Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada kicked off the New Year on a high note; Express Entry candidates were already receiving Invitations to Apply (ITA) as of January 6th. Canada already opened provincial nominations and the minimum score to qualify is 813 points.

The good thing about provincial nominations is that every Express Entry candidate who qualifies gets awarded an additional 600 points. This is the main reason why score requirements at the provincial level were so high.

In case you don’t get in with the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), you can always try your luck with other rounds of invitation.

Application for Permanent Residence

The number of PNP-aligned candidates who have gotten ITAs is at 250 and all of them can now start the application process to achieve permanent residence.

Those who shall receive applications via the Federal round get to apply for permanent residence via three federal immigration programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Canadian Experience Class
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program

Comprehensive Ranking System

Whether you send your application through the Federal or the Provincial program, you get vetted based on your CRS score. The Comprehensive Ranking System awards candidates points based on specified human capital factors. An applicant’s education, language ability in French or English, age, work experience and education are used as principle factors for determining the qualification of a candidate.

Note that, you can send an application as a couple and still get approved. It’s also not compulsory for a candidate to have work experience in Canada because they might not have been to Canada before. However, having work experience, as well as a job offer in Canada guarantees you extra points.

Regular Express Entry Rounds

Candidates with the highest CRS score receive their ITAs through regular Express Entry rounds. Once the IRCC has made the final decision on a candidate’s application, a Confirmation of Permanent Residence is sent to wrap up the process.

From there, you can travel to Canada and begin applying for citizenship. The PR card is usually ready within two weeks from the time to apply for it.

CRS Cutoff Scores

Towards the end of 2020, the IRCC lowered their CRS cutoff because they were holding bigger draws at the time. The last draw of 2020 allowed candidates with a CRS score as low as 469.

The Express Entry pool was used to invite top-scoring candidates so that the other rounds could handle the rest of the candidates.

In instances where there were ties between candidates, the tie-breaking rule helped smooth things over.

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