On October 26, Canada held its ninth all-program Express Entry draw since July 6. The minimum CRS score requirement for this draw is 496. This is the first time since December 2020, the CRS cut-off for an all-program draw has gone below 500.

Candidates having a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 496 were invited. This draw invited candidates under the Express Entry system from the CEC, FSWP, and FSTP categories.

Earlier, all-program Express Entry draws were stopped for nearly 18 months beginning in December 2020. Only CEC or Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) applicants were invited to apply during the break (ITAs). This pause was just because of the devastating impacts of COVID-19. IRCC also suspended CEC draws in September 2021.

The CRS has dropped below 500 for the first time since draws commenced. The score was 468 on December 23, 2020, the last time it was this low. Following that draw, all program Express Entry draws were suspended to prevent adding to the backlog of applications for permanent residence.

IRCC can raise the number of ITAs by decreasing the CRS score, as evidenced by the eight prior draws in which the number of applicants climbed as the CRS score steadily declined.

IRCC publishes a new plan year that establishes a target number of immigrants Canada expects to receive over the next three years. The figures are further broken down per immigrant category and program. For example, the Immigration Levels Plan set a target of 55,900 new permanent residents through Express Entry for 2022. Between January and August 31, Canada welcomed slightly more than 28,000 new permanent residents via Express Entry programs. This year, a new Immigration Levels Plan is likely to be released on November 1.

Statistics Canada recently published “Immigration selection variables and the incomes of major applicants,” an update to the 2015 study that influenced the development of the Comprehensive Ranking System.

The analysis examined which traits at the time of arrival influenced new permanent residents’ short, medium, and long-term wages. Among the decisive criteria were education, linguistic competence, and prior work experience. Pre-landing employment experience, particularly in Canada, was deemed the most relevant aspect of an individual’s economic outlook.