Use of stable draw sizes
During the first half of 2019, the IRCC started using another approach to draw sizes; that have been the same, at 3,350, since January ended. This was different from the previous years when they either increased gradually after every few weeks, as they did in 2018, or fluctuated from draw to draw.
Even without the volatility of the preceding years, the IRCC was still able to issue more ITAs in the first six months of 2019 than in those of 2018. Even though, with 41,800 ITAs issued, the IRCC still has a long way to go since they were not even half of the 89,800 ITAs record in 2018. Therefore, the second half of 2019 could even be busier than the first half because the Express Entry-managed programs and the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) have greater admission targets for 2019 and 2020.
Higher cut-off scores
The cut-off score is the lowest CRS score that a candidate invited to apply can have, and every Express Entry draw must have it. Only those whose scores are above it get the ITAs. In the first half of 2019, the score moved from 438 to 470 for draws that involved all the three Federal High Skilled Programs. Only one draw that had the Federal Skilled Trades Class candidates had a low cut-off score of 332.
Some of the factors that may affect the score during a particular period are the time between the draws, the draw size, and the number of candidates in the Express Entry pool during a specific draw.