As of July 6, Canada resumed all-program Express Entry draws. Since then, the number of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) issued in each draw has increased by 250, causing the required CRS score to decrease.
Having said that, the cut-off scores are still quite high. Candidates had to have a minimum score of 533 in the most recent Express Entry draw. To obtain an ITA with a score this high, candidates must be young, highly educated with skilled work experience, and additional factors such as being bilingual.
In general, the more Express Entry candidates Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invites, the lower the CRS cut-off. However, due to pent-up demand, there are currently many Express Entry candidates in the pool with scores above 501.
Since December 2020, IRCC has paused draws for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) has been paused since September 2021. Because there were no draws inviting them to apply during this time, the number of candidates scoring more than 501 in the pool increased. As a result, the number of high-scoring candidates in the pool has increased dramatically since the pandemic. On March 3, 2020, the last draw before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, there were approximately 21,900 Express Entry candidates with scores ranging from 450 to 600 in the pool. There were 66,813 Express Entry candidates in the same age range in the August 3, 2022, draw.
According to the most recent figures available on the government website, the number of Express Entry candidates with scores ranging from 501 to 600 is approximately 8,975. Although this figure represents fewer candidates in this range than the July 20th Express Entry draw, it is still higher than the July 6th figure. This indicates that more high-scoring candidates are entering the pool, but not being invited quickly enough to keep the CRS cut-off from falling.
Another factor that could influence how low the CRS score falls is the number of Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates in the pool. The provinces determine this figure because they are the ones who issue nominations. It then depends on how quickly the Express Entry candidate responds to an invitation to apply for a nomination (if they wish) and how long the province takes to process the nomination.
The increase of 250 ITAs per draw in the last three draws has been sufficient to offset the intake of new Express Entry and PNP candidates. If IRCC continues to add 250 ITAs every two weeks, it will take 30 weeks for draw sizes to reach the 5,000 seen in December 2020. That date would be March 8, 2023.
Of course, IRCC is not required to hold draws every two weeks, and the department is free to change invitations as it sees fit. As we have seen throughout the pandemic, the number of invitations issued is dependent on the department's ability to maintain its processing standard of 80% of applications completed in six months, as well as the multi-year immigration levels plan.
In 2022, IRCC anticipates welcoming approximately 55,900 Express Entry candidates. Internal briefing notes indicate that this figure will include people in the immigration backlog. New Express Entry applicants, on the other hand, are expected to be among the 75,750 targeted for 2023. The Express Entry target will then be raised to 111,500 in 2024, which is comparable to annual Express Entry targets in 2021.
Keep the following factors in mind if you want your CRS scores to drop so you can get an ITA:
The IRCC does not make advance announcements about draw strategies. It can hold draws whenever it wants and set draw sizes according to its discretion. However, the Express Entry targets in the immigration levels plan, which is set to be updated by November 1, can have an impact on draw sizes.
As more invitations are issued, CRS scores tend to fall. An increase in PNP candidates or more high-scoring Express Entry candidates in the pool, on the other hand, can have an impact on score cut-offs increasing. Due of the 18-month pause in all-program draws, there is already a larger-than-normal number of candidates in the pool with scores above 501.
IRCC resumed draws in July because the department had cleared the backlog of applications sufficiently to meet its processing standard. Candidates who are invited to apply should expect their applications to be processed within six months.
Beginning in early 2023, IRCC will hold draws based on an economic goal, such as occupation, language proficiency, or another factor. As a result, CRS scores and programme types may no longer be the sole determinants of whether someone receives an ITA.
The provinces of Canada are also requesting increased immigration authority. Four immigration ministers from Canadian provinces, including Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, signed a letter requesting more control over immigration. Both Saskatchewan and Ontario want more control over immigration and more nominations to invite immigrants. If they are successful, there may be more opportunities for Express Entry candidates to gain permanent residence through the PNP if they are successful.