On March 18, 2021, Canada issued invites to 5,000 Express Entry candidates to apply for Canada PR. The candidates who received the invites had to be eligible for the CEC as well as have a minimum score of 449. They also required to have a year’s experience in full-time skilled work in Canada along with official language skills of the intermediate level.
Candidates with a minimum score of 449 had to have their Express Entry profile submitted before February 19, 2021, UTC. This was how the tie-break rule was applied in this draw.
Observing this draw, it’s clear that IRCC is prioritizing immigration applicants who are already living in Canada. This strategy is to ensure that the invited candidates won’t face issues due to COVID-induced travel restrictions.
As per IRCC data from March 8, 2021, about 77% of Express Entry candidates now in Canada have eligibility for CEC.
PNP candidates were targeted in the Express Entry draw held on March 17, 2021. The PNP candidates, like CEC candidates, also have strong connections with Canada. PNP-only candidates have shown from time to time that they have the required skills to support the labor market of the region concerned.
These candidates possess higher CRS scores as they get 600 extra CRS points for being nominated to a Canadian province.
This draw is the first draw since February 13, 2021, that had only CEC candidates participate. The Feb 13 draw had IRCC invite all CEC-eligible candidates from the Express Entry pool. The number of candidates invited came to 27,332. This record-breaking draw caused the number of ITAs issued in 2021 to reach 43,840. This is a huge jump when compared to 19,368 ITAs issued at the same time in 2020.
All efforts are made to realize the target of inviting 401,000 new immigrants in 2021 of which 108,500 are to be brought in via immigration programs managed by the Express Entry system.
About the working of Express Entry
The Express Entry system manages applications for immigration visas for 3 economic class programs under the federal high-skilled category. These are FSTP, FSWP, and CEC.
Skilled foreign workers first enter the Express Entry pool of candidates. For this, they have to be eligible for one of the economic-class programs. Every candidate will have their profile ranked by CRS. Points are assigned based on age, education, work experience, and language skills in English/French. Candidates who score the highest will be invited to apply to get the status of a Canadian permanent resident.
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PR – Permanent Residence/Permanent Resident
CRS – Comprehensive Ranking System
PNP – Provincial Nominee Program
ITA – Invitation to Apply
IRCC – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
PGWP – Post Graduate Work Permit
FSWP – Federal Skilled Worker Program
FSTP – Federal Skill Trades Program
CEC – Canadian Experience Class