Express Entry draws have resumed, which means that candidates who are eligible for all programmes can now apply for permanent residence.
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invited 1,500 Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence on July 6. The cut-off score for the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) was 557.
IRCC issued 5,000 Invitations to Apply on December 23, 2020, the last all-program draw before the pause (ITAs). Following that, IRCC only held program-specific draws for Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and Permanent Nominee Program (PNP) candidates. After September 21, 2021, CEC draws were halted because IRCC could no longer process CEC applications within the six-month service standard.
Now that Express Entry has been resumed, here are some key points to consider if you're debating whether to apply.
1. New Applications are being processed in Six Months
According to Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, IRCC can now process new Express Entry applications in six months.
According to publicly available IRCC briefing notes, IRCC was able to clear nearly 50,000 people from its inventory between September 2021 and February 2022. The document, which was due to be signed by March 31, 2022, stated that IRCC's Express Entry inventory is sufficient to meet 2022 goals, but that to meet 2023 goals, IRCC would have to begin issuing invitations between July and September.
According to the 2022-2024 Immigration Levels Plan, IRCC expects to welcome 55,900 Express Entry candidates who do not have PNPs in 2022. The IRCC then plans to admit 75,750 of these candidates in 2023. The targets are expected to rise to 111,500 by 2024. To meet 2024 targets, IRCC will need to significantly increase draw sizes well in advance. These plans may be modified before November 1, when the new multi-year immigration levels plan is due to be tabled.
All of this to say, we know that enrolment in these programmes will continue to grow in accordance with the levels plan targets. The ability of IRCC to maintain this standard, as well as Canada's need for immigrants, will most likely continue to influence draw sizes.
2. Canada is still in Desperate Needs of Skilled Immigrants
The most recent snapshot of Canada's labour market emphasises the country's need for newcomers. In June, Canada's labour force shrank, owing primarily to people aged 55 and older leaving the workforce and fewer people looking for work. At the same time, there are approximately 1 million job openings in Canada, owing primarily to the need for summer employment.
We've known for a long time that Canada's 9 million baby boomers would reach retirement age this decade. According to a recent RBC survey, one-third of Canadians are retiring early, and three out of every ten pre-retirees are changing their retirement date due to the pandemic.
Simultaneously, Canada's fertility rate fell to a record low of 1.4 children per woman in 2020. To replace itself, a population requires 2.1 babies per woman. Below that, the new generation of natural-born Canadians will be insufficient to replace retirees leaving the labour force.
One strategy for addressing labour shortages is to welcome many immigrants. Every year, Canada hopes to increase its population by about 1% through immigration. Most of these immigrants are economically disadvantaged. Until this year, Express Entry was the primary route for new immigrants. According to the current level plan, Express Entry will be the primary programme again by 2024.
3. Reforms are on the way
Canada recently passed legislation allowing the immigration minister to invite Express Entry candidates based on economic criteria. Minister Fraser has stated that because their invitation to apply is based on economic need, he anticipates an increase in retention rates for immigrants through the Express Entry system.
Few details have been provided about how these draws might look, but they could be based on a candidate's occupation, language ability, or region.
4. PNPs can boost your score
If you are eligible for Express Entry, being in the pool may allow you to be invited to apply for Canadian immigration. It may also make you eligible for a provincial nomination, which would increase your score by 600 CRS points and place you at the top of the Express Entry pool. Even if their CRS score is less than 400, Canadian provinces may invite candidates to apply for a provincial nomination. For example, Alberta has been known to invite candidates with test scores as low as 300.
Your Express Entry profile is valid for 12 months. You can improve your CRS score and increase your chances of receiving an ITA during this time.
There are no guarantees in Canadian immigration, but Express Entry gives you the opportunity to obtain permanent residency six months after you apply.
The first step is to determine whether you qualify for Express Entry, and New World Immigration is 100% equipped to answer that important question for you.