Amidst the pandemic, the traditional rhythm of Express Entry draws has shifted. IRCC no longer follows a predictable schedule for conducting Express Entry draws.
Since October 26th, there hasn’t been a draw. And IRCC has not provided a clear explanation for the pause. Nevertheless, there are compelling reasons why you should contemplate entering the Express Entry pool.
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Exploring the Synergy between Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Programs
Enrolling in the Express Entry pool proves advantageous if you meet the eligibility criteria. As it enhances your prospects of successfully immigrating to Canada. While in the pool, a province may express interest in your profile and extend an invitation for a provincial nomination. Ensuring your eventual receipt of an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence.
A provincial nomination holds significant value within Express Entry’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Contributing 600 points to a candidate’s CRS score. The CRS evaluates candidates based on age, education, work experience, language proficiency, etc.
A higher CRS score increases your likelihood of receiving an ITA. Virtually every province and territory administers its own Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). With each program featuring at least one immigration stream aligned with Express Entry.
For instance, Ontario’s Immigration Nominee Program (OINP) actively scans the Express Entry pool to identify candidates who may meet the criteria for one of Ontario’s Express Entry immigration streams. On November 30th, Ontario issued 1,052 notifications of interest to candidates potentially qualifying for the Human Capital Priorities Stream. With a CRS score range of 404-430 and work experience in one of the 42 targeted healthcare occupations.
In 2023, Ontario’s Human Capital Priorities stream has already issued notifications of interest to over 15,000 candidates. A significant increase from around 4,000 in 2022. Most messages were extended to candidates in health or tech occupations.
This underscores that despite the pause in Express Entry draws, being in the Express Entry pool enables you to secure a provincial nomination and positions you among the first to receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence when draws resume.
Express Entry Draws: A Window of Opportunity with Variable CRS Score Cut-Offs
Express Entry holds the potential to resume at any moment. And the CRS score cut-offs can vary widely. There have been instances when IRCC conducted draws with shallow CRS cut-off scores.
Recent Canadian government data reveals that approximately half of all Express Entry candidates who received ITAs between January and September 2023 had CRS scores ranging from 451 to 500.
In the past few months, Express Entry draws have featured candidates with CRS scores in the 300s. Particularly in category-based selection draws. Introduced earlier this year, these draws invite individuals with strong French language proficiency or relevant work experience to apply for permanent residence in specific categories such as healthcare, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions, trades, transportation, and agriculture.
The category-based selection has broadened the pool of eligible candidates. Leading to lower CRS scores than program-specific and general Express Entry draws.
Adding to the favorable landscape, Canada’s immigration levels are rising. In 2022, a record-breaking 437,000 new immigrants were admitted. The target for permanent resident admissions in 2023 is 465,000. Looking ahead to the Immigration Levels Plan for 2024-2026, Canada aims to welcome 500,000 immigrants annually in 2025 and 2026.
Given Canada’s commitment to increasing immigration numbers, candidates with lower CRS scores now have expanded opportunities to receive invitations to apply for permanent residency.
Unlocking Opportunities with the Canadian Government’s Job Bank Plus Account
Another advantage of being part of the Express Entry pool is the option to create a ‘Plus Account’ within the Canadian government’s online Job Bank. This feature empowers you to explore relevant job opportunities, potentially enhancing your prospects of securing a Canadian job offer.
A Canadian job offer can earn you an additional 50 or 200 CRS points, significantly improving your chances of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA). If you receive an ITA with a job offer, it facilitates a seamless transition to Canada and integration into the Canadian labor market.