Canada invited 557 Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence on May 12. Express Entry candidates needed a score of at least 752 in order to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA). They also needed to have previously received a nomination from a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Any time someone gets a provincial nomination through an Express Entry-linked PNP, they automatically get 600 points added to their score. This is why the score requirement was so high. Without the nomination, the lowest-scoring candidate would have had a score of 152.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) publishes a cutoff time for the tie-break rule as an administrative requirement, regardless of whether there was an actual tie. In the new draw, candidates who had the minimum score were only invited if they submitted their Express Entry profile before April 29, 2021 at 10:18:12 UTC.
Since the start of the year, Canada has only invited Express Entry candidates through the PNP, and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). This is largely because the COVID-related travel restrictions do not allow approved permanent residents to come to Canada from abroad, and the government is aiming to admit record-breaking numbers of new immigrants over the next three years.
In 2021 alone, Canada is set to welcome 108,500 new immigrants through Express Entry-managed programs. So far, IRCC has invited 62,328 Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residents.
PNP-only and CEC-only draws have vastly different CRS requirements. This is because PNP candidates have the 600-point award attached to their score. CEC candidates are invited in high numbers, and they are not competing for invitations from other programs, so there is more room for IRCC to invite lower-scoring candidates.