Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) conducted its third Express Entry draw of the year on February 1st, 2023.
The February 1 Express Entry draw saw permanent residency invitations being issued to 893 Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates with a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 733.
This was the first program-specific Express Entry draw conducted by IRCC since July 2022. Between July and this draw, IRCC was conducting all-program Express Entry invitation rounds. Candidates invited to these all-program draws were invited without a provincial nomination – from one of the three streams managed by the Express Entry system i.e.,
The tie-breaking rule set for the February 1st draw was December 09, 2022, at 10:49:57 UTC. Candidates that met the minimum score threshold were only invited if they had submitted their profile to the Express Entry pool before this date. Candidates with a provincial nomination from a Canadian PNP (except Quebec) - were eligible for this invitation round.
Since receiving a provincial nomination grants the applicant an additional 600 points, Express Entry candidates needed a minimum CRS score of 133 to be eligible before getting nominated by a Canadian PNP.
After a long wait of six weeks, Canada resumed its all-program Express Entry draw on January 11. IRCC followed this draw by conducting another one on January 18. The first draw saw 5,500 candidates being invited with minimum CRS scores of 507, followed by the surprise draw on January 18 issuing the same number of invitations – but with a significantly lower CRS score of 490.
By lowering the CRS score, the IRCC plans to increase the number of candidates eligible to receive ITAs through Express Entry. This has been the trend since all-program Express Entry draws resumed on July 6.
The size and frequency of the invitation rounds are determined by the IRCC’s application backlog at that time. Express Entry draws are usually held every two weeks on a Wednesday – with some exceptions. The dates of the selections are not posted before they take place.
Canada has invested millions of dollars and hired hundreds of new employees to boost its processing capacity. IRCC stated that the department is working hard to resume the standard frequency of draws. Along with Canada’s “new & improved” Immigration Level Plans, Canada is all set to welcome over 450,000 immigrants in 2023. ITAs are being issued in large numbers with record-breaking low CRS scores.
Now is indeed the best time to immigrate to Canada!
Don't wait. The time will never be just right.
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