Express Entry: IRCC finalizes over 14,000 CEC applications and less than 600 FSWP applications per month
New data from IRCC shows how the ministry is currently prioritizing Express Entry requests.
Data represents the number of permanent residence applications submitted under Express Entry that were approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
Express Entry is the primary means by which Canada welcomes skilled economic immigrants. Applicants who meet the criteria for an Express Entry program can submit their profile on the IRCC website. Applicants receive a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on human capital criteria such as their age, education, language skills and work experience. Approximately every two weeks, IRCC invites top-rated applicants to apply for permanent residence. These applicants then have 60 days to submit their application for permanent residence to IRCC. Once IRCC approves the application, an applicant receives a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) that allows them to officially land in Canada as permanent residence. The settlement process may involve a COPR holder who resided in Canada as a temporary resident converting their legal status to permanent residence. It can also be a person arriving from abroad with his COPR to become a permanent resident.
IRCC made significant changes to its Express Entry policies amid the pandemic. The department is currently pursuing a plan to land 401,000 new permanent residents this year. In early 2021, it made the decision to focus on transitioning more temporary residents to permanent residency to give it a better chance of meeting its goal of 401,000 immigrants. As a result, this year it only invited applicants from the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) under Express Entry. This is a major departure from the previous one as the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) accounted for about 45% of successful Express Entry applicants before the pandemic. IRCC made this temporary policy change for two reasons. First, he argues that because some 90 percent of CEC applicants currently reside in Canada during the pandemic, they are less likely to face COVID-related disruptions that would hamper their ability to complete their residency certification. permanent in 2021. Second, IRCC continues to invite PNP nominees to help provinces across the country meet their labor market needs.
Another impact of this change is that IRCC did not invite the top-ranked applicants from across the Express Entry pool, as it did before the pandemic, but instead invited the top CEC and PNP applicants. better ranked. This resulted in lower overall CRS cut-off scores as the department aimed to invite as many CEC applicants as possible to support its immigration target for this year. The most notable draw of the year came on February 13, when IRCC invited 27,332 CEC applicants to apply for permanent residence, a feat it achieved by setting the cutoff score of the CRS at just 75. To put it in perspective, that draw was almost six. times larger than the previous record (Express Entry has been around since 2015), and the cutoff score was almost 400 points lower than it usually was before the pandemic.
CIC News obtained data from IRCC showing that the CEC accounts for approximately 85% of all finalized Express Entry applications this year. Between January and October, IRCC issued COPRs to 108,860 CEC applicants. The department issued 12,514 COPRs to PNP applicants (about 10 percent of all COPRs issued to Express Entry applicants this year).
The most affected group are FSWP candidates. They only receive 6,795 COPRs this year. This is only 5% of all COPRs issued to Express Entry applicants this year, about 9 times fewer than before the pandemic.
Source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
IRCC got off to a slow start as it completed between 7,000 and 10,000 Express Entry requests per month through May. In June, that number nearly doubled and IRCC maintained a high pace of processing Express Entry requests in the second half of this year. CEC applicants are by far the biggest beneficiaries of increased processing capacity. IRCC has also increased the number of PNP applications it is finalizing, but it is still not at the same level it processed for PNP applicants in January. The data suggests that IRCC has diverted its resources to processing as many CEC requests as possible, as it seeks to meet its goal of 401,000 newcomers.
There has been little improvement in the number of FSWP requests processed. In September and October, IRCC finalized 600 FSWP requests in each of those months.
IRCC says it currently has a backlog of 1.8 million permanent and temporary resident applications. This includes just under 100,000 Express Entry requests as of October 27. Assuming IRCC maintains its current pace, it will have processed all of the approximately 48,000 remaining CEC requests by January 2022. The ministry has indicated that it would like to reduce its Express Entry inventory by more than half before proceeding. consider resuming invitations to CEC and FSWP applicants. IRCC has held 27 CEC draws this year, but has ceased them since September 14. Meanwhile, FSWP applicants have not been drawn from the pool since December 23, 2020. There were some 165,000 FSWP applicants in the Express Entry pool as of October 25, 2021, which means they represent around 85 percent. of all current Express Entry candidates.
IRCC is on track to meet its immigration target this year. It disembarked nearly 314,000 permanent residents until October, and in recent months it has disembarked more than 45,000 per month. The department is currently in the process of determining Canada’s immigration levels target for 2022, as well as the Express Entry strategy to be pursued next year. We can expect to learn more in the coming months. Some of the major announcements to come include the sending of mandate letters to every federal minister, including Immigration Minister Sean Fraser. Additionally, Fraser will unveil Canada’s 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan by February 10. The mandate letter and New Levels Plan will provide stakeholders with further guidance on IRCC’s strategic priorities in 2022 and beyond.
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