Rare Thursday draw issues 3,900 invitations to Express Entry candidates
New draw leaves IRCC less than 8,000 invitations away from beating 2017 Express Entry record
The Government of Canada has issued 3,900 new invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence to Express Entry candidates in a draw held November 15. The minimum Comprehensive Ranking System score for this extremely rare Thursday draw was 449.
Today’s invitation round brings the number of invitations issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in 2018 to 78,100, which leaves IRCC less than 8,000 invitations away from breaking the Express Entry record of 86,023 total invitations set last year.
The federal Express Entry system manages the pool of candidates for Canada’s three Federal High Skilled economic immigration programs — the Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class and Canadian Experience Class.
Eligible candidates are given a score under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) that determines their position in the Express Entry pool, and a set number of the highest-ranked are issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) through regular draws from the pool.
The minimum score in today’s draw — 449— was seven points higher than the previous Express Entry draw on October 29, which had a minimum score of 442.
IRCC used its tie-break rule in this latest invitation round. The date and time used was September 16, 2018, at 12:41:42 UTC. This means that all candidates with a CRS score above 449, as well as those candidates with scores of 449 who submitted their profile before September 16, 2018 at 12:41:42 UTC, received an ITA in this invitation round.
When more time is allowed to elapse between draws, more candidates enter the Express Entry pool and that can have the effect of raising the minimum CRS score. In this case, 17 days were allowed to elapse between draws, which is three days longer than the usual two-week period.
Express Entry candidates who are looking to improve their CRS score can potentially do so in a number of ways.
An increasingly popular option is a nomination through an Express Entry-linked Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) stream, which results in an additional 600 points and effectively guarantees an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program allows participating provinces and territories to nominate a set number of economic immigration candidates each year for permanent residence in Canada. Each participating province and territory has at least one immigration stream that is linked to the Express Entry system.
Among others, Express Entry-aligned PNPs in Ontario, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Prince Edward Island have been extremely active in 2018. Ontario alone has three Express Entry-linked streams, which accounted for 95 per cent of all nominations issued by the province in 2018.
Today’s draw continued a trend established on September 5 that has seen IRCC issue 3,900 ITAs in five of the six all-program draws held since then. These larger draws resulted in a Express Entry record 11,700 invitations in October — more than double the 5,558 that were issued in October 2017.
IRCC has a 2018 admissions target for its Federal High Skilled immigration category of 74,900 new permanent residents. This target is slated to grow to 81,400 in 2019, 85,800 in 2020 and 88,800 in 2021 under Canada’s updated multi-year immigration levels plan, which the government made public October 31.
The majority of candidates admitted to Canada through the Federal High Skilled category have their applications for permanent resident status processed through the Express Entry system.
The following are hypothetical examples of candidates who would have obtained an ITA in today’s draw:
Elyas is 29, has a Bachelor’s degree, has taken the IELTS exam and obtained an 8 in all categories and has five years of foreign work experience as a data analyst. Elyas has never worked or studied in Canada but has a brother who is a Canadian citizen, which allows him to receive points for a sibling in Canada. His CRS score of 453 would have been sufficient to obtain an ITA in today’s draw.
Naima is 34, has a Master’s degree and five years of foreign work experience as a marketing coordinator. Naima took the CELPIP exam, and obtained CLB 10 in all categories. While Naima has never worked or studied in Canada, her CRS of 454 would have been sufficient to obtain an ITA in the November 15 draw.
Alex is 32, has a Master’s degree and obtained IELTS 7 in Writing, Reading and Speaking and IELTS 8 in Listening. He has five years of foreign work experience as a business consultant, but no Canadian work or study experience. His CRS of 453 would have earned him an ITA in today’s draw.
Leila is 33 and has a Bachelor’s degree and a certificate. She has never worked or studied in Canada and has four years of foreign work experience as a school teacher. She wrote the IELTS exam and obtained an 8 in all categories. Leila’s CRS of 452 would have been sufficient to obtain an ITA in today’s draw.
Jordan is 29 and has a Bachelor’s degree. He obtained CLB 8 in all categories of the CELPIP exam, has one year of foreign work experience and has been working in Canada as a manager for two years. His CRS of 451 would have been sufficient to obtain an ITA in today’s draw.
“If the large draw sizes that we’ve been seeing since September continue, we could still beat last year’s record number of invitations,” said David Cohen, senior partner at the Campbell Cohen Canadian immigration law firm in Montreal. “That would be a great way to end a year that’s been full of surprises on the Express Entry front, like today’s extremely rare Thursday draw.”