Canada’s held its fourth Express Entry draw of the year inviting PNP candidates.

Canada invited 1,082 Express Entry candidates to apply for Canadian immigration on February 16.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) only invited Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates in the new invitation round. The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) cut off was 710. PNP candidates get an automatic 600 points added to their score when they receive their nomination, which is why the minimum score was so high.

This is the third time in a row that a PNP draw has broken a record for most invitations. The draw two weeks ago held the previous record with a total of 1,070 PNP candidates invited to apply.

Invited candidates now have 60 days to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

Express Entry levels 2022-2024

Canada is aiming to admit 55,900 immigrants through Express Entry-managed programs this year, according to Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan 2022-2024 released on February 14. That figure does not include the 83,500 PNP immigrants Canada expects to welcome this year, although not all of these will come through Express Entry.

The new Express Entry targets are nearly half of what the previous multi-year levels plan called for. In the 2021-2023 levels plan, Canada anticipated the number of Express Entry immigrants would be 108,500 in 2021.

The Express Entry targets for next year are also reduced compared to previous targets to 75,750. Targets appear to return to more normal levels in 2024, when Canada projects to welcome 111,500 through Express Entry.

The immigration targets for 2023 onward could change in the fall, as the immigration minister will have to table the next multi-year immigration levels plan by November 1. The reason the 2022-2024 targets were delayed was because of the federal election in September.

Part of the reason Canada reduced targets is so that IRCC can process its backlog of immigration applications. As of February 1, there are more Express Entry applications in the queue than Canada needs to meet its targets for the year. The reduction also appears to be part of an IRCC effort to process applications for the Temporary Residence to Permanent Residence (TR2PR) program, and accommodate the goal of resettling 40,000 Afghan refugees.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is the application management system for three Canadian immigration programs: 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.

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.

After the candidate applies, an IRCC officer reviews the application and makes a decision. The officer will ask for biometrics and may set up an interview or request 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?

The following is a hypothetical example of someone who may have received an ITA in the new Express Entry draw.

Oleksandr is 34 with a master’s degree and has been working as a database analyst for ten years. He wrote the IELTS and scored a 7.5 in listening and a 6.5 in every other category. Oleksandr entered the Express Entry pool in January 2020. He also submitted an Expression of Interest profile to the Canadian province of Saskatchewan through the International Skilled Worker: Saskatchewan Express Entry stream. He entered the Express Entry pool with a CRS score of 360. Shortly after submitting a profile to Saskatchewan, Oleksandr was invited to apply for provincial nomination. After being nominated, his Express Entry CRS score increased to 960. Oleksandr was then invited to apply for permanent residence in the new Express Entry draw.

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