Canada FSWP

Canada Express Entry: IRCC to Resume FSWP invitations in 2022

Published on : March 24, 2022


Immigration Minister of Canada speaks about resuming skilled worker draws in the near future.

Canada might resume Express Entry draws for skilled workers in the spring season. Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Sean Fraser was speaking in a virtual interview on issues related to international students in Canada.

At the end of the virtual interview, Minister Fraser addressed questions put in a chatbox related to Express Entry draws for candidates under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP).

What is Express Entry of Canada?

Launched in January 2019, Express Entry is the online application management system that manages permanent residency applications from skilled workers.

As per the 2022-2024 Immigration Levels Plan, a total of 55,900 Canada PR visas in 2022 will go to the federal high-skilled category. Candidates eligible for any of the three Express Entry programs are regarded to be federal high-skilled workers -

  • The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP),
  • The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and
  • The Canadian Experience Class (CEC).


Why do I need an invitation for Express Entry?

Applications under the Express Entry system are accepted and managed by the federal department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). 67 points based on six factors - on the Canadian Eligibility Calculator - will be needed to create an Express Entry profile. While you can create an Express Entry profile, you can only submit your permanent residence application when invited by IRCC.

Invitations to apply are issued by IRCC in the Express Entry draws held from time to time. Since March 2020, IRCC has been focusing more on candidates that might already be in Canada, making it easier for them to transition for temporary stay to permanent residence.

When was the most recent FSWP draw held?

The last all-program draw that included FSWP candidates was held on December 23, 2020.

Recently, IRCC has consecutively held 14 PNP-only Express Entry draws. The latest Express Entry draw #218 was held on March 16, 2022. The previous CEC-only draw was held on September 14, 2021. Without such draws, Express Entry candidates that might be eligible for Canadian immigration through CEC or FSWP route cannot apply.

While refraining from making any major official announcement in the matter, Minister Fraser again said that IRCC was looking to resume FSWP draws in the near term, aiming for a period “sometime this spring”.

Why did IRCC put FSWP draws on hold since 2020?

Most of the Express Entry profiles are submitted by FSWP candidates. Before the imposition of international travel restrictions on March 18, 2020, Canada sent out the most number of Express Entry invitations to apply (ITAs) to FSWP candidates.

Usually, FSWP candidates apply from overseas. With the travel restrictions in place, even if granted Canadian PR status, they would have been unable to travel to Canada to complete their landing. With time, the Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) issued to them would have expired without a landing.

To meet its immigration targets despite the travel ban, since March 2020 IRCC has been focusing more on candidates that might already be in Canada. Candidates, that is, who might be eligible for the CEC based on their recent Canadian work experience; or who had a nomination under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

While the strategy led IRCC to meet its annual targets, it also led to a backlog in immigration applications. The FSWP and CEC applications in IRCC inventory grew significantly.

What now for FSWP candidates?

The most recent IRCC data reveals that between February 28 and March 15, IRCC processed 4,000 FSWP applications. This is far more than the applications processed within a seven-month period in 2021. So far in 2022, Canada has already admitted more newcomers through the FSWP than it did in the entire 2021. Similarly, IRCC has processed 4,751 CEC applications in 42 days. At this rate, the existing IRCC backlog can be expected to be reduced by spring 2022.

IRCC will need to resume FSWP and CEC draws in 2002 in order to meet the targets as laid down in the 2022-2024 Immigration Levels Plan.

Topics: Migrate, Canada

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