained only by the candidates who had already received the provincial nomination.
Express Entry in 2023
Express Entry draws usually take place every 2 weeks on Wednesdays. Since Express Entry was formed in 2015, draws in 2023 have deviated very much from the routine. After an unexpected 6-week pause, the first draw of this year occurred following the draw on November 23, on January 11. With a minimum CRS score of 507, 5,500 candidates were invited on January 11.
With the lowest cut-off scores, it was the highest number of candidates since all program draws resumed after an 18-month pandemic hiatus between December 2020 and July 2022. There was another draw held on January 18 that invited the same number of candidates but with a much lesser CRS cut-off score of 490. As ITAs are not usually issued to candidates in consecutive weeks by IRCC, this draw came as a surprise.
Express Entry Draw held by IRCC for only PNP Candidates
The most recent draw took place on February 1 after an expected 2-week pause but was the first draw since June 2022 that invited only Express Entry candidates who had received a provincial nomination. Holding program-specific draws was not usual even before the pandemic.
PNP-only Express Entry draw was not held by IRCC since the all-program draws pause during the Covid-19 pandemic. Express Entry draws continued in the Express Entry pool for candidates who had already received Provincial Nominations during the pause. Candidates nominated by a province on their Express Entry application receive additional 600 CRS points.
What to expect next?
There is a probability of modification in Express Entry this year following the royal assent of Bill C-19. To fill urgent gaps in the labour force and meet Canada’s economic priorities, authority is provided to the immigration minister as per the new law.
Issuing of ITA will not be based solely on CRS scores, draws are expected to be held by IRCC that target specific attributes. IRCC completed public consultations recently, on what the new attribute-based categories could look like. New categories will be announced before the draws as stated by the department.