The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, confirmed in a news release issued directly by the IRCC on April 22, 2022, that draws for Express Entry will resume in July, and that applicants currently in the Express Entry pool will be invited to apply for Permanent Residency.
After a hiatus in the Express Entry drawings since December 2020, we have now learned that they will resume in July 2022. The suspension in the drawings and subsequent intake of applications was caused by the large backlog that had accumulated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In late 2021, it was reported that the IRCC had a backlog of 1.8 million applications that needed to be finalised. According to an internal IRCC memo, the draws will restart after they have reduced their present backlog by at least 50 percent.
With the draws on hold for the most part since 2020, Canada's labour shortages have increased dramatically.
In September 2021, it was estimated that over a million jobs in Canada remained vacant. The IRCC has also stated that they processed over 100 000 work permits in the first quarter of 2022, nearly double the number in the same period in 2021, showing that the skill shortage is worsening.
If you have not yet started your first phase of Canadian immigration, it is strongly advised that you do so in order to be prepared for Canada's July Invitational Round.