Do you know how Canada’s Express Entry Program has evolved?


Since its introduction in January 2015, the Canadian Express Entry Program has conducted over 100 pool draws. The Express Entry Program is the country’s main economic immigration program. It manages the pool of candidates in three categories- Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Class, and the Canadian Experience Class.

The Express Entry Program is the primary source of PR applications for the IRCC’s Multi-Year Immigration Level Plans, which it introduced in November 2017. There has been a substantial increase in the number of admission to Canada through the Express Entry program from 9,800 in 2015 to 65,420 in 2017.

Canada has set an admission target of 74,900 in 2018 which will increase to 81,400 in 2019, as per CIC.  2020 targets are even higher at 85,800.

Since its introduction in 2015, here is how IRCC has increased intake targets:

Year Intake Target
2015 51,000
2016 58,400
2017 71,700
2018 74,900
2019 81,400
2020 85,800


One of the main indicator’s of Express Entry’s evolution are the occupations that have received invitations over 100 draws. In the first couple of years, Cooks and Food Service Supervisor featured among the top 5 occupations to receive an ITA. In 2017, however, both these occupations saw a massive dip with Food Service Supervisor at 14th and Cooks at 28th place.

Here are the top 5 occupations to receive ITAs:

Rank 2015 2016 2017
1 NOC 6311-Food Service Supervisors NOC 2171-Information System Analysts and Consultants NOC 2171-Information System Analysts and Consultants
2 NOC 6322-Cooks NOC 2173-Software Engineers NOC 2173-Software Engineers
3 NOC 2171-Information System Analysts and Consultants NOC 2174- Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers NOC 2174- Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers
4 NOC 2173-Software Engineers NOC 6322-Cooks NOC 1111- Financial auditors and accountants

NOC 2174- Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers

NOC 6311-Food Service Supervisors NOC 1241- Administrative Assistants


The shift in the occupation receiving ITAs corresponded with Canada’s decision to reduce the number of CRS points awarded for a job offer. In November 2016, IRCC reduced the CRS points for a job offer in Canada from 600 points to 200 points.

Though a job offer is not a mandatory requirement for eligibility under the Express Entry Program, however, the extra points do help in obtaining an ITA.

Prior to the modifications in November 2016, 45% of all invited candidates had a core CRS score of less than 400. The number dropped to 11% after IRCC’s CRS improvements were announced.

Program draws in 2018 have picked candidates with CRS scores in the range of 440 and 456. 14 draws in 2018 had their minimum scores between 440 and 444.

However, IRCC has announced that it would like to delve deeper into the EE pool to get to the vast talent who are scoring below the current cut-off. In the past, IRCC has reduced the CRS to as low as 413. Canada’s large intake targets for the coming years could make this a possibility.

For Express Entry candidates who are scoring below 440, the EE linked Provincial Nomination Programs could be another possibility to obtain an ITA. Candidates who are successful in obtaining a provincial nomination get an additional 600 points on their CRS.

2017 saw 13,528 EE candidates with a Provincial Nomination receiving an ITA, which was a 75% hike over 2016. Canada’s immigrant intake through PNPs is set to increase over the next few years.


If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Canada, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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