Since Express Entry began on January 1, 2015, it has been necessary for prospective permanent residents to first receive an Invitation to Apply (“ITA”) before submitting an application for permanent residence under one of the following categories:
- The Federal Skilled Worker Class;
- The Canadian Experience Class;
- The Federal Skilled Trades Class; or
- Members of the Provincial Nominee Class who fall within the Express Entry Stream of a Provincial Nominee Program.
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 January 25, 2017, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) had issued a total of 53 rounds of ITAs under Express Entry. A summary of these rounds appears below:
As I previously reported, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration issued revised Ministerial Instructions on October 21, 2016 (the “2016 Amendments”), which made significant changes to the Express Entry System. These changes came into effect on November 19, 2016.
Many practitioners believed that once the 2016 Amendments came into effect, the lowest eligible CRS score would immediately drop. This was due to the fact that, under the 2016 Amendments, temporary foreign workers holding work permits based on Labour Market Impact Assessments would no longer receive an additional 600 CRS points. However, this proved not to be the case.
Round #48 was technically the first Express Entry round after the 2016 Amendments came into effect but it was made available only to provincial nominees. Round #49 was the first regular Express Entry round after the 2016 Amendments; the lowest CRS score for that round was 497. Round #50 was the second regular Express Entry round after the 2016 Amendments; the lowest CRS score for that round was 475. In other words, there was no immediate drop in the lowest eligible CRS score following the implementation of the 2016 Amendments.
Fortunately, the last two rounds of invitations have shown more promising results. The lowest minimum CRS score to receive an ITA since the Express Entry program began was 450 points, which occurred in Rounds #17 and #18. In Round #52, the lowest eligible CRS score was 459. In Round #53, the lowest eligible CRS score was 453.
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