On April 27, Canada invited 829 Express Entry applicants to apply for permanent residency.
All invited candidates had previously been nominated by a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and scored at least 772 on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The minimal score was particularly high since Express Entry candidates who acquire a provincial nomination receive an immediate 600-point boost to their score. Without the nomination, the candidates with the lowest score would have received 172 base points.
The FSWP and CEC draws to reopen in July.
Last week, Canada’s Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser, announced that Express Entry invitations for Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) aspirants will resume in early July. Furthermore, the significant portion of the new Express Entry applications will be processed within the six-month service standard yet again.
Prior to the pandemic, IRCC just held PNP-only draws on rare occasions. IRCC would frequently invite the highest-scoring applicants to apply for immigration irrespective of the program they qualified for.
In the early stages of the pandemic, IRCC focused on inviting CEC candidates in order to reach its goal of admitting a record-breaking number of immigrants in a single year despite travel limitations. Candidates for the CEC are most often already in Canada, therefore they were not subjected to the travel limitations Canada imposed between 2020 and 2021. Last year, Canada attracted a record number of permanent residents due to this campaign.
Throughout the outbreak, IRCC has also intended to encourage PNP candidates to assist provincial immigration objectives.
The strategy by IRCC resulted in backlogs in the immigration system, including Express Entry. Since December 2020, IRCC has not welcomed any FSWP candidates. And since, September 2021, CEC candidates have not been invited to apply as well.
The absence of FSWP and CEC invitations coincides with record-low unemployment and record-high job openings in Canada.
Since its inception in 1967, the FSWP has been the primary source of foreign skilled immigrants to arrive in Canada. However, IRCC has recently decided to focus on inviting and processing CEC candidates only. During a historically competitive labour market, this provisional policy shift has reduced the influx of foreign skilled immigrants into the Canadian workforce.