For the first time since December 2020, Canada has invited 1500 Express Entry Candidates under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) to apply for permanent residence in Canada. The CRS cut-off score for the draw is 557.

As per the statements given by the Canadian Immigration Minister, Express Entry has officially resumed, and the application will be processed within the standard processing period of 6 months. Minister Sean Fraser, in a statement, welcomed skilled immigrant workers who are important to meet Canada’s labor shortage and boost the growth story of the Canadian economy. He further stressed that the Canadian government is continuously working to reduce the immigration backlogs before resuming Express Entry draws.

Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates were also included in the Express Entry draw. This marks the first time since September 2021 that CEC candidates have been included in an Express Entry draw. It’s kind of big news for all aspiring Canada immigration applicants.

For various reasons, the restoration of all-program draws is crucial. From its inception in 1967 until 2020, the Federal Skilled Worker Program was the primary means through which Canada accepted skilled immigrants. Before the pandemic, the FSWP accounted for almost 45 percent of all persons granted an Express Entry ITA.

For CEC candidates, the reintroduction of all-program draws is also welcome news. The CEC is the primary means of obtaining permanent residency in Canada for the country’s substantial international student and foreign labor population. The CEC has recently gained importance due to Canada’s increased dependence on it to meet its immigration objectives. Before the pandemic, the CEC accounted for just 9% of the 341,000 immigrants admitted to Canada under the economic, family, and humanitarian classes combined. Also, the CEC accounted for about one-third of the approximately 405,000 immigrants who arrived in Canada last year.

Two weeks ago, in a media statement, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser stated that the IRCC was on pace to hold an all-program Express Entry draw on July 6. Furthermore, IRCC intends to resume processing most Express Entry applications within six months.

All-program Express Entry draws occur when IRCC evaluates all applicants in the Express Entry pool and awards invitations to apply (ITA) for permanent residence based only on their CRS score. IRCC usually held an all-program draw between the beginning of Express Entry in 2015 and December 2020. This meant that candidates for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) all had a chance for an ITA.

Beginning in January 2021, IRCC concentrated on inviting CEC candidates solely. The IRCC did this since most of these applicants were in Canada and less likely to suffer COVID-related issues than immigration candidates from other countries. However, in September 2021, IRCC suspended CEC invites to manage application backlogs. Meanwhile, IRCC has continued to run bi-weekly draws for Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) applicants to assist provinces and territories in meeting labor market demands.

More about Express Entry Program

Express Entry, Canada’s online application management system, launched in January 2015. It primarily focuses on managing economic immigration programs such as FSWP (Federal Skilled Worker Program), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and a portion of provincial nominee programs. It is a two-step process wherein step one requires candidates to affirm that they satisfy the requirements of at least one of the three Express Entry programs.

Candidates who satisfy the criteria can upload their Express Entry profile on the IRCC website. A Comprehensive Ranking System score is assigned to candidates based on human capital factors such as age, education, language abilities, and job experience. IRCC invites the highest-scoring individuals to apply for permanent residency every two weeks. Those who have been asked to apply for permanent residency have 60 days to do so. The IRCC strives to complete most applications in six months or fewer.