EditorialExpress Entry

Express Entry Q1 2022 report: Canada sees one of the lowest number of invitations issued

During the first three months of 2022, Canada held record-high PNP draws, however, the total number of Express Entry candidates who received invitations has been quite low at only 6,470.  


Q1 2022: Overview of Express Entry Draws 

The first quarter of the new year sees one of the lowest number of invitations issued as IRCC continues to work on backlog of applications

During the first three months of 2022, Canada held record-high PNP draws, however, the total number of Express Entry candidates who received invitations has been quite low at only 6,470. 

One of the reasons for the relatively slow start may be linked to the significant backlog Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is dealing with. 

All 6,470 candidates who were invited in the first quarter are all Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates. 

When compared to previous first quarters, 2022’s has been the smallest since the launch of the Express Entry program in 2015. The smallest quarter ever was Q4 in 2021 when 4,735 candidates were selected during draws. 

The year started off quite well with the first seven draws resulting in record-breaking draws. During the largest draw, held on February 16, 2022, over 1,000 candidates received an Invitation to Apply (ITAs) for their permanent residency. 

However, the trend did not continue resulting in a drop. The main reason for this drop is the backlog of Express Entry applications. 

Last September, IRCC stopped holding draws for Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates for very similar reasons. The backlog in CEC applications had increased the processing time to well beyond the six-month standard. There are currently 10,400 CEC applications that need to be processed, there is a good chance it could be cleared before summer. 

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) applications have also come at a standstill. The last draw for FSWP candidates was held in December 2020. The backlog for these applications have grown dramatically and the processing time is now closer to 36 months instead of 6 months! 

IRCC has halted these draws in order to deal with the backlog and go back to a normal processing time. The number of Express Entry applications that still need to be processed is high enough to meet the 2022 immigration targets. The new federal budget has also allocated a significant amount of money and resources to reducing the backlog.

Since the pandemic began, IRCC has been focusing almost entirely on issuing invitations to candidates already living in the country as a way of transitioning temporary residents to permanent residents. Processing these applications means not having to deal with the challenges of border closures. 

Sean Fraser, the Minister of IRCC, has hinted that FSWP draws may resume at some point in the spring. 

Related posts
Express Entry

Express Entry Program: Outlook for Second Week of May

Express Entry

Express Entry Program: Outlook for Fourth Week of April

EditorialImmigration

Budget 2022 Outlines

Express Entry

Express Entry Program: Outlook for Third Week of April

Get started on the Road to Permanent Residence

Sign up to our newsletter to receive our PR Roadmap delivered straight to your inbox, along with the latest immigration news!