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Express Entry Draw

New Express Entry Draws to be Back to pre-COVID-19 Format

Published on : May 31, 2022

From July 2022, Express Entry draws can be expected to be back to the pre-pandemic levels in terms of the volume of invitations and the standard processing times.

According to official information obtained by CIC News, beginning July 2022, Express Entry general rounds of invitations will be held every two weeks, making it consistent with the average number of invitations to apply issued before COVID-19.

 Provided the Department is able to keep up to its current final decision plan, federal high skilled candidates could begin to be invited in July 2022 with an expected processing time of six months. As of now, there is in place a pause on Federal High Skilled (FHS) Express Entry invitations from April 1, 2022 until June 30, 2022.

Federal High Skilled includes the three economic immigration programs of Canada that are managed through the Express Entry System, a flagship online application management system. Express Entry programs are the -

 By maintaining the pause until the end of June this year, the Canadian immigration department intends to focus on reducing the existing backlog. This will ensure that when invitations start again, new Express Entry applications can be processed within the service standard of six months.

 How COVID-19 affected Canada’s Express Entry?

Canada imposed international travel restrictions on March 18, 2020 in view of the pandemic situation. Before then, all-program Express Entry draws had up to 4,500 ITAs - Express Entry Draw #137, held on February 19, 2020 - issued in a round of invitations. Program-specific draws were held occasionally. With the pandemic, however, program-specific draws came to be the norm rather than the exception.

With travel restrictions in place, Canada shifted the focus to candidates that had a higher probability of already being within Canada at the time of receiving an invitation to apply (ITA) from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Hence, Express Entry draws turned program-specific, inviting those with -

  • Recent and previous Canadian experience, making them eligible for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), or
  • Those with a nomination by a provincial or territorial government, making them eligible for the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Some PNP pathways are linked with IRCC Express Entry.

General Express Entry draws came to be resumed in July 2020, but were stopped the same year. The last all-program draw was held on December 23, 2020. No ITAs by IRCC have been issued since then to candidates under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the main route to Canadian permanent residence for skilled foreign workers.

With general Express Entry draws to be resumed from July 2022, Canada will be well-set to meet, and probably even exceed as in the past, its annual immigration target. As on May 24, 2022, there were a total of 211,093 profiles in the IRCC Express Entry pool.

As per the 2022-2024 Immigration Levels Plan, Canada aims to welcome 431,645 new permanent residents in 2022, followed by 447,055 in 2023 and 451,000 in 2024.

Topics: Migrate, Canada