The IRCC has conducted another Express Entry draw.
In an all-program draw, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) offered 3,500 invitations to apply (ITAs) to candidates. The cut-off score for the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) was 486. Candidates from the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) are considered in an all-program draw.
This is the fourth Express Entry draw in a row, with 7,000 hopefuls invited. The March 29 draw also had the lowest CRS cut-off score since December 2020, at 481.
In 2023, more ITAs have been issued than in the entire year of 2022.
IRCC unveiled its most ambitious Immigration Levels Plan to date in November. Over the next three years, the plan outlines immigration targets for permanent residents across all business lines. This year, 82,880 people will be granted permanent residence status through Express Entry, with the number expected to rise to 114,000 by 2025.
A record-breaking month for Express Entry:
In the history of Express Entry, March was an exceptional month. Over four draws, the IRCC distributed 21,667 ITAs. This was the second-highest monthly total since the start of Express Entry in January 2015. In February 2021, IRCC invited 27,332 individuals in a single draw targeting Canadian Experience Class candidates, breaking the record for the most candidates invited in a single month.
Today's draw comes after three of the second-largest Express Entry draws in history. The first was on March 15, when 7,00 candidates with a CRS score of 490 were invited.
Express Entry draws are typically held every two weeks on Wednesdays. However, the next draw was held just over a week later, on March 23, and IRCC invited an additional 7,000 candidates with a CRS score of 484.
On March 29, another 7,000 candidates draw (for candidates having a minimum CRS score of 481) was held. This amounts to 21,000 candidates being invited in three weeks. The remaining 667 candidates were invited on 1 March in a draw limited to Provincial Nominee Program candidates.
PGWP extension is now available as of April 6th:
The big all-program draws may be advantageous for CEC candidates, many of whom have expressed rising concern since their Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWPs) are slated to expire soon.
Immigration Minister Sean Fraser recently stated that PGWP holders will be able to apply for an 18-month open work permit extension beginning April 6.
PGWPs are one-time open work permits for international students who have graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution. If a candidate's PGWP expires before receiving an ITA, they will be ineligible to apply for permanent residence. Finding an alternate work permit or obtaining a visitor record can be costly and time-consuming.
Few CEC applicants obtained ITAs between November 2022 and February 2023 due to a six-week unforeseen draw stoppage followed by four program-specific drawings that did not target CEC candidates.