On February 16, Wednesday, the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada issued 1,082 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) in yet another record-breaking Provincial Nominee Program Express Entry draw.
The former record was set on February 2 when Canada issued 1,070 ITAs needing a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 674 points, 71 points lower than the previous PNP draw.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) revised the minimum CRS score to 710 on Wednesday. The number of ITAs issued in Express Entry drawings has been steadily increasing this year, with a record 1,036 ITAs issued in January.
Canadian immigration officials are still avoiding all-program drawings, the last of which was held in December 2020. The IRCC said it is concentrating on clearing the current considerable backlog before resuming the issuance of ITAs in greater quantities.
In 2022, Canada has granted 3,580 invitations, entirely to PNP candidates. In 2021, IRCC issued 114,431 ITAs, a record number, to Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and PNP candidates. It surpassed the previous high of 107,350 established in 2020.
During the coronavirus outbreak, IRCC shifted to drawings for PNP and CEC candidates in order to focus on candidates who were already in Canada on work or study permits. The tie-breaking rule was applied in the most recent draw on October 7, 2021, at 6:36:55 EST.
Only those who submitted their Express Entry profiles before this date and time received invites if more than one candidate had the minimal CRS score. This was the fourth batch of Express Entry invites in 2022, and the 216th overall.
According to Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan 2022-2024, which was issued on February 14, the country hopes to accept 55,900 immigrants this year through Express Entry-managed programs. This amount does not include the 83,500 PNP immigrants Canada intends to receive this year, but not all of them will be admitted by Express Entry.
The new Express Entry targets are less than half of what the old multi-year level plan planned for. The Express Entry expectations for next year have also been cut to 75,750 from previous targets. Objectives appear to be returning to more typical levels in 2024 when Canada plans to admit 111,500 people through Express Entry.
The immigration projections for 2023 and beyond may change in the fall, as the immigration minister must present the next multi-year immigration levels plan by November 1. The targets for 2022-2024 were postponed due to the federal election in September.
Canada decreased targets in part to allow IRCC to process its backlog of immigration applications. As of February 1, there were more Express Entry applications than Canada needed to accomplish its targets for the year. The change appears to be part of an IRCC effort to process applications for the Temporary Residence to Permanent Residence (TR2PR) program and meet the target of resettling 40,000 Afghan refugees.
What is Express Entry?
Express Entry is a Canadian immigration system launched on January 1, 2015, that facilitates skilled worker applications under Federal Economic programs. This comprises the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, Canada Experience Class, and portions of the Provincial Nomination Programs.
Stakeholders anticipate that the number of invites given will remain high as Canada works toward its target of 431,645 new permanent residents in 2022. During the COVID-19 crisis, CRS ratings remain difficult to anticipate due to program-specific draws.
With the coronavirus outbreak in March 2020, Canada shifted to program-specific draws for Canadian Experience Class and Provincial Nominee Program candidates. This resulted in a large increase in the number of individual draws over prior years.
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