More and more Express Entry candidates for immigration to Canada are receiving Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for permanent residence, and the number of Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points required has decreased to a new record low of 415 in the April 19 draw. A total of 3,665 candidates received an ITA in this draw.
This is the third draw to have taken place so far this month. In total, 11,341 ITAs have been issued over these three most recent draws, and the number of ITAs issued so far this year (35,973) now surpasses the number issued over the entire year of 2016 (33,782).
At the same time, the CRS requirement has tumbled from 497 just over four months ago to a threshold of 415 today — the sixth occasion so far this year in which a new record low has been reached. As a result, there is now a greater range and diversity of candidates being invited for permanent residence.
The busy start to the second quarter of this year follows a stellar first quarter; if the first three weeks of April are any indication, it may well be the case that the number of ITAs issued through the spring months and into summer could eventually surpass the number issued over the opening quarter of the year.
The following examples reveal how different types of candidates, and their families, are well on their way to Canada.
Mattias is 30 years old. He has a Master’s degree and has worked as an office supervisor for three years. He achieved a score of 8.5 on his IELTS test in Speaking, Listening, and Writing, and a score of 6.5 in Reading. Although he has never been to Canada, these factors combine to give him a CRS score of 415.
Nancy and Tom are married, are both 34 years old, and each has a Bachelor’s degree. They have never been to Canada. Nancy has three years of experience as a software engineer, while Tom does not have skilled work experience. They both speak English well, and scored an 8 in each category on the IELTS. Their CRS score of 415 would have been enough to secure an ITA on April 19.
Syed is 40, has a Master’s degree, and has been working as an Engineer for over five years. He has an advanced English language proficiency in speaking and listening, and initial advanced proficiency in reading and writing. His CRS of 415 would have been sufficient to obtain an ITA in the latest draw.
Mike is 29, has a two-year post-secondary credential and has been working as a restaurant manager for three years. He has only been to Canada for a week to visit his aunt, who is a permanent resident. Mike has an advanced proficiency in English, and his CRS score is 419.
Allison is 30 and completed a Bachelor’s degree in Ontario, Canada. She has been working in Canada for one year as a financial analyst, and she also has one year of foreign work experience. With intermediate English language proficiency, her CRS score of 415 was sufficient to get an ITA this time around.
The current period in the history of Express Entry, which was first launched in January, 2015, comes between two sets of improvements made to the system by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the department overseeing management of the system.
Last November, IRCC determined that the CRS should be balanced to put greater weight on human capital, skills and experience’. Consequently, the number of CRS points awarded for a job offer was changed to either 50 or 200, depending on the job offered, from a previous bounty of 600 points. IRCC stated that ‘a reduction of points to candidates with arranged employment means the CRS cut-off will decline,’ and so this factor, together with the sharp increase in ITAs issued since November, has contributed to the decrease in the CRS threshold over recent months.
Another set of improvements are scheduled to come into force on June 6. For the first time, candidates with a sibling in Canada will be allocated additional points, as will candidates with French ability. In another change to be made to Express Entry, though not to the points system, registration in the Canada Job Bank will become voluntary. These changes are not expected to adjust the make-up of the Express Entry pool as much as the first set of improvements, introduced last November.
“The number of ITAs issued in the first 16 weeks of 2017 is greater than over the whole of 2016, and that shows the extent to which IRCC views Express Entry as the main vehicle for bringing in economic migrants, both today and in the future,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“Individuals who may have been hesitant to engage with Express Entry last year, but who took the necessary steps to create a profile and obtain all the points they were entitled to, are now reaping the rewards. These are the people who now have one foot in Canada.”