The processing time for Express Entry applications is expected to return to the service standard of 6 months by July.
Due to an application backlog built up during COVID-19, processing times have soared beyond the 6-month standard for Express Entry.
After pausing all Federal High Skilled (FHS) Worker draws in September 2021, IRCC reduced the processing inventory for these applications by more than half by April 2022. The government expects to reduce the FHS inventory even further before the next all-program draw. This will allow IRCC to return to the service-standard processing time of 6 months for all new Express Entry applications.
According to an internal IRCC memo, draws are expected to be similar in size to those held prior to the pandemic.
Since September 2021, IRCC draws for Provincial Nominee Program candidates only. These draws have been much smaller than FHS draws, typically inviting no more than 1,000 candidates.
Prior to the pandemic, the average number of invitations issued in all-program Express Entry draws was about 3,500. All-program Express Entry draws are likely to be about this size once they resume in July.
Canada is on track to pass Bill C-19, a bill that will change the way Express Entry candidates are selected from the Express Entry pool.
Currently, Canada selects Express Entry candidates based only on their Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS). Bill C-19 would give Canada’s Immigration Minister the authority to invite candidates based on groupings. The minister would establish these groupings based on Canada’s economic goals at the time of the draw.
Canada could then invite candidates based on how they rank in their grouping. For this reason, the CRS requirement for these draws will likely be much lower than a general Express Entry draw.
The government has not confirmed which groupings they will select. They will likely be based on factors such as work experience, educational background, or proficiency in one of Canada’s official languages.
For example, they may hold a draw for candidates with in-demand work experience, or invite exclusively French speakers from the Express Entry pool.
Bill C-19 is still under review, so it may not be in effect for the first all-program Express Entry draws. However, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser is hopeful that he will have these authorities soon.
Canada is in the process of implementing a new way of classifying the occupations of Express Entry candidates. This new system will affect eligibility requirements for the Express Entry program.
Currently, candidates with work experience in NOC skill types A, B, or 0 are eligible to apply for Express Entry. Instead of categorizing occupations by skill type, the new NOC system will use a TEER system. This system will organize occupations by Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER).
Most occupations will remain eligible for Express Entry under the new system. However, an additional 16 occupations that were previously ineligible for Express Entry will become eligible.
IRCC will begin using the newest National Occupational Classification (NOC) system this November 2022.
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