Express Entry Draw #204 | 2,000 CEC Candidates Selected

The CRS cut-off has increased to 462 in Canada’s 204th Express Entry round of invitations. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada invited just 2,000 Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates in today’s draw.

All candidates selected in today’s Express Entry draw had at least one year of skilled Canadian work experience within the last three years.

Express Entry draws were typically held approximately every two weeks, normally on a Wednesday. Since the pandemic, this pattern has changed. Express Entry draws began targeting PNP candidates on a Wednesday, and CEC candidates the next day. Two weeks later, the pattern repeats.

However, last week, Canada held a PNP draw only, omitting the usual CEC draw the following day.  This divergence from the typical schedule, coupled with the higher CRS cut-off in today’s draw may suggest IRCC is making room for an upcoming Federal Skilled Worker draw.  Canada has not targeted the Federal Skilled Worker category since December 23rd, 2020.

Draw Summary

Draw Number: 204
Date of Draw: September 14, 2021
Number of Invitations Issued: 2,000
Minimum CRS: 462
Program Specified: Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
Tie-breaking rule: September 11th, 2021

How can I be eligible for a CEC Express Entry draw?

To be eligible for the Canadian Experience Class, candidates must have at least one year of Canadian work experience. The experience must have been completed in a skilled occupation with valid authorization within the past three years prior to applying. Eligible applicants must also score a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 on each area of the official language exam. If the Canadian work experience is in NOC skill type B, candidates require only a CLB 5.

Upon submitting a profile, Express Entry candidates are ranked by a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and given a CRS score. In regular Express Entry draws, Canada targets certain candidates with CRS scores above the chosen cut-off.

Invitations issued in 2021

Canada remains on track to meet their ambitious immigration targets for 2021. To date this year, Canada has invited 107,779 candidates to apply for permanent residence through the Express Entry system. Around the same time last year, Canada had invited about 70,000 candidates. This higher-than-normal number of invitations is likely due to the historic draw in February 2021, which invited over 25,000 CEC candidates.

Canada aims to welcome a record-breaking number of immigrants in 2021 of 401,000. Of this total, Canada plans to target 232,500 economic newcomers; 108,500 will include Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, and Canadian Experience Class candidates. Another 80,800 immigrants will include Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) applicants.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is the fastest and most popular pathway for newcomers seeking to settle permanently in Canada. Express Entry organizes three main federal economic programs for people who wish to acquire Canadian permanent residenceFederal Skilled Worker (FSW), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and Federal Skilled Trades (FST).

Candidates who are eligible to submit an Express Entry profile are given a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. The score is used to rank candidates against one another in the Express Entry pool. Only the highest ranking candidates will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian Permanent Residence. The Comprehensive Ranking System assigns points based on factors such as age, skilled work experience, education, knowledge of the official languages, and connections to Canada.

After receiving an ITA, a candidate has 60 days to apply for Canadian permanent residency.

How Express Entry draws work

Approximately every two weeks, Canada holds an Express Entry draw, inviting the most competitive candidates to apply for Canadian Permanent Residence.

In each round of invitations, Canada will target both a minimum CRS score and immigration program. Prior to the pandemic, most Express Entry draws did not specify an immigration program. This means that anyone who met the CRS cut-off received an invitation, regardless of the program they had applied under. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Canada has mainly targeted candidates who were likely to already be in Canada. Since March 2020, aside from a brief period between September and December 2020, most draws have targeted candidates eligible under the Canadian Experience Class or a Provincial Nominee Program.

Each Express Entry draw will also specify a tie-breaking rule. This means that if an individual’s CRS score matches that of the lowest ranking candidate, they must have also submitted their profile before the tie-breaking rule date.

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