Express Entry in Review: First half of 2017

We are already halfway through the year 2017, which means halfway through the immigration goals that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) set earlier last year. What have we seen so far in Express Entry?

canada express entry flag image

Express Entry Overview

Express Entry is the application management in Canada that allows candidates from the Economic Class programs category apply for Canadian Permanent Residency and then citizenship. Express Entry includes the following programs: Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program, Federal Skilled Trades (FST) Program, and (partially) the Provincial Nominee Program.

Candidates follow a 2-step process to apply for Express Entry. First, they complete an online profile. Eligible candidates are then entered into the system and ranked against each other based on the criteria that Canadian Government deems necessary for successful immigration and settlement in Canada. Those factors include language ability, education, work experience and relevant work skills, among others. Candidates with top scores receive an invitation to apply (ITAs).

Second, once they receive an ITA, the candidates submit an extensive application package that will be evaluated by the Canadian government. Successful applicants will be able to become Canadian Permanent Residents.

The main goal of Express Entry is to ensure timely and flexible application management that reflects Canada’s labour market and regional needs.

Express Entry Draws

In the first half of 2017, IRCC conducted 16 rounds of invitation, and over 51,000 candidates received invitations to apply (ITAs) for Canadian Permanent Residency. The draw-by-draw breakdown is as follows:

  • January 4, 2017: 2,902 ITAs, lowest CRS score – 468 points
  • January 11, 2017: 3,334 ITAs, lowest CRS score – 459 points
  • January 25, 2017: 3,508 ITAs, lowest CRS score – 453 points
  • February 8, 2017: 3,664 ITAs, lowest CRS score – 447 points
  • February 22, 2017: 3,611 ITAs, lowest CRS score – 441 points
  • March 1, 2017: 3,884 ITAs, lowest CRS score – 434 points
  • March 24, 2017: 3,749 ITAs, lowest CRS score – 441 points
  • April 5, 2017: 3,753 ITAs, lowest CRS score – 431 points
  • April 12, 2017: 3,923 ITAs, lowest CRS score – 423 points
  • April 19, 2017: 3,665 ITAs, lowest CRS score – 415 points
  • May 4, 2017: 3,796 ITAs, lowest CRS score – 423 points
  • May 17, 2017: 3,687 ITAs, lowest CRS score – 415 points
  • May 26, 2017: 143 ITAs, lowest CRS score – 775 points (only for PNP candidates)
  • May 26, 2017: 400 ITAs, lowest CRS score – 199 points (only for FST candidates)
  • May 31, 2017: 3,877 ITAs, lowest CRS score – 413 points
  • June 28, 2017: 3,409 ITAs, lowest CRS score – 449 points

CRS 2017 June, CIC

Express Entry CRS scores; taken from the Government of Canada website.

The year 2017 has seen the lowest CRS scores to receive ITAs, 413 CRS points. Another notable factor is consistently high numbers of ITAs, the majority of which remained above 3,000 per round. The highest number of applicants selected in the draw was 3,884. Canadian government has also conducted 2 exclusive rounds, one for the candidates applying through the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), and one for Federal Skilled Trade (FST) program.

What can we conclude from the numbers?

  • Canadian government is following through with their mandate to increase the number of immigrants in 2017, with the baseline of up to 300,000 invitations for Permanent Residency to be issued to potential immigrants across different immigration categories. The planned number for the candidates in the Economic Class programs is over 73,700, which explains consistently large numbers of ITAs.
  • We have seen a delay before the June Express Entry draw and a slight increase in the CRS points for that draw. This phenomenon can be explained by the changes in Canadian immigration that were introduced on June 6, including additional CRS points for French language and applicants with siblings, as well as optional job bank registration.
  • The first half of 2017 has already seen more ITAs than both 2015 and 2016 combined, and we are likely to see similar numbers within the next few draws. The draws for the later part of 2017 will depend on the IRCC immigration goals for 2018, since many applicants who receive their ITAs in later 2017 will not obtain their immigration status until the following year.
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