Canada broke all records with its high CRS draw!
As pledged by Canadian Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, Canada announced its Comprehensive Ranking System draw first time since December 2020 with a score as high as 557.
The draw was announced for both Foreign Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) as well as Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates. This has been for the first time since September 2021 that CEC candidates were also included in the Express Entry draw.
In addition to the above news, a total of 1500 applications got accepted in today’s draw to apply for permanent residence status in Canada by Immigration, Refugees, and Canadian Citizenship. Fraser also assured that the processing time for the applications will now as well move to the previous service standard of six months.
What caused such a high CRS?
The memo from the minister of Immigration from April made a hint that when the draws for all programs resume, the CRS cut-off will be higher than 500 points. The same has been done as well.
The accumulation of numerous highly qualified applicants in the Express Entry pool is most likely to be responsible for the high CRS. Despite the draws being on hold, candidates have continued to enter the pool, creating a significant candidate build-up with a high CRS score.
According to the figures, the number of candidates in the pool on the day of the draw was as high as 220,000, setting a record.
In an interview with CIC News this week, immigration minister Sean Fraser reaffirmed the IRCC's intention to continue holding All-program Express Entry draws beginning on July 6 of this year. He also shared information about how Canadian Immigration intends to address the grave issue of growing application backlogs. In addition, he provided details about the immigration goals Canada wants to make for the years 2022–2023 in his interview.
Applicants can now expect the standard processing time?
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) suspended the Express Entry invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence to the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and Federal Skilled Trade Program (FSTP) with effect from December 2020. For the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the same rules went into force starting in September 2021.
To solve this issue, Fraser reassured in his interview that once the draws are put into effect commencing in July 2022, IRCC will supposedly normalize the processing time for all programs of Express Entry. Additionally, the IRCC made a commitment in April to restore the six-month processing schedule when it begins the drawings for all programs this year.
Recent developments in Express Entry
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRCC held Express Entry draws every two weeks, which implied that candidates would be selected mostly based on their highest CRS scores. The IRCC paused their draws for FSWP and FSTP due to the foreign travel restrictions in order to meet the target of bringing in over 400000 new permanent residents to Canada by the end of 2021. The focus then shifted to the CEC candidates.
Applications for CEC consequently began to fill the IRCC inventory. To get around this, IRCC made the decision to halt the selection processes for Canadian Experience Class applicants in September 2021 as well. To address the demand for labor shortages throughout the pandemic in the meanwhile, only Provincial Nomination Programs remained in existence to ensure the overall economic development in the country.
Impact of all-program draws on Express Entry
Since the establishment of the Express Entry, the FSWP has consistently been the primary program for individuals from economic classes looking to immigrate to Canada for permanent residence. FSWP alone accounted for 45% of all EE immigration during the pre-pandemic period.
A study by World Education Services suggests that with the continuation of EE draws, the demand for FSWP candidates will grow strongly despite the enormous backlog of applications caused by the pandemic. This is in light of Canada's pledge to resume draws for all three Express Entry programs, namely, FSWP, FSTP, and CEC.
Due to the excessive backlog, the CEC draws have also been suspended since September 2021. As a result, many applicants were unable to get an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for the application of permanent residence. To address this problem, the government created a new program to which such skilled workers might apply in order to maintain their right to reside legally in the nation. Bridging Open Work Permit is the name given to this (BOWP). All of these applicants may now breathe a sigh of relief because the CEC draws will be also resumed, which means they will soon receive their ITAs, which will enable them to submit applications for permanent residency.
Future anticipations for Canada Immigration
The immigration minister, Sean Fraser, stated in the interview that Canada expects to increase immigration in the following years to 500,000 annually, up from 340,000 before the outbreak of the pandemic. He makes it clear that the prime objective is to ensure communal welfare and not only to increase in immigration to the nation. This will be accomplished by addressing the nation's severe labor deficit, which has mostly grown as a result of COVID 19, he added.
Fraser does not agree that it is yet appropriate to declare the goals for the 2023–2025 plans, but he still has a strong intuition that Canada will be able to meet the goal of welcoming 500,000 new immigrants given the needs and possibilities that they bring to the country.
Is backlog no more a problem?
Last month, the immigration minister spoke with CIC News about the factors contributing to the growing backlog of applications. According to him, the processing of applications ceased as a result of the closure of offices globally due to COVID-19, which increased the backlog.
He further added that the IRCC turned its focus to the CEC applicants by inviting them to apply for permanent resident status as the government imposed travel restrictions and suspended the Express Entry draws for FSWP and FSTP. The inventory also continued to grow as new applications kept coming in.
Fraser stated that the IRCC has already doubled its workforce and even modernized its procedures and technology in order to address this problem. He was also optimistic that not only will Canada cover its backlog by the end of this calendar year but will also be providing certainty of processing by returning to its standard service time.