Express Entry: Canada holds biggest PNP-only draw ever

On June 9th 2021, Canada held a new Express Entry draw, inviting 940 candidates to apply for permanent residence. These candidates had previously received a nomination from a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), which was why the score cutoff was on the higher side at 711. All PNP candidates in the Express Entry pool get an additional 600 points automatically added to their score, without which the lowest-scoring candidate would have had just 111 points and been unable to meet the cutoff.

In compliance with administrative requirements, IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) always publishes a cutoff time for the tie-break rule, regardless of whether or not an actual tie has taken place. In the new draw held this year, candidates with the minimum score were only invited if they had already submitted their Express Entry profile before February 16, 2021.

Earlier in the PNP-only draw, 500 candidates were invited, and the score requirement was 713 points. This year, there were almost twice the number of invites, and the cutoff score went down by two points.

Express Entry draws affected by Covid-19

Due to the pandemic, in 2021, IRCC has only held Express Entry draws that target candidates who are already physically present in Canada. They have been trying to avoid any coronavirus-related travel restrictions and other service closures that affect international candidates, putting them at a disadvantage. At the same time, they have been trying to meet Canada’s immigration targets for the year.

With the 27,332 principal applicants invited on February 13, the total number of invitations this year compared to the same time in 2020 has increased. Out of this number, about 87 per cent have filled out their applications within the 90-day timeline. To date in 2021, 75,713 invitations have been issued.

There are many PNP candidates and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates in Canada. This is due, in large part, to the fact that PNPs often require work experience or education from the nominating province. It is also required that CEC candidates must have completed at least one year of work experience in Canada.

Because of the 600-point award, PNP draws will always have much higher cutoffs. As there are large draw sizes in a relatively small pool of candidates CEC draws will have lower score cutoffs.

Stepwise procedure to get permanent residence through Express Entry

  1. Check your eligibility: The Express Entry is not a program itself, but is an application manager for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class. If you are eligible for one of the Federal High Skilled programs, your job will be easier.
  2. There are some Provincial Nominee Programs that also invite candidates from the Express Entry pool. This will give you the opportunity of getting bumped to the top of the pool, and will increase your chances for selection.
  3. If you are selected for the pool, you might be eligible for two or more Express Entry-managed programs. Check your CRS score (Comprehensive Ranking System). You will get points for your age, language ability in English or French, work experience, education, and several other factors. The purpose behind the point system is to choose candidates who have a high probability of succeeding in the Canadian workforce.
  4. Candidates who have scored well will get ITAs, or Invitations to Apply, through the Express Entry route. Once you have the ITA, you can apply for permanent residence to the federal government. Permanent residency visas can only be issued by the IRCC.
  5. Next, you will get the Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR), and once you have completed the landing process you can breathe easy. You are now officially deemed to be a permanent resident of Canada!

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