Invitations issued to 5,000 candidates in two express Entry Draws as immigration targets go up for 2021. Last year saw a record-breaking number of ITAs issued for Express Entry and going by these two recent draws, this year promises to be even bigger!
January 6 2021 Draw:
The first Express Entry draw of 2021 was held on January 6 for candidates with provincial nominations. 250 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) were issued by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to candidates who had a minimum required Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 813.
A score of 813 may appear to be high but is a very reasonable number considering candidates who receive a provincial nomination are automatically entitled to an additional 600 points on their overall score. Their profiles are also prioritized above those of other applicants.
Why is this significant? For many individuals who struggle with getting a high CRS score, the provincial nomination can be a saving grace and make all the difference in whether they get an invitation or not.
The CRS score is based on human capital factors like the applicant’s age, educational experience, work experience, skill-set, and their language proficiency in English and / or French, just to name a few.
Knowledge in one of Canada’s official languages is an enormous plus, in fact, in late October 2020, Minister Marco Mendicino announced that the number of points awarded to bilingual candidates would be increased from 30 to 50 points.
During a regular Express Entry draw, qualified candidates with the highest scores are issued ITAs with a deadline to submit their application. In the event of a tie between two candidates, the tie-breaking rule is applied by IRCC.
A tie-breaking rule means that in addition to being ranked by CRS scores, candidates are also ranked by the date and time of their profile submission into the Express Entry system. For example: If two candidates have similar profiles and qualifications and the exact same score, the person whose profile has been in the pool for longer will get the ITA. Even if it’s just by one minute.
January 7 2021 Draw:
Following the January 6 draw, a second Express Entry draw was held the very next day on January 7 2021 resulting in the issuing of 4,750 ITAs to successful candidates.
The invitations were issued to Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates who had a score of 461 or higher on the CRS. CRS scores for CEC draws usually have a lower cut off score since the pool of candidates is much smaller as opposed to the all-program draws which selects candidates from the entire Express Entry pool.
For this draw, the tie-breaking rule was used to determine which candidates would receive an ITA. It was decided that September 12 2020 at 20:46:32 UTC would be the cut-off date and only candidates who had submitted their profiles by this date and time were eligible for this draw. The draw results were released on January 8 2021.
This is the second round to be held in two days, within the first week of the new year bringing up the total number of candidates to be issued with ITAs to 5,000.
What Happens Next?
The successful candidates from the draws can now apply for their permanent residency to IRCC and look forward to entering the country within the year.
Once IRCC receives the application and supporting documents, they have the final say and they either approve or deny the applicant.
If approved, the candidate is sent a Confirmation of Permanent Residence. Once they have this in hand, the final step in the candidate’s immigration journey is to actually land in Canada! At which point, they can apply for their permanent residency card and eventually apply for Canadian citizenship.
In the last quarter of 2020, IRCC was holding mainly all-program draws with declining CRS scores while issuing a high number of ITAs. This in itself is not the norm as all program draws tend to require a higher CRS score since candidates are pulled from the entire pool.
But it’s possible the scores dipped because IRCC was holding much larger draws in an attempt to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on Canada’s 2020 immigration targets.
Even though 2020 saw a record-breaking year for Express Entry draws, there can be no doubt the pandemic had a significant and negative impact on Canada’s immigration plans for the year.
While it’s much too early to know one way or the other, the number of draws held so far are certainly promising. It’s clear Canada has started the year determined to meet its 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan targets. Canada plans to welcome 401,000 newcomers this year, 411,000 in 2022 and 421,000 in 2023.
Almost a quarter of this year’s newcomers, 108,500 will come through an Express Entry managed program. This number will increase to 110,500 in 2022 and go up yet again in 2023 to 113,750.
Even though there is a lot of uncertainty swirling around the second wave of COVID and its potential impact on immigration and border closures, IRCC is still accepting submissions for their Express Entry pool.
Anyone who is thinking of creating a profile and throwing their hat in the ring, now is an excellent time to do so because chances are high draws will be held on a regular basis and since tie-breaking rules are implemented whenever necessary, it is recommended that applications be submitted sooner rather than later!