Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is working towards pre pandemic targets of Express Entry invitations after 18 months’ pause and resumption of draws. A lot of highly skilled and economic class immigrants want to come to Canada through a Federal High skilled immigration program. Express Entry management system is responsible for managing their applications. Clearing backlog of applications and raising immigration targets for the coming years was the main function of department in past year.
CRS scores and number of ITAs
Candidates are required to do 2 things after meeting Express Entry Program criteria –
Gather necessary supporting documentation
Upload profile on IRCC website
Candidates will be ranked according to Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores in the application pool against each other, applicants with highest scores are more likely to get Invitation to Apply (ITA). The most recent Express Entry draw saw the lowest minimum CRS score at 491. There has been a decline of 66 points over 10 draws since draws started again. The CRS score for first draw in July was 557. Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced that all program Express Entry draws would resume in july this year. Each subsequent draw saw a decline in minimum score after draws resumed on July 6. Several first draws saw drop between 6 to 8 points and last 3 draws saw smallest drops between 4 to 2 points.
There were a total 23 draws in 2022 and 46,538 ITAs were issued to Express Entry candidates as shown by Ministerial Instructions. Draws between January 2022 and July 2022 are also included in this number, which were exclusively for candidates in Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP). There were 35750 ITAs for just all program draws which began in July and spanned the rest of the year. After July 6, a total of 1500 candidates were invited. Due to pause in draws for 6 months, overall number of ITAs is lower that it has been in the past. July 6 draw was smallest but the numbers increased over the following 10 draws, the numbers increased by increments of either 250 or 500 candidates each time reaching the highest number of ITAs on October 26, November 9 and 23 with 4750 candidates invited in each draw.
Express Entry changes in 2023
IRCC officially made the transition from NOC 2016 to NOC 2021 on November 16. Work experience was required by Express entry candidates under NOC 2016, classified under NOC skill types 0, A or B but NOC 2021 is oriented towards TEER system, i.e., Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities. There are 16 occupations newly eligible for Express Entry programs.
The immigration minister now has the authority to invite express entry candidates based on economic need rather than CRS score as the main criteria under the Bill C-19 which received royal assent in Canadian’s Parliament last June.
The minister said although Express Entry gives Canada a competitive advantage, there is always room for improvement.
Fraser stated “Where [the express entry] system could be improved is at present if there are particular challenges that your economy is facing, it might be facing in the long term. We don’t have ability to tailor the invitations to apply to the Express Entry system to meet those in demand skills or qualifications.”