In a move never seen before, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) made a shocking Express Entry draw on Saturday, 13th February 2021, inviting over 27,000 applicants to apply for permanent residence though the Express Entry system.
Draw Number: 176
Draw Date: February 13, 2021
Number of Invitations Issued: 27,332
Minimum CRS: 75
Program Specified: Canadian Experience Class
Tie-breaking rule: September 12, 2020
Why this happened?
While COVID-19 has ravaged countries around the world and effected immigration proceedings globally, it has not slowed Canada’s commitment to increase immigration through the Express Entry system. This is to ensure they meet their immigration quota of 1.2 million immigrants by 2023.
This can easily be seen through the number of Invitation to Apply (ITA) draws that have been carried out between 2019 and 2020. Despite the global pandemic, the number of ITA draws conducted by IRCC increased by 42% from 2019 to 2020, with a record number of program specific draws targeting applicants already in Canada.
This latest draw continues this upward trend selecting more and more applicants through the Express Entry system.
Why the CRS cut off was so low?
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) throughout the COVID 19 pandemic has made a commitment of security for all those in Canada. With the CRS cut off being a record low of 75, this latest draw confirms foreign workers are at the forefront of all efforts to make sure Canada comes out of COVID 19 stronger than ever.
All 27,000 + applicants who received an ITA in this latest draw had at least 1 year of Canadian work experience in a skilled occupation acquired in the last 3 years.
Since the Express Entry system came into effect in 2015, the IRCC have largely prioritized applicants based on their CRS ranking in the Express Entry pool, rather than the program they qualify under. This latest draw demonstrates a shift in the mindset of IRCC from a purely economic drive to a more compassionate approach, by prioritizing foreign nationals already in Canada during these turbulent times, who on paper may not be the strongest applicant.
What can we learn from this?
This draw demonstrates the unpredictability of ITA draws and confirms that the most important thing is to have an express entry profile. Most applicants who enter the Express Entry pool focus on their CRS and how high they rank. If this draw shows us anything, it’s that your CRS score is not everything.