The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) held their fourth Express Entry draw of 2023 today. They invited 3,300 candidates to the draw. They needed a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 489 to be invited to the draw. The Express Entry draw program started in 2015. Today was the first time that only Federal Skilled Worker Program candidates could participate. On the other hand, it was the second draw this year with a specific group invitation, with the first being the provincial nomination draw on Feb 1st.
What Is Express Entry?
Express Entry is an application management system for three Canadian immigration programs. These programs include the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). However, Provincial Nominee Program candidates are automatically eligible for at least one program.
The Express Entry program utilizes a points-based system, call the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), to rank contestants for an invitation. Candidates with the highest scores get an Invitation to Apply (ITA) and can then apply for permanent residency.
After the candidate submits their application, an IRCC representative evaluates the application and decides if they are approved. Once approval is done, the candidate becomes a permanent resident of Canada and one step closer to becoming a Canadian citizen.
The Express Entry Program in 2023
Since the Express Entry Program started in 2015, the typical routine has been to hold draws on Wednesdays after every two weeks. However, things changed in 2023.
After the draw on November 23, 2022, there was a six-week wait until Jan 11th. According to an email CIC News received from IRCC, the pause might have been due to a glitch in their IT system when implementing NOC 2021.
The Jan 11 draw had 5,500 candidates with a minimum CRS score requirement of 507. The draw had the lowest cut-off score and highest applicant number since the program’s 18-month hiatus due to the Covid pandemic.
There was a draw the following week with the same number of candidates and an even lower CRS score requirement of 490.