Visa Crunch

An overview of Canadian Express Entry in the record-breaking year of 2020

The year 2020 has been added in Canadian history books and will be known as the record-breaking year for Canadian Express Entry System.

The Canadian express entry is an online system that is used to manage the applications of skilled workers for permanent residence and identifying which of them are eligible for the invite.

Express Entry oversees Canada’s three main economic classes which are – the Federal Skilled Workers Program, The Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class. ITA’s are issued to a certain number of top-ranked candidates in the Express Entry pools to apply for their permanent residence in the regular draws that usually takes place every two weeks and incorporates the vast majority of candidates from the three main economic classes managed by express entry.  In the process of selecting candidates to be invited for permanent residence, the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score remains the top priority and the primary factor

In 2020, Canada has issued a whopping 107,350 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to Express Entry candidates. This achievement is commendable as Canada was hit with long term lockdowns due to the pandemic and saw a steep decline in the immigration rates. Since the introduction of the Express Entry system in 2015, this was the highest invitation total which was issued to the pool of candidates in Canada’s three Federal High-Skilled immigration programs—

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

Canada held a total of 36 Express Entry draws in 2020, which is 10 more than the previous year. This year, Canada broke the record for highest number of ITAs issued in a single draw and for the lowest number of ITAs issued in a single draw as Canada issued 5000 ITAs in the month of November and December and had also issued a measly 118 ITAs in a PNP only draw in the month of April.

There was also a significant drop in the required CRS score cutoff in the Express Entry draws. CRS is the scoring system that reviews the profiles of applicants and determines which of them are eligible for an Express Entry invite. The score is based on several human capital factors such as Age, Education, Work experience, and Language proficiency. The cut-off CRS score can be influenced by certain factors such as the size of the draw and period between draws. This implies that the CRS cut-off score would be lower if the pool size is bigger and if there is less time between two draws and vice-versa. The lowest CRS cutoff score for 2020 was 415 in an FSTP draw and 468 on December 23 for an all-program draw.

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