Express Entry Draw #203 | 635 PNP Candidates Selected

Published on: September 1st, 2021

Canada has held yet another draw for Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates. In the 203rd Express Entry draw, 635 profiles were invited to apply for Canadian permanent residency.

All candidates selected in today’s draw had previously been nominated by a province through a nominee program aligned with the Express Entry system. Provinces have continued to issue invitations to Express Entry candidates throughout the pandemic, helping Canada to meet ambitious immigration targets.

Candidates needed a CRS score of at least 764 to receive an invitation in this draw. The CRS cut-off for PNP draws is higher than other draws due to the additional 600 CRS points given to nominees. Prior to receiving a nomination, the lowest ranking candidate in today’s Express Entry draw had an CRS score of just 164.

Draw Summary

Draw Number: 203
Date of Draw: September 1, 2021
Number of Invitations Issued: 635
Minimum CRS: 764
Program Specified: Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
Tie-breaking rule: April 12th, 2021

How can I be nominated by a province?

Each province has their own criteria for nominee programs; many require some type of connection to the province to be eligible to apply. For example, work experience, a job offer, a family member, or education in the province.

Some programs require candidates meet the minimum requirements to apply to the province for nomination. Other programs operate with an Expression of Interest (EOI) system. Provincial Expression of Interest systems operate similar to Express Entry; like Express Entry, candidates submit a profile that the province scores with their unique points system. Provinces use a candidate’s scores to decide who receives an invitation in their draws; those who meet the minimum points cut-off (often in addition to other criteria) will receive an invitation to apply for nomination.

Many PNPs also hold draws and invite candidates directly from the Express Entry pool to apply for nomination. These draw requirements often change from draw to draw in response labour market needs. Therefore, just by having an Express Entry profile, there is always a chance of receiving an invitation to apply for nomination.

Candidates that successfully receive a provincial nomination that is aligned with Express Entry will receive an additional 600 points toward their CRS score. As a result, a provincial nomination essentially guarantees an invitation to apply for permanent residency.

Throughout the pandemic, provinces have continued to use their nominee programs to meet labour market demand. These provincial nominee programs can also give candidates without any ties to Canada the chance to receive a provincial nomination and Canadian permanent residency.

Invitations issued in 2021

Canada remains on track to meet their ambitious immigration targets for 2021. To date this year, Canada has invited 106,414 candidates to apply for permanent residence through the Express Entry system. Around the same time last year, Canada had invited just 69,950 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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