The Government of Canada conducted its largest Express Entry draw of 2018 on Wednesday, June 13, issuing 3,750 invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence to candidates with Comprehensive Ranking System scores of 451 or above.
Prior to the 3,750 Invitations to Apply, or ITAs, issued in today’s all-program invitation round, the largest all-program draw from the Express Entry pool of 2018 had been 3,500.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) used its tie-break rule in this draw. The tie-break date and time for this latest invitation round was July 21, 2017 at 07:01:28 UTC. This means that all candidates with a CRS score above 451, as well as those candidates with scores of 451 who submitted their profile before the specified tie-break date and time, received an ITA in this invitation round.
The number of ITAs issued in each all-program draw of 2018 has gradually increased over the course of the year. The year began with two draws of 2,750 ITAs each in January, followed by four draws of 3,000 ITAs each in February and March and four draws of 3,500 ITAs each in April and May.
It is not surprising to see the draw size increase, as Canada has higher immigration targets in 2018 than it had in 2017. Its admissions targets for 2019 and 2020 are also set to increase.
The Government of Canada’s target for 2018 is 74,900 admissions through the three economic immigration classes administered by the Express Entry system — the Federal Skilled Worker Class, the Federal Skilled Trades Class and the Canadian Experience Class. For 2019, the target for these three classes is set at 81,400.
The chart below shows that while the targets for 2018 and 2019 are higher than 2017, thus far, fewer ITAs have been issued in 2018 compared to this point in 2017.
While larger draw sizes can have the effect of lowering the minimum CRS score, the time between draws is also an important factor that can have an impact on scores.
Today’s draw was the first all-program invitation round to take place since May 23 and follows a program-specific draw that was conducted on May 30. The three weeks that elapsed between the May 23 all-program draw and this latest invitation round contributed to the higher minimum CRS score in today’s draw.
Three weeks is longer than the usual time between draws, which has typically been two weeks in 2018.
More time between draws allows the Express Entry pool to replenish, which can have the effect of raising the minimum score. More frequent invitation rounds, meanwhile, can reduce the number of new arrivals in the Express Entry pool between draws.
“Now that IRCC has increased the draw size to 3,750 for the first time in 2018, it would be interesting to see what the effect of bi-weekly or more frequent draws at this number would have on the minimum CRS score,” said Attorney David Cohen, senior partner of the Campbell Cohen Canadian immigration law firm in Montreal.
“As IRCC works towards hitting bigger Express Entry targets, we continue to see changes, both in terms of different kinds of draws and different sizes of draws.”
The following are hypothetical examples of candidates who would have received an ITA in today’s invitation round.
Fiona is 34 years old, has a master’s degree and has been working as an accountant for five years. She wrote her IELTS and scored an 8 in each category. While Fiona has never worked or studied in Canada, her CRS score of 451 would have been sufficient to obtain an ITA in today’s Express Entry draw.
Ram is 29 years old, holds a bachelor’s degree, and has been working as a management consultant for three years. He wrote his IELTS and scored an 8 in each category. While Ram has never worked or studied in Canada, he has a sister who is a Canadian permanent resident residing in Toronto. His CRS of 453 would have been sufficient to obtain an ITA during the June 13 Express Entry draw.