Canada’s most common immigration pathway is the Express Entry System, which was introduced by the Canadian government in 2015. According to this system, the applications for immigration to Canada are processed under Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, or Canadian Experience class programs.
In order to apply through either of these programs and have a successful application, the express entry profiles must meet a certain score which is known as the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). CRS assigns scores to applicants based on a thorough analysis of education, experience, language fluency, age, and other additional factors.
Roughly every two weeks or so, the government of Canada has an Express Entry Draw. This draw is the deciding factor of whether the candidates receive their Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency status in Canada or not.
There is a cut-off score of CRS which varies with every draw. The cut-off figure represents the CRS of the lowest-ranked participant to receive an ITA. Once the ITA is sent out, the applicant has 60 days to complete and submit the official electronic Application for Permanent Residence (eAPR).
Cut-Off Points for Express Entry: Factors Explained
For example, draw no.133 was held on 19th December 2019. The minimum cut off score was declared to be 469, and 3200 ITAs were issued. As compared to the previous draw of 11th December 2019, the CRS cut off score dropped from 472 to 469.
This score varies from draw to draw and can increase or decrease depending on several factors, such as the number of candidates that have applied, the time lapse between the draws, and the total number of ITAs issued.
- For instance, only 500 ITAs were issued on the 128th draw on 16th October 2019, and the CRS cut off score was 357. Similarly, when more ITAs are issued due to the high number of applicants, the cut-off score is also increased. Also, if there are shorter intervals in between draws, the number of applicants is also concurrently lower, and so the cut off CRS score also drops with it.
- Other factors that can influence these cut off scores is the influx of new candidates in the express entry pool, as well as a change in the CRS score of the existing candidates.
The scores can increase or decrease depending on the circumstances of the applicants. For instance, getting a job offer from Canada, or additional experience and completion of a degree, or perhaps a change in the scores of language tests can all alter the CRS score of the candidates already in the express entry pool.
With the high number of candidates that apply through express entry, it is very likely for more than one candidate to have the same cut off score. For this purpose, a tie-breaking rule was instituted in November 2017.
According to the tie-breaking rule, in case of the same cut-off score, candidates are issued ITAs based on the date and time they submitted their profiles for the express entry pool. The candidates whose profiles have been in the pool for a longer time are prioritized.
For the express entry draw no.133, the tie-breaking date was 14th November 2019. It means that profiles that were submitted after this date with the same cut off score are still in the pool, whereas the candidates who completed and submitted their profiles before this date were issued ITAs.
In what circumstances is my application’s time stamp changed?
One thing to note here is that by updating or modifying your profile, your timestamp is not revised and stays the same as the original submission date and time. However, if you completely delete the express entry profile and re-enter the pool with a new one, the date and time stamp change with it too.
Canada Immigration Levels Plan
The Canadian government generates an immigration levels plan annually. This plan highlights the amount of new permanent residents that the government aims to invite through the numerous immigration programs of Canada.
The coming year is all set to see a rise of the number of permanent residents invited through the three express entry managed immigration programs. The rise is expected to be 85,800 as compared to 81,400 this year.
Similarly, the provincial nominee program (PNP) of Canada also rose to 67,800 in 2020, as compared to 61,000 this year. Two territories and nine provinces of Canada have the ‘enhanced’ PNP streams, all of which are linked to the express entry programs. These streams select express entry applicants through provincial nomination which requires lower CRS scores.
With Canada’s larger targets for 2021, there’s always the chance of larger draws and possibly even quicker draws — and that would be great news for Express Entry candidates with lower CRS score. Said David Cohen, who works as a senior partner in the Campbell Cohen immigration law firm of Canada.
The Next Express Entry Draw
There are no dates declared for express entry draws, so you can’t know when the next draw will take place. However, if we look at the previous draws and take an average, it is held approximately every two weeks, and usually on a Wednesday. But sometimes the draws can occur earlier too.
The cut-off scores of the previous draws are not an accurate indicator of future invitations. It is quite possible that candidates below a score of 450 points may also be invited to apply. As we have seen in the past, candidates below the scores of 430 were also invited.
IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada) has set quite an ambitious target for their future, with a high inflow of economic immigrants through the express entry in the next two years, and leniency in CRS cut off.
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Express Entry and ITA
The majority of immigrants come to Canada through express entry programs. In simple terms, the express entry system allows economic admissions through three major immigration programs mentioned above.
- This is done to enhance the economic growth of Canada, giving everyone a fair chance to work and build a better life for themselves in the Great White North.
- Besides this, the Provincial Nominee Program also allows candidates to immigrate to Canada if they are eligible to match the local workforce needs of the province or territory.
Once selected in the express entry draw, the applicants are sent out the Invitation to Apply (ITA) on a priority basis. ITA should not be confused with a job offer from a Canadian employer of a PNP program. It is an auto-generated correspondence sent out to the candidates’ online account, and they can apply for Canadian permanent residence after receiving it.
To Sum Up
With the promising plans and increasing demand of immigrants, the future looks bright for express entry candidates, with better chances of being selected in the regular draws at a lower CRS cut off.
To make sure all documents are prepared accordingly, we recommend consulting a professional – an RCIC. With consultants, chances for successful job hunting are definitely higher!