Canada has now held 17 Express Entry draws just for PNP candidates since the start of 2021.
Another 635 Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates in the Express Entry system have been invited to apply for permanent residence.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) held its latest draw on September 1. The minimum score cutoff was 764, since all candidates had a provincial nomination worth 600 points in the Express Entry system. The maximum number of points one can possibly receive is 1,200.
The cutoff time for those who had the minimum score was April 12, 2021 at 12:21:45 UTC. IRCC publishes the tie-breaker for every draw regardless of whether or not there was an actual tie.
Invited candidates now have 60 days to apply for permanent residency.
Backlog in Express Entry application processing
It is now late in the summer of 2021, and — unlike last year during the pandemic — IRCC has so far only invited PNP and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates.
Although IRCC is finalizing applications for CEC candidates who applied in January, Express Entry candidates from other programs may experience delays. The IRCC webpage says it is due to a limited capacity to process these applications.
As of March 26, IRCC removed the progress bar on all Express Entry applicants’ online accounts. However, candidates can still get current information about the status of their application by checking the “Details about application status” section.
Express Entry invitations almost double 2020 levels
IRCC has nearly doubled the number of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) issued year-over-year. So far in 2021, IRCC has sent out 106,414 ITAs. With more invitations comes a higher chance that IRCC will admit its target of 108,500 newcomers through the Express Entry system in 2021.
The minimum score requirements have been up and down due to the nature of CEC- and PNP-only draws. CEC draws typically have lower cutoffs because the draws are concentrated in the one group of applicants. They are not competing with others in the Federal Skilled Worker Program, for example. So, with bigger draw sizes, IRCC can invite more candidates, thus bringing the score down.
PNP candidates automatically get 600 points with their provincial nomination, so PNP draws will always be higher than any other type of Express Entry draw. PNP draws since June have ranged from the low 740s to 760.
What is Express Entry?
Canada’s most popular immigration programs use the Express Entry system to manage applications. There are three: the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program. PNP candidates in the Express Entry pool have already qualified for one of these programs. They then applied for a nomination from a province and received it, which raised their score by 600 points.
Express Entry uses a points-based system, the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), to rank candidates’ profiles. The top-scoring candidates receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA), and can then apply for permanent residency.
From there, an IRCC officer reviews their application and makes a decision. They will ask for biometrics, and may set up an interview or ask for more documents.
If the application is approved, IRCC issues a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR). Approved permanent residents can then complete the landing process. If they are outside Canada, they can access pre-arrival services to help them with the first steps for settling in Canada.
Who was invited?
Here is a hypothetical example of someone who may have been invited in the new Express Entry draw.
Nashwa is 34 with a Master’s degree and has been working as a software developer for ten years. She wrote the IELTS and scored a 7.5 in listening and a 6.5 in every other category. She has never worked or studied in Canada. Nashwa entered the Express Entry pool and also submitted a profile to the Canadian province of Saskatchewan through the International Skilled Worker: Saskatchewan Express Entry stream. She entered the Express Entry pool with a CRS score of 360. Shortly after submitting a profile to Saskatchewan, Nashwa was invited to apply for provincial nomination. After being nominated, her Express Entry CRS score increased to 960 and Nashwa received an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence in the new Express Entry draw.