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Corporate immigration: Update on Express Entry

express entry system.inddSince Express Entry began on January 1, 2015, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”), formerly known as Citizenship and Immigration Canada, has issued several rounds of Invitations to Apply (“ITAs”). An ITA allows a foreign national to submit their application for permanent residence under one of the following categories:

  • The Federal Skilled Worker (“FSW”) Class;
  • The Canadian Experience Class (“CEC”);
  • The Federal Skilled Trades (“FST”) Class; or
  • Members of the Provincial Nominee Class who fall within the Express Entry Stream of a Provincial Nominee Program (“PNP”).

Express Entry applicants are selected to receive an ITA based on how many points they are assigned under the Comprehensive Ranking System (“CRS”).

As of the date of this article, CIC has issued a total of 45 rounds of ITAs. A summary of these Express Entry rounds appears below:

  • In Round #1 (January 31, 2015), IRCC issued 779 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 886 CRS points.
  • In Round #2 (February 7, 2015), IRCC issued 779 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 818 CRS points.
  • In Round #3 (February 20, 2015), IRCC issued 849 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 808 CRS points.
  • In Round #4 (February 27, 2015), IRCC issued 1187 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 735 CRS points.
  • In Round #5 (March 20, 2015), IRCC issued 1620 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 481 CRS points.
  • In Round #6 (March 27, 2015), IRCC issued 1637 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 453 CRS points.
  • In Round #7 (April 10, 2015), IRCC issued 925 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 469 CRS points.
  • In Round #8 (April 17, 2015), IRCC issued 715 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 453 CRS points.
  • In Round #9 (May 22, 2015), IRCC issued 1361 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 755 CRS points.
  • In Round #10 (June 12, 2015), IRCC issued 1501 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 482 CRS points.
  • In Round #11 (June 26, 2015), IRCC issued 1575 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 469 CRS points.
  • In Round #12 (July 10, 2015), IRCC issued 1516 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 463 CRS points.
  • In Round #13 (July 17, 2015), IRCC issued 1581 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 451 CRS points.
  • In Round #14 (August 7, 2015), IRCC issued 1402 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 471 CRS points.
  • In Round #15 (August 21, 2015), IRCC issued 1523 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 456 CRS points.
  • In Round #16 (September 8, 2015), IRCC issued 1517 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 459 CRS points.
  • In Round #17 (September 18, 2015), IRCC issued 1545 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 450 CRS points.
  • In Round #18 (October 2, 2015), IRCC issued 1530 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 450 CRS points.
  • In Round #19 (October 23, 2015), IRCC issued 1502 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 489 CRS points.
  • In Round #20 (November 13, 2015), IRCC issued 1506 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 484 CRS points.
  • In Round #21 (November 27, 2015), IRCC issued 1559 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 472 CRS points.
  • In Round #22 (December 4, 2015), IRCC issued 1451 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 461 CRS points.
  • In Round #23 (December 18, 2015), IRCC issued 1503 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 460 CRS points.
  • In Round #24 (January 6, 2016), IRCC issued 1463 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 461 CRS points.
  • In Round #25 (January 13, 2016), IRCC issued 1518 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 453 CRS points.
  • In Round #26 (January 27, 2016), IRCC issued 1468 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 457 CRS points.
  • In Round #27 (February 10, 2016), IRCC issued 1505 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 459 CRS points.
  • In Round #28 (February 24, 2016), IRCC issued 1484 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 453 CRS points.
  • In Round #29 (March 9, 2016), IRCC issued 1013 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 473 CRS points.
  • In Round #30 (March 23, 2016), IRCC issued 1014 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 470 CRS points.
  • In Round #31 (April 6, 2016), IRCC issued 954 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 470 CRS points.
  • In Round #32 (April 20, 2016), IRCC issued 1018 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 468 CRS points.
  • In Round #33 (May 6, 2016), IRCC issued 799 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 534 CRS points.
  • In Round #34 (May 18, 2016), IRCC issued 763 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 484 CRS points.
  • In Round #35 (June 1, 2016), IRCC issued 762 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 483 CRS points.
  • In Round #36 (June 15, 2016), IRCC issued 752 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 488 CRS points.
  • In Round #37 (June 29, 2016), IRCC issued 773 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 482 CRS points.
  • In Round #38 (July 13, 2016), IRCC issued 747 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 482 CRS points.
  • In Round #39 (July 27, 2016), IRCC issued 755 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 488 CRS points.
  • In Round #40 (August 10, 2016), IRCC issued 754 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 490 CRS points.
  • In Round #41 (August 24, 2016), IRCC issued 750 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 538 CRS points.
  • In Round #42 (September 7, 2016), IRCC issued 1,000 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 491 CRS points.
  • In Round #43 (September 21, 2016), IRCC issued 1,288 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 483 CRS points.
  • In Round #44 (October 12, 2016), IRCC issued 1,518 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 484 CRS points.
  • In Round #45 (October 19, 2016), IRCC issued 1,804 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 475 CRS points.

The lowest minimum CRS score that was previously eligible to receive an ITA was 450 points, which occurred in rounds 17 and 18. However, the minimum CRS score subsequently rose to over 480 points in rounds 19 and 20.

This was still a low enough score for a candidate to be selected without a Labour Market Impact Assessment or a nomination under a provincial nominee program Express Entry stream. However, many applicants were hoping that the minimum CRS score would continue to drop before the end of 2015; this clearly did not occur.

Fortunately, the minimum CRS score has dropped several times during 2016, to levels approaching rounds 19 and 20. In rounds 25 and 28, the minimum CRS score dropped to as low as 453 points. That said, the minimum CRS score also rose to as high as 538 points in round 41. In the most recent round on October 19, 2016, the minimum CRS score was 475 points.

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Henry J. Chang

Corporate immigration lawyer at Blaney McMurtry LLP
Henry J. Chang is a partner in the business immigration group of Blaney McMurtry LLP. A recognized authority in the field of United States and Canadian immigration law, Mr. Chang lectures extensively on the subject in both the United States and Canada. His written works have appeared in numerous nationally and internationally recognized legal publications, including Immigration Law and Procedure, which has been cited in over 300 federal court decisions. Read more
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