Express Entry had a historic month in March.

Four significant achievements were accomplished by Express Entry in March 2023. Among these milestones was the establishment of a new record for the highest number of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) issued in a single all-program draw since the application management system’s inception in 2015.

Canada’s federal government manages immigration applications for three programs, namely the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) through an application management system called Express Entry. The system is designed to cumulatively manage these applications.

The prevalence of the system can be observed in the Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025, which outlines Canada’s goal of receiving a minimum of 82,000 new immigrants to the country via the Express Entry program annually for the next three years.

NOTE : According to the most recent Immigration Levels Plan, Canada has set a goal of admitting 82,800 Express Entry immigrants in 2023, with a subsequent increase to 109,020 in 2024 and 114,000 in 2025.

During March, Canada’s immigration system achieved several significant milestones through Express Entry on its journey towards the ultimate goal. The forthcoming paragraphs will discuss these noteworthy events.

In over two years, the largest number of ITAs issued in a single month was recorded, which ranks as the second-highest of all time.

During March 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) granted the largest number of ITAs in a single month since February 2021. Throughout the month, four draws resulted in a total of 21,667 ITAs issued, making March 2023 the second-largest month for Express Entry since the program was established eight years ago.

“The biggest draw(s) ever in the history of Express Entry for all programs”

In the previous month, IRCC surpassed the record it had set in January of this year by conducting the largest all-program draw in the history of Express Entry. On March 15, 7,000 candidates received invitations to apply for permanent residency in Canada.

Note: The previous record was 5,500 ITAs issued in a draw on January 18

For three consecutive weeks, the IRCC conducted draws that granted 7,000 ITAs, as Canada’s immigration department matched this figure in two subsequent draws after the initial one.

In a span of two weeks, 21,000 ITAs were issued.

The above-mentioned milestone led to the issuance of 21,000 ITAs by IRCC during a two-week timeframe, wherein the immigration department conducted three draws from March 15 to March 29.

Starting with the first historic draw on March 15 (as mentioned earlier), the IRCC extended invitations to 7,000 immigration candidates to apply for Canadian PR through an all-program draw. Just eight days later, another surprise all-program draw resulted in 7,000 more candidates receiving ITAs from Canada’s immigration department on March 23. Six days after that draw, the IRCC invited an additional 7,000 economic immigration candidates to apply for permanent resident status in Canada.

Lowest all-program draw Comprehensive Ranking System score in 27 months

High Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores are a prerequisite for achieving success in the Express Entry system. This is because only candidates who score above the cut-off point in a specific draw’s CRS ranking will be eligible to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) from the IRCC during that round.

One important point to mention is that as of the end of March, the CRS scores have reached their lowest point (across all program draws) since December 2020. Specifically, during the March 23 draw, the cut-off CRS score was 484, which dropped to 481 by March 29, following a score of 490 on March 15.

Back at the end of 2020, the all-program CRS cut-off score was 468 (December 23)

The future of Express Entry

Predicting Express Entry draws, including both the CRS scores and the number of ITAs, has always been a challenging task. This difficulty is likely to persist because there is no established protocol for when the IRCC will conduct a draw or how many candidates will receive an ITA in any given round of invitations.

It is anticipated that IRCC will commence conducting focused draws sometime during the second quarter of this year. Although the precise commencement date of these draws is yet to be established, they will enable IRCC to grant Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to potential immigrants based on specific criteria like their occupation, educational background, language proficiency, etc. The goal of these draws is to help Canada tackle particular labour market requirements, allowing all regions and provinces to maximize the benefits of immigration to the country.

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