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Express Entry Invitations Will Be Issued at Pre-Pandemic Rate

Published on: May 31st, 2022

According to an internal IRCC memo, Canada will issue invitations at a pre-pandemic rate once all-program Express Entry draws resume in July.

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The memo from late March 2022 says Express Entry draws should resume normally only once IRCC can meet their 6-month processing standard.

In an announcement last month, Canada’s Immigration Minister confirmed that Express Entry applications would return to a 6-month processing standard and that all-program draws will resume in early July.

How many Express Entry invitations will be issued in July’s all-program draw?

The exact number of invitations that will be issued in the next all-program draw has not yet been revealed. However, it was noted in the memo that, starting July, draw sizes will be similar to those held prior to the pandemic. The memo also confirmed that IRCC will continue to hold draws approximately every two weeks.

The average number of invitations issued in draws prior to March 2020 was around 3,500. Therefore, the July draw will likely be around this size.

How will IRCC select Express Entry candidates in July?

The Canadian government is currently in the process of passing Bill C-19. The bill would amend Canada’s immigration act to give more control to the immigration minister in selecting candidates. Instead of basing invitations solely on a minimum CRS score, Bill C-19 would allow the minister to invite candidates based on groupings. This may be any combination of factors such as work experience, language proficiency, or education.

In these draws, the minister would publish each round’s economic goal and the eligibility criteria on the IRCC website.

It is likely that IRCC would continue to target a minimum CRS score to determine who receives an invitation within a particular grouping.

What could the next all-program Express Entry draw look like?

Many hopeful candidates in the Express Entry pool may wonder what this means for their chances in the next all-program draws. Here are three hypothetical scenarios of how all-program Express Entry draws may look like once they resume in July:

General draw

If the Canadian government does not pass Bill C-19 before July, they may hold a general draw. The immigration minister would invite candidates from the Express Entry pool based solely on a CRS cut-off.

However, due to the prolonged pause on all-program draws, there is currently a buildup of high-ranking Express Entry candidates. Consequently, if IRCC were to invite 3,500 candidates in this scenario, the minimum CRS cut-off would be well above 500.

The government has previously expressed concerns that this type of draw would result in a very homogenous group of candidates.

Occupation-specific draw

If the immigration minister has the authority to invite candidates based on groupings once the all-program draws resume, the next all-program Express Entry draw could target candidates with experience in one or more in-demand occupations.

In addition to experience in certain in-demand occupations, this type of draw may also set other minimum criteria such as education, or language proficiency.

According to a Statistics Canada report from the last quarter of 2021, job vacancies were highest among the accommodation and food services, health care and social assistance, retail trade, manufacturing, and construction industries.

The Canadian government may use the next all-program Express Entry draw to help fill these labour market gaps.

Draw for French-speakers

The Canadian government aims to reach a target of 4.4% of French-speaking immigrants outside of Quebec by 2023. For this reason, Canada may hold an all-program round of invitations exclusively for French speakers.

The immigration minister may also target other factors, such as educational background, or level of proficiency in both of Canada’s official languages.

Express Entry remains a key pathway to permanent residence for candidates within Canada and abroad. With new changes arising every day, now is the time to enter the Express Entry pool.

Don’t miss your chance of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residence. Find out if you’re eligible to submit an Express Entry profile today by completing our free online assessment form!

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