ANALYSIS: Canada reveals that it is serious about meeting its immigration targets after a huge Express Entry draw.
Beginning this year, Canada has set out to accept at least 401,000 immigrants annually, with over a quarter set to arrive via the Express Entry scheme.
The department of immigration is already starting the year off big. A historically broad Express Entry draw with a historically low CRS requirement was held on Saturday by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). 27,332 principal applicants were invited, who required only a CRS of at least 75.
In order to be invited, these candidates must be eligible for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
IRCC also organized draws targeting applicants who have received a nomination from a Provincial Nominee Program in addition to CEC-specific draws (PNP). The number of ITAs released after the February 13 draw was more than triple what it was at the same point in 2020.
It goes without saying that Express Entry is unpredictable, but we do know that through Express Entry-managed programs in 2021, Canada has committed to welcoming 108,500 newcomers. Travel obstacles are in the way of achieving this ambitious aim, but the Minister of Immigration said efforts would be focused on finding ways for temporary residents in Canada to migrate to permanent residence.
If you are in Canada, it is now time for you to get an Express Entry profile, as long as you are free. While your profile is in the pool waiting for an Invitation to Apply (ITA), you can always take steps, such as submitting new language test results or Educational Credential Evaluation, to boost your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) performance.
What if I am not in Canada?
According to a media release, the IRCC will accept professional workers from abroad when travel restrictions are lifted.
As a public safety measure, travel restrictions are in effect and they will be lifted when the government determines that the advantage of accepting foreigners outweighs the risk of COVID-19 spreading. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has consistently vowed that by the end of September, 2021, anyone in Canada who needs a vaccine will be able to get one. This is not to say that there will be an end to restrictions at this time, but it is cause to be hopeful about Canada’s widespread immunity.
Consider that the process will take months from the moment you decide you want to immigrate to Canada to when you are finally accepted for permanent residency when you decide on the best time for you to send your profile to the Express Entry pool.
You need your language test results and an Educational Certification Assessment, which can each take a few months to complete, to join the pool through the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the most common pathway for those abroad.
You will have 90 days to apply for permanent residency if you get an ITA. After you submit your application, the standard for IRCC processing is six months.
You will obtain your Permanent Residency Confirmation (COPR), which is valid until your medical test or passport expires, if your application is approved. This is the stage of the process that travel restrictions are actually hindering. Generally, COPR holders who have been authorised after March 18, 2020 are not permitted to come to Canada. They must be excluded from travel restrictions for any other purpose, such as coming for important work or reuniting with relatives, in order to cross the border and complete their landing. If they come to Canada from their home in the United States, they may even be allowed in. They can not, however, transit from another country via the U.S.
When deciding whether you want to start the Express Entry process from abroad, these are the things to remember. Canada has a massive commitment to uphold, because depending on how many people are in the pool and how high the draws are, we can expect to see more large Express Entry draws that might also have lower CRS requirements. Canada makes it clear that now is not the time to fly, but it is just a matter of time before borders reopen with vaccines being carried out all over the globe.
The FSWP will play a vital role in meeting Canada’s immigration goals as borders reopen, since it was the lead category of Express Entry immigrants prior to the pandemic, and since the FSWP was introduced in 1967, it has been the lead category of skilled workers to Canada. Canada plans to accept over 400,000 immigrants each year under its 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Programme, with an estimate of 110,000 annually expected to arrive by Express Entry.