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Canada Express Entry in 2021: A Review

Posted on January 10, 2022
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Canada Express Entry in 2021

Canada announced the 2020-2022 Immigration Levels Plan on March 12, 2020. A week later – on March 18, 2020 – international travel restrictions were imposed by Canada in view of COVID-19.

Since then, many changes have been made, both at the federal and provincial level, by Canada to minimize the impact of the pandemic on Canadian immigration.

To better accommodate the ebb in the flow of immigrants into the country due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Canada came out with the 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan on October 30, 2020.

With the adjustments being made, the initially 361,000 to be welcomed in 2022 (as per 2020-2021 Plan), came to be replaced by 411,000 in 2022 (as per 2021-2023 Plan).

Permanent residence submissions come under the federal department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

To address the impact of the pandemic on Canadian immigration, IRCC has been adapting the Express Entry system accordingly. Many temporary changes were made by IRCC to keep up with the service disruptions and limitations on the global scale.

Express Entry – Quick Facts
What is Canada’s Express Entry? An online application management system.
Who can apply? Skilled foreign workers that want to work and live in Canada as permanent residents.
When was Express Entry launched? 2015
When was the first Express Entry draw?  January 31, 2015
How many Express Entry draws have been held so far? 212 Express Entry draws have been held so far (between January 2015 to December 2021).
Which Canada immigration programs come under Express Entry? ·       Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

·       Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

·       Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

Also, some PNP streams are linked with the federal Express Entry system.

Which Canadian PNP streams are linked with Express Entry? ·       ALBERTA: Alberta Express Entry Stream

·       BRITISH COLUMBIA: Express Entry BC – Skilled Worker

·       BRITISH COLUMBIA: Express Entry BC – Healthcare Professional

·       BRITISH COLUMBIA: Express Entry BC – International Graduate

·       BRITISH COLUMBIA: Express Entry BC – International Post-Graduate

·       MANITOBA – Skilled Workers Overseas – Manitoba Express Entry Pathway

·       NEW BRUNSWICK – New Brunswick Express Entry Labour Market Stream

·       NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR – Express Entry Skilled Worker

·       NOVA SCOTIA – Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry

·       NOVA SCOTIA – Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry

·       ONTARIO – Skilled Trades Stream

·       ONTARIO – Human Capital Priorities Stream

·       ONTARIO – French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream

·       PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND – Express Entry stream

·       SASKATCHEWAN – International Skilled Worker: Saskatchewan Express Entry

·       NORTHWEST TERRITORIES – Employer-Driven: Express Entry

·       YUKON – Express Entry

The responsiveness of the Express Entry was harnessed by IRCC to reduce barriers for clients, while maximizing the benefit to Canada from economic immigration.

As the pandemic situation remains constantly evolving, IRCC continues to monitor Express Entry to further explore as to how the system could be used in the best possible manner.

The pandemic situation has had a big role to play in determining the course of Canadian immigration in 2020-21.

With the aim of 401,000 permanent resident admissions in 2021, IRCC looked at those already within Canada on a temporary status to be most ideally-situated to be transitioned onto permanent residence.

Consequently, since the imposition of travel restrictions in March 2020, Canada has been focusing more on candidates that were more likely to already be in Canada at the time of being invited to apply by IRCC. Candidates, such as those with a nomination under the PNP, or eligible for the CEC.

The focus on Canada immigration hopefuls already within Canada could be seen clearly with the biggest Express Entry draw of them all. A record 27,332 with previous and recent Canadian experience – making them eligible for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) under Express Entry – were invited on February 13, 2021.

The minimum score requirement for the #176 Express Entry draw was also set at a low CRS 75, thereby making it much easier for those already within Canada on a temporary basis to become permanent residents.

Here, CRS stands for the Comprehensive Ranking System.

Express Entry Draws in 2021
Total invited 114,431
Total draws held 42
PNP-specific draws 25 of 42
CEC-only draws 17 of 42
No all-program IRCC Draws were held in 2021.

In May 2021, IRCC launched six temporary to permanent streams paving the way for 90,000 essential workers and international graduates in Canada to apply for permanent residence.

With the processing capacity increased, monthly 35,000 to 45,000 permanent residents came to be landed from June 2021 onwards. A majority of these were those from within Canada.

Recently, IRCC announced a new record for the total number of permanent residents in a year. IRCC has announced the milestone in a December 23, 2021 News Release, “Canada has reached its target and welcomed more than 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021.”

IRCC faces certain backlogs – including those with Confirmation of Permanent Residence, also called COPR holders; study/work/visitor visas; and permanent residence applicants.

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) candidates also await invitations in IRCC draws. Prior to COVID-19, the FSWP used to make up the biggest group of Express Entry immigrants.

Despite the challenges, IRCC has relentlessly worked towards keeping the immigration system functioning as smoothly as possible.

411,000 are to be welcomed by Canada in 2022. Of these, 241,500 will be economic immigrants. The Express Entry target stands at 110,500 admissions in 2022.

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate Overseas, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No. 1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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