Have you been expecting the Canadian government to make a statement on meeting its high immigration targets for 2021-2023? Now it has! On February 13, 2021, IRCC held a Saturday immigration draw that invited 27,332 new immigration candidates from the Express Entry stream. This was a surprising event that accentuated the ambition to reach the high bar of Canada immigration that the Canadian government is trying to achieve.
This draw was unique in that since the launch of Express Entry draws in 2015, this was the largest number of immigrants invited to apply for Canada PR. The highest number of immigrants that were invited before this was 5,000.
Another surprisingly unique feature of this draw was that it asked for a minimum CRS score as low as 75 to be eligible for an invitation. So, in effect, IRCC invited almost all the candidates who met the criteria for eligibility under the CEC program.
For immigration Canada has a huge goal of 401,000 new immigrants per year for the 2021-2023 period and beyond. So, since 2020 was almost wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada is doing all it needs to do about boosting its immigration levels.
Canada invited only CEC immigration candidates in the February 13 draw. The reason is that most of them are right now residing in Canada. They will get through the Canada PR visa process easier than those living overseas.
By setting the CRS score bar lower than before, IRCC is luring those immigration candidates with low scores to take up their chance by entering the Express Entry pool. This, they achieve by focusing on CEC and PNP candidates, choosing them over FSTP and FSWP candidates. However, this is a temporary shift of priorities and doesn’t mean that FSTP and FSWP candidates will lose out.
There’s a fat chance that soon, just like CEC candidates, FSTP and FSWP candidates too will be invited to immigrate as Canada needs immigrants in large numbers now. So, skilled workers, wherever they are from, in whichever stream they belong to, have hopes to be realized for sure when it comes to Canada immigration.
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IRCC – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
CRS – Comprehensive Ranking System
CEC – Canadian Experience Class