Amid the increasing and intensifying COVID-19 travel restrictions in Canada, the federal government recently announced the record-breaking Express Entry draw at 75 CRS (comprehensive ranking system) points for Canadian Experience Class under Federal Skilled Worker with inviting 27,332 skilled workers to apply for their Permanent Residency in Canada.

The year 2020 has already been full of some unpleasant surprises. On the contrary, it seems that the year 2021 has bestowed some pleasant surprises for the immigrants in Canada. Firstly, the post graduate work permit extension for a further of 18 months was a rare yet thoughtful action by the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) in achieving the immigration targets for 2021 despite of the hustle in rebuilding the Canadian economy amid the COVID-19 crisis. The second shocking yet considerate and tactful move of the Federal government was the unusual draw for the Express Entry conducted on Saturday of the long weekend in February 2021 which served as a ray of hope for thousands of temporary immigrants in Canada.

This program began in 2015 and since the program’s commencement, this draw is the lowest Express Entry draw recorded in the immigration history. Prior to that the lowest express entry draw was conducted at 413 in September 2017. The unusual draw of February 2021 has some of the following astonishing revelations/facts:

a) The day the draw was conducted: Usually, the Express Entry draw is conducted during the weekdays (mostly Wednesdays to Fridays), but this draw was conducted over the weekend, on a Saturday.

b) CRS Score: The most recent CRS score recorded before this draw was at 454 for CEC on January 21, 2021. There was a steep decline in the latest draw in which the CRS score dropped down to 75 for CEC conducted on February 13, 2021.

c) Invitations issued: Having a look at the last year (2020) EE draws, the number of invitations issued ranged to maximum of 5000 approximately however this time, IRCC issued 27,332 ‘Invitation to apply’ to the registered candidates in the Express Entry pool. It was almost five times more than ever recorded in the history of EE system inception.

d) Eligibility: Earlier any candidate registering in the Express Entry pool within Canadian Experience Class needs to have a single/ multiple post secondary education credentials, years of experience and a remarkable command over English/French language. This recent draw, however, has changed the entire eligibility pattern where a candidate with a minimum of CLB 5 score, a year’s experience with no or high school education can qualify to get an invitation which seems strange but true.

After the draw was released, Attorney David Cohen quoted, “Today’s draw was almost six times larger than the previous Express Entry record of 5,000 ITAs. This goes to show Canada is committed to achieving its goal of welcoming over 400,000 immigrants this year.” In one of their official statements during the press conference, IRCC claimed that, the candidates who received the invitation, their ‘status may be temporary, but their contributions are lasting – and we’re hoping to help more of them stay permanently’.

It now seems like the government is all set to achieve its 2021 immigration targets. Moving forward, all eyes are on the next Express Entry draw.

Stay Tuned for more updates.

R. Kaur