Canada held its third Express Entry immigration draw of 2021 on January 20.
Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invited 374 Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates with a minimum score of 741.
Express Entry is the main way Canada welcomes skilled workers who want to obtain Canadian permanent residence. Under the 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan, Canada aims to welcome an average of 110,000 immigrants under Express Entry per year. IRCC uses Express Entry to manage skilled worker applications for the following three programs: Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class.
Express Entry is a two step process. In step one, candidates who are eligible under at least one of the three aforementioned skilled worker programs upload their profile onto IRCC’s website. They then get a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) based on their human capital such as their age, education, language skills, and work experience.
In step two, IRCC holds Express Entry draws approximately every two weeks and issues Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for permanent residence to candidates with the highest CRS scores. If a candidate receives an ITA, they can go ahead and submit a permanent residence application to IRCC.
Candidates can receive an additional 600 CRS points if they receive an invitation through an Express Entry-aligned Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). This effectively guarantees they will successfully receive an ITA for permanent residence.
The PNP is the second main way Canada welcomes skilled worker immigrants. Most of Canada’s provinces and territories operate their own immigrant selection systems through the PNP to welcome skilled newcomers who can help address their local labour market needs. Candidates who meet the selection criteria of an Express Entry-aligned PNP stream are eligible to obtain the additional 600 CRS points assuming they receive a provincial nomination invitation.
Express Entry had a record-breaking year in 2020 despite the coronavirus pandemic. Canada issued 108,350 ITAs last year and targets are set to increase over the coming years as Canada looks to welcome more immigrants to support its post-COVID economic recovery.
Canada held its first two Express Entry draws of 2021 on January 6 and January 7. These were program-specific draws. The January 6 draw invited 250 PNP candidates while the January 7 draw invited 4,750 CEC candidates. IRCC held program-specific draws at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 with the rationale such candidates were more likely to be able to avoid COVID-related disruptions. However, Canada concluded 2020 with all-program draws which enabled FSWP and FSTP candidates to also obtain ITAs.
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