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Introduction to Express Entry Programs

Canada’s Express Entry application management system administers three key programs: the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). Candidates in the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) are already qualified for at least one Express Entry program.

2021 Express Entry Data Report

A recent report from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) summarized Express Entry data for the exceptional year of 2021. The report revealed that 114,431 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) were issued, all being program-specific draws for the PNP and CEC. No ITAs were issued to FSWP or FSTP candidates.

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Impact of COVID-19 on Express Entry Draws

Starting in December 2020, all program draws were suspended to mitigate the backlog caused by COVID-19-related travel restrictions and border closures. IRCC continued to issue ITAs to CEC and PNP candidates until September 2021 when CEC draws were also halted. Of the ITAs issued, 64% were awarded to recipients between 20-29 years old.

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ITAs Issued to Temporary Residents in Canada

Due to the pauses, the majority of ITAs were issued to candidates already residing in Canada as temporary residents. However, some ITAs were still distributed to candidates living abroad. The top five nationalities receiving ITAs were Canada, India, Nigeria, the United States, and the People’s Republic of China.

Express Entry Draws in 2023

By 2023, the Express Entry Management System facilitated the completion of six draws by IRCC, with the seventh draw recently announced. This draw invited 7,000 candidates with a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 490, surpassing the previous record of 5,500 candidates.

Overview of Express Entry Programs

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

Candidates must have over one year of continuous full-time, or equivalent, paid work experience in a skilled occupation within the past 10 years and sufficient funds for settlement in Canada.

Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

This program aims to assist skilled workers in becoming permanent residents based on their qualifications in a skilled trade.

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

Targeted towards skilled workers with Canadian work experience who wish to become permanent residents. Candidates must have obtained their work experience while under temporary resident status with authorization to work.

Break in Program-Specific Draws

The seventh draw disrupted the trend of program-specific draws occurring over the past two months. Since the last all-program draw, there have been four program-specific rounds of invitations: three for PNP-only and one for FSWP candidates. The most recent PNP-only draw issued ITAs to 697 candidates on March 1st.

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