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Canada holds sixth all-program Express Entry draw since July

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued 3,250 invitations to apply in the most recent Express Entry draw which took place on 14th September. The minimum cut off Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score was 511. There was no program specified for the draw, meaning that invitations were issued to candidates from the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).

Until the last draw on August 31, the number of candidates receiving ITAs grew by 250 with each draw. Last week saw a marked increase of 500 ITAs and latest draw is a continuation of that trend. There has also been a gradual decline in the minimum CRS score, which has lost between eight or nine points each draw. However, this draw is different as there was only a five-point decrease. The minimum CRS score in the July 6 draw was 557.

Canada is on track to welcome nearly 432,000 immigrants

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has recently said that by the end of 2022 Canada will break its current record of 405,330 new immigrants in a year. As of the end of June, Canada has already welcomed over 300,000 new permanent residents in 2022.

So far this year Canada has welcomed 40,785 immigrants through Express Entry. It is possible that if immigration continues at its current speed, Canada could even exceed the 2022 Immigration Levels Plan target of  nearly 432,000.

To facilitate these numbers, IRCC has undertaken measures such as making the application process 100% digital as well as hiring an additional 1,250 new staff members.

Canada continues to push for more immigration as it tries to cope with a historically low unemployment rate as well as over one million job vacancies. The increased amount of retirement over the next decade, combined with a low birth rate, means Canada is not able to support the labour force or economy without immigration.

Changes coming in 2023

To better target gaps in the labour force, IRCC plans to make a major change to Express Entry in 2023. Most notably, these changes would give the department authority to issue ITAs to individuals with specific work experience, education, or language ability. It could be any candidate from groups they believe will be well-positioned to support Canada’s economy and labour force. This will have an impact on the relevance of CRS scores in some instances and they may become less vital in some future draws.

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