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Express Entry all-program draws to resume on July 6, according to Immigration Minister.

Express Entry all-program draws to resume on July 6, according to Immigration Minister.

In an interview with CIC News, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser stated that Canada plans to resume all Express Entry draws on July 6.

In a series of exclusive interviews with Minister Fraser on June 21, 2022, CIC News met with the minister in Toronto to discuss the future of Canadian immigration.

In the next weeks, CIC News will publish a special series of stories focusing on the interview with Minister Fraser on the following topics:

  • Part 2: Reforms to Express Entry (this article will be released on June 24)
  • enhancing application processing and consumer satisfaction
  • Canadian citizenship costs
  • legalising undocumented employees in Canada
  • the Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025
  • expanding immigration paths for foreign workers and students
  • and how his life has altered since becoming minister.

Minister Fraser was in Toronto to speak at one of the largest technology conferences in the world, Collision.

IRCC is on track to meet its Express Entry obligation:

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is on track to normalise Express Entry draws by the beginning of July, according to Fraser. The commitment was made in April, and IRCC also pledged to return the Express Entry service standard to six months when all-program draws resume.

Amid the pandemic, IRCC ceased issuing invitations to apply (ITA) for permanent residence through Express Entry to Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) candidates in December 2020. In September 2021, it did the same for Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates.

Recent developments in Express Entry:

Prior to the pandemic, IRCC’s biweekly Express Entry draws typically considered all candidates. This meant that IRCC would invite applicants with the highest Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores, regardless of their program eligibility.

During the pandemic, IRCC shifted its approach temporarily. The suspension of the FSWP and FSTP draws was justifiable on the grounds that it made strategic sense to prioritise economic class immigration candidates in Canada while international travel restrictions were in effect. Throughout the majority of the previous year, IRCC prioritised CEC candidates in order to meet its goal of acquiring 401,000 new permanent residents by the end of 2021.

However, this and other developments led to a substantial increase in the number of applications in IRCC’s inventory. In order to control its inventory and improve the quality of its Express Entry service, IRCC decided to suspend invitations to CEC candidates in September 2021. Throughout the pandemic, IRCC continued to extend Express Entry invitations to Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates in an effort to promote the economic development of provinces and territories.

How the all program draws may impact Express Entry aspirants:

Candidates for the FSWP, FSTP, and CEC will welcome the return of all-program draws.

From its inception in 1967 until the beginning of the pandemic, the FSWP was the primary route for immigrants of economic class to enter Canada. Prior to the pandemic, it accounted for approximately 45 percent of all Express Entry permanent residence invitations.

According to research conducted by World Education Services (WES), one of the Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) providers designated by IRCC, demand for FSWP candidates to continue with the Canadian immigration process remains high despite the pandemic.

In the meantime, the resumption of CEC candidate draws will assist Canadians in maintaining their legal status to reside in the country. When an Express Entry candidate in Canada receives an ITA and then submits their application for permanent residence, they have the option to also apply for a bridging open work permit (BOWP). The BOWP allows them to maintain legal status in Canada while their permanent residence application is processed.

Since September 2021, CEC candidates have been unable to benefit from the BOWP due to a lack of ITAs. Recognizing this, IRCC announced in April that, beginning this summer, the main cohort of CEC candidates would be eligible for an open work permit extension. This cohort consists of individuals whose Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) has expired or will expire in the near future. When IRCC will begin accepting open work permit applications for these individuals is unknown at the moment.

How is Express Entry implemented?

Express Entry, which was introduced in 2015, is a programme management system for the FSWP, FSTP, CEC, and a portion of the PNP.

Candidates who qualify upload their profiles to IRCC’s website. Then, they are assigned a CRS score based on their human capital characteristics, such as age, education, language skills, and work experience. When all-program draws recommence, IRCC is anticipated to encourage people with the highest CRS scores to apply for permanent residency, as was customary before the pandemic.

Looking ahead, IRCC is proposing a substantial modification to Express Entry that would allow the government to grant ITAs to certain entities it deems can assist Canada’s economic requirements.

The minister described the concept at the Collision, saying, “If we can project skills that are needed over the next 20 to 30 years, we can bring people who can hit the ground running and make a major economic impact.”

The minister told CIC News that, however, this plan is still being considered by the Canadian Parliament and Senate, so he cannot say when IRCC may begin using this new approach. Nonetheless, “I hope we have these authorities soon,” said Fraser

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