Express Entry candidates eligible under the Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC), as well as candidates with an enhanced provincial nomination, were the big winners in the November 1 draws, which mirrored similar draws that took place on May 26. In the latest draws, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invited FSTC candidates with 241 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)points to apply for permanent residence. The CRS cut-off threshold for provincial nominee candidates was 673 points.
In total, 795 candidates were issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) following the November 1 draws, 505 of whom were FSTC candidates, with the remaining 290 being candidates who have obtained a provincial nomination through one of the Express Entry-aligned Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) streams.
Today’s draw marks the second time this year IRCC has conducted program-specific draws for FSTC candidates and those with a provincial nomination. The first draw following the May 26 program-specific draws reverted to the norm, which is to say that all candidates in the pool, including Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates, were eligible for selection. That draw, which took place on May 31, saw a CRS cut-off threshold of 413 — the lowest threshold ever since Express Entry was first launched in January, 2015.
With 10 draws for all programs having taken place between May 26 and November 1, it is fair to say that program-specific draws are the exception rather than the norm. However, they may benefit all candidates over time as IRCC removes a defined set of candidates from the pool. All candidates with a provincial nomination who had 673 or more CRS points — and this may very well be all provincial nominees who were in the pool the morning of November 1 — were invited. These individuals would have entered the pool as FSW, CEC, or FST candidates, and, given that FST candidates were also invited on November 1, it follows that all FSW and CEC candidates will move up in ranking as a result of the program-specific draws that took place.
With CRS cut-off thresholds and program-specific draws deviating from what we have seen over recent draws, it is helpful to review how candidates from different backgrounds have been invited to apply for permanent residence. The following scenarios are hypothetical.
Ali is 42 years old and is an industrial electrician. He has a two-year post-secondary education credential. Though he has never worked or studied in Canada, he recently obtained a Labour Market Impact Assessment-supported job offer from an employer in Canada. He has adequate intermediate English ability, and six years of work experience outside Canada. With these credentials he has a total of 282 CRS points, and, as a FSTC candidate, obtained an ITA in the most recent draw.
Monica is 34, with a bachelor’s degree, adequate intermediate language ability, and six years of experience outside Canada as a marketing manager. Her spouse also has adequate intermediate language ability and a bachelor’s degree. Having entered the pool as a FSW candidate with 69 points under that program, Monica subsequently obtained a provincial nomination under the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) International Skilled Worker: Express Entry sub-category. This brought her CRS points total from 309 up to 909, meaning that she and her family can apply for immigration to Canada.
Haminder, 33, is a foreign worker who has been working in IT in British Columbia for nearly two years. He has high intermediate language ability, a bachelor’s degree obtained outside Canada, and two years of work experience abroad. He has a job offer from his current employer in BC, and was eligible to enter the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS) as a skilled worker. When he successfully obtained a provincial nomination, his CRS score increased from 392 to 992, more than enough to obtain an ITA on November 1.
The latest draws brings the total number of ITAs issued since January, 2015 to 140,619, with most of those (75,775) having been issued in 2017.
“While the latest Express Entry draws may have taken some people by surprise — not so much in their timing, but in who was invited — it goes to show that IRCC is taking an increasingly dynamic approach to the system and how it works,” says Attorney David Cohen. “Not only that, but the government has now issued more invitations so far this year than in the two previous years put together.
“The federal government, as well as provincial counterparts, are taking the approach that the Express Entry pool is a rich source of talent, and anyone in the pool can benefit from a federal or provincial strategy to welcome particular newcomers and their families to Canada. The upshot is that to optimize one’s chances of success, candidates first need to get in the pool.”