Visa Crunch

Express Entry: Canada held third PNP draw in a row, the count reaches 20 draws in 2021

Canada held another Express Entry lottery for persons seeking permanent residency who had received province nominations on October 13. Candidates with scores of at least 720 received 681 invites from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

By virtue of receiving a nomination from a Provincial Nominee Program, all invited candidates got an automatic 600 points (PNP). The lowest-scoring candidates would only have a score of 120 if they were not nominated.

The IRCC invited 761 candidates with scores of at least 742 in the preceding PNP draw. With a reduced CRS criterion, this draw is smaller than the previous one, implying that there were fewer PNP candidates with better scores in the pool. IRCC has held bi-weekly Express Entry lotteries throughout the year, inviting only PNP and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Canada imposed travel restrictions, making it difficult for out-of-country applicants to complete their permanent residency applications. IRCC continues to host PNP drawings despite the fact that these candidates were not necessary for the country as part of its commitment to provincial and territorial immigration strategy.

Candidates for the CEC are almost certainly already in Canada, as they must have at least one year of work experience in a specialized vocation in Canada. The Express Entry system has had an exceptional year. Last year at this time, IRCC had begun holding all-program draws, which included candidates for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP). Since December 2020, IRCC has not held an all-program Express Entry draw.

Despite this, IRCC has sent out an unprecedented number of invitations to PNP and CEC candidates this year. Last year, IRCC awarded a total of 1,07,350 Express Entry visas, which was a new high. With three months left in the year, the total number of Express Entry invitations has already reached 110,377. On February 13, IRCC increased the number of ITAs by inviting every single Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidate to the pool.

The IRCC increased the number of ITAs by inviting every single Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidate in the pool on February 13. Depending on whether the draw was for the CEC or the PNP, the minimum scores have risen and fallen. The number of candidates in the pool and the number of invites issued by IRCC in a given round both influence minimum scores. Only the highest-scoring applicants are invited. The candidates who receive provincial nominations receive 600 points added to their score, PNP draws have higher cut-offs.

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