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Express Entry Draw #211 | Canada Holds Largest PNP Draw of the Year

Published on: December 14th, 2021

Canada issued a new round of invitations to Express Entry candidates on December 10, 2021. The most recent Express Entry draw targeted individuals with a provincial nomination certificate.

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Draw Summary

Draw Number: 211
Date of Draw: December 10, 2021
Number of Invitations Issued: 1,032
Minimum CRS: 698
Program Specified: Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
Tie-breaking rule: September 10, 2021

As all-program draws remain suspended, provinces continue to invite foreign workers directly from the Express Entry pool.

This year, Canada has invited over 14,000 PNP candidates under the Express Entry system. As Canada pauses all-program draws, provinces continue to use the Express Entry pool to select nominee candidates that fill local labour market gaps.

Candidates that receive a nomination through an Express Entry-aligned nominee program receive an additional 600 points toward their CRS score. For this reason, the CRS cut-off for PNP-specific draws is typically much higher than draws for other federal programs.

Prior to receiving a provincial nomination, the lowest-ranking candidate had a CRS score of just 98.

Why hasn’t Canada held an all-program Express Entry draw?

According to data from Immigration, Refugee, Citizenship Canada (IRCC), as of October 27, Canada had a backlog of close to 1.8 million immigration applications.

Much of this backlog is attributed to travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. IRCC was postponing the finalization of applications as COPR holders were unable to confirm their status for much of the pandemic.

In addition, 75% of IRCC staff were on leave at the height of the pandemic, contributing to the severe backlog and furthering processing delays.

To mitigate further delays, an internal memo from IRCC has revealed that the department plans to pause Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) draws until they have tackled the immense backlog of applications. Instead, Canada has been holding Express Entry draws for Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates only. This will help to limit the number of new applications IRCC needs to process until the backlog is under control.

With more efficient processing measures in place, IRCC is processing applications at a faster rate than ever seen before.

As Canada remains on track to meet ambitious targets for the year, the post-COVID-19 immigration landscape becomes increasingly promising for Express Entry candidates.

Should I enter the Express Entry pool now if I don't have a PNP nomination?

While Canada continues to hold Express Entry draws targeting Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates, there are many reasons why FSW and CEC candidates should still enter the Express Entry pool.

Provinces are continuing to send invitations to candidates in the Express Entry pool. Just by having a profile in the pool, you have the opportunity to be selected by a province to apply for provincial nomination.

In addition, an all-program Express Entry draw could be held at any time. Having a profile in the Express Entry pool will ensure you don’t miss an Invitation to Apply (ITA) in case an all-program draw is held.

Finally, there are no limits to the number of times you can enter the Express Entry pool. If you don’t receive an invitation within the 12 months that your profile is valid, you could re-enter the Express Entry pool for the chance to be invited again.

How can I be nominated by a province?

Each province operates their own nominee programs, each with its own requirements; many require a connection to the province to apply (work experience, a job offer, a family member, or education in the province). Other programs may operate with an Expression of Interest (EOI) system.

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 to labour market needs. For this reason, just by having an Express Entry profile, there is always a chance of receiving an invitation to apply for a nomination.

Invitations issued in 2021

Canada aims to welcome a record-breaking 401,000 immigrants in 2021. Included in this total, Canada plans to target 232,500 economic newcomers, including:

  • 108,500 Federal Skilled Workers, Federal Skilled Trades, and Canadian Experience Class candidates
  • 80,800 Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates

So far this year, Canada has issued a total of 113,685 invitations.


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