The Express Entry application management system oversees three programs: the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). Candidates in the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) are already eligible for at least one Express Entry program.
A recently released report from IRCC summarizes Express Entry data for 2021, which was a unique year in the program’s history. The report shows that 114,431 ITAs were issued in 2021, all program-specific draws for the PNP and the CEC, and no ITAs were issued to FSWP or Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) candidates.
The report also notes that starting in December 2020, all program draws were paused to ease the backlog caused by COVID-19-related travel restrictions and border closures. IRCC, however, continued to issue ITAs to candidates in the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) until September 2021 when CEC draws were also paused. Over half, 64%, of ITAs were issued to recipients between the ages of 20-29 years. Under the Comprehensive Ranking System, where candidates in this age range receive 100 CRS points. Candidates receive fewer points after they turn 30.
Further, the report indicates that because of the pauses, the majority of ITAs were issued to candidates who were already living in Canada as temporary residents. However, there were still some ITAs given to candidates living abroad.
The top five nationalities were:
- Canada – 102,806 ITAs issued,
- India: 3,826 ITAs issued,
- Nigeria: 1,432 ITAs issued,
- USA: 806 ITAs issued,
- People’s Republic of China: 687 ITAs issued.
IRCC 7th Express Entry Draw of 2023
In 2023, the Express Entry Management System helped Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to complete six draws, and as late as today, a seventh draw of the year was released. In this seventh draw, the IRCC issued invitations to 7,000 candidates with a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 490. The number of ITAs in this draw beats the previous record of 5,500 candidates invited in the last all-program draw on January 18. To put it into perspective, prior to 2023, all Express Entry draws between July and November 2022 were all-program draws that invited over 1,000 candidates each time and grew as the minimum CRS score decreased.
Express Entry Program
Canada’s express entry program falls into three broad programs:
- The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), where candidates should have more than one year of continuous full-time, or equivalent, paid work experience in the past 10 years in a skilled occupation. In this program, candidates should certify the IRCC they have sufficient funds to facilitate their settlement in Canada.
- The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) – This program targets skilled workers who want to become permanent residents based on being qualified in a skilled trade.
- The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) – Here, candidates are skilled workers who have Canadian work experience and want to become permanent residents. Basically, the candidates are expected to have gained work experience by working in Canada while under temporary resident status with authorization to work.
The seventh draw broke a pattern of program-specific draws that have been occurring over the past two months. Since the last all-program draw there have been four program-specific rounds of invitations, three for PNP-only and one for FSWP candidates. The most recent draw was PNP-only and just 697 candidates received ITAs on March 1.