express entry

March: A Record-Breaking Month for Express Entry

Published on: April 6th, 2023

In March 2023, Express Entry broke four major records, including setting the record for the most Invitations to Apply (ITAs) issued in a single all-program draw since the application management system began operating in 2015.

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Express Entry is a system used by the Canadian government to manage applications for Canadian permanent residency. Express Entry uses a point-based system, the CRS, to rank candidates’ profiles. The system manages three main programs:

Candidates who wish to apply for Canadian permanent residency through Express Entry should ensure that they meet the eligibility requirements and have a strong profile that meets the program’s criteria. They should also consider other immigration options, such as provincial nominee programs, which offer additional pathways to Canadian permanent residency with lower eligibility requirements.

A Historic Month

Canada’s Express Entry had a historic month in March 2023. Four draws were held in March and a total of 21,667 ITAs were issued. This was the most ITAs issued in a single month in over two years and the second-most of all time. 

March also saw the largest all-program draw in history, three times in a row. On March 15th, 7,000 candidates were invited to apply for Canadian PR. This broke the previous record of 5,500 ITAs issued on the January 18th draw. It was also remarkable, that the March 23rd and 29th draws each also invited 7,000 candidates. This helped to make March such a record-breaking month adding up to 21,000 ITAs issued over three weeks. 

March also saw the lowest CRS score in 27 months, a much-welcomed sign. The Comprehensive Ranking System score is an important indicator of how likely a candidate is to be selected to receive an ITA. Only those with a CRS score above the cut-off will receive an ITA, meaning those with higher scores are better situated to receive an ITA. 

March 29th’s draw saw a CRS score of 484. This was the lowest score seen since the December 23rd, 2020’s draw which had a score of 468. The decrease in the CRS score was helped by the frequent number of draws and the high number of ITAs issued resulted in a decrease in CRS score, a positive sign for many. The increase in ITAs reflects the government’s commitment to welcoming skilled workers and their families to Canada, as part of its long-term economic growth strategy.

Whats Next for Express Entry?

Future draws are hard to predict, especially this year with Express Entry draws not following a clear pattern and there exists no rule for when or how frequently draws must be conducted. 

However, it is expected that the IRCC will begin holding targeted draws at some point in Q2 this year. While there are still a lot of questions around these draws, they will likely be held to target those with specific skills or experiences such as language skills, occupations etc. These targeted draws are expected to help the Canadian government better fill specific labour shortages by giving them more control to target those with the most in-demand skills and experiences.

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