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Express Entry Q1 2021 report: Canada smashes record as it eyes 401,000 immigration goal

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The first quarter of 2021 was the largest since Express Entry launched in 2015

Canada issued invitations for 44,124 immigration candidates in the first quarter of 2021, by far the most it has issued in a quarter because Express Entry was launched in 2015.Canada eyes on achieving 4,01,000 immigration goals.

Express Entry is the most important way that Canada welcomes economic class immigrants. It is a two step process. In step one, applicants must satisfy with the eligibility standards of one of the 3 skilled worker programs that are managed under Express Entry. Eligible candidates incorporate their profiles onto the Canadian government’s website and obtain a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score according to their human capital characteristics such as their age, education, language skills, and job experience.

In step two, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) holds Express Entry draws encouraging successful candidates to apply for permanent residence. Generally speaking, IRCC holds draws every two weeks and invites candidates with the greatest CRS scores, but it’s temporarily freed from this approach because of the pandemic. Now, IRCC is focusing on encouraging Express Entry applicants probably residing in Canada during the pandemic. For now, program-specific pulls are the new standard.

New normal: program-specific draws

Canada continues to be holding Express Entry brings through the COVID-19 pandemic despite travel restrictions that have been in place since March 2020.Canada eyes on achieving 4,01,000 immigration goals.

Many foreign nationals are exempt from the restrictions such as the close family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, some temporary foreign workers, and certain international students. However, with few exceptions, recently approved economic class immigrants abroad have been unable to complete their landing in Canada during the pandemic.

As a solution, IRCC has changed into program-specific draws. Whereas it might usually consider all candidates in its own Express Entry draws before the pandemic, it’s been considering certain candidates who are being invited as a result of provincial labor market needs, or because the candidates are probably living in Canada at the present time. The team particularly impacted by this policy shift are candidates entitled under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), who made up the bulk of Express Entry applicants that became permanent residents before the pandemic.

At the first quarter of 2021, IRCC has been alternating between Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Express Entry brings and Canadian Experience Course (CEC) draws. Canada held 10 Express Entry brings from the first quarter. Six of these were PNP-only, and four of them only invited CEC candidates. A total of 41,708 moved to CEC candidates and 2,416 went to PNP candidates.

Every province or territory operates a PNP except for Nunavut and Quebec. The states appear to welcome skilled employees to encourage economic development. The CEC is a favorite immigration pathway for people who worked or studied in Canada. Candidates will need to have a minimum of one year of Canadian work experience and meet minimum language requirements.

Saturday Surprise: February 13, 2021 draw does the heavy lifting this quarter

IRCC held a historic draw on February 13, inviting a whopping 27,332 immigration applicants to apply for permanent residence. To compare, in its second-largest Express Entry draws ever, IRCC encouraged just 5,000 candidates.

Just Canadian Expertise Class candidates were invited within this record-breaking draw, and they had a CRS score of just 75 to receive an invitation — the lowest CRS requirement . Generally speaking, CRS cut-offs were usually comfortably over 400 before this draw.

The draw accounted for 62 percent of ITAs issued this past quarter. Prior to this past year, IRCC would issue a comparable level of ITAs in a three-month interval as what had been issued in one draw on February 13.

The exceptional draw was a function of this pandemic.

That amount was almost doubled this past year as IRCC looks to make up for its immigration shortfall in 2020. IRCC sought to welcome 341,000 new immigrants in 2020 before the pandemic led to the weakest year for Canadian immigration since 1998.

To compensate, IRCC announced the toughest immigration levels targets in Canadian history. Canada eyes on achieving 4,01,000 immigration goals

Canada is expecting to welcome a staggering 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021 using Express Entry place to account for approximately one-fourth of fresh arrivals.

Recognizing the persistent effect of the outbreak on immigration, IRCC has largely focused on inviting CEC candidates. IRCC says about 90 percent of CEC candidates are probably already in Canada.

Express Entry-aligned PNPs

Many PNP flows are aligned with the national Express Entry system. This usually means that the states and territories use invitation immigration candidates who have profiles in the Express Entry pool to apply for a provincial nomination.

This benefits the candidate because a provincial nomination adds a total of 600 CRS points to their rating. This effectively ensures receipt of an invitation to employ within the next Express Entry attraction.

Alberta, B.C., Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Saskatchewan have all issued nominations to Express Entry candidates to date this season.

What to expect in Q2 and beyond

RCC kicked off the second quarter of 2021 by inviting 5,000 CEC applicants on April 1st.

If last season is any indication, we can anticipate IRCC to keep to hold program-specific CEC and PNP draws over the next few months. However, IRCC returned to all-program draws in the second half of 2020, and it could do the same against this year. The rationale is that inviting as numerous PNP and CEC candidates at the first six months of the year will allow IRCC to land as many of these candidates as you can at the end of 2021, which will encourage its 401,000 newcomer goal for the year. Afterward, it may hold all-program draws from the next half of the season and fill out the landing of those candidates, such as FSWP candidates, when the pandemic situation improves and travel restrictions are lifted.

After the February 13 Express Entry draw, IRCC mentioned it looks forward to greet candidates now overseas into Canada once the devastating pandemic was placed under control.

Hope is on the horizon here in Canada, since the country intends to vaccinate the majority of its population by summer time thanks to major anticipated shipments of COVID-19 vaccines.

ο Reference taken from CIC News

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