Canada | Immigration | Express Entry Mid Year Report-2020

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Canada has had both the largest and lowest Express Entry draws ever. On 19 February, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) held the biggest Express Entry draw ever, inviting 4,900 candidates in a single draw.

A few weeks later, on March 12, the new minister of immigration, Marco Mendicino, announced that by 2022 Canada would accept more than one million immigrants, many of whom would arrive via Express Entry.


More Express Entry draws has been conducted during the pandemic


It soon emerged that Canada would continue to keep Express Entry draws, and Minister Mendicino said immigration would be essential to economic recovery.


Express Entry Draws drastically modified. The all-program draws, which includes applicants from the Foreign Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), no longer took place every two weeks because of the pandemic. Instead, there will be two draws held within days or hours of each other. The first draw would target beneficiaries of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and the second one would only invite CEC individuals. Such draw pairings are happening roughly every two weeks


As of today, 21 draws have been held including the June 25 Express Entry draw, whereas 12 draws were conducted in the same time frame last year, in 2019.


Nonetheless, this year more Invitations to Apply (ITAs) were issued compared with the same time last year. In the first half of 2020 this year 49,900 ITAs were issued, while in 2019 41,800 ITAs were issued at the mid-year stage.


Here is a look at the number of ITAs issued by mid of the year i.e. by June 30, for the past 5 years.


Number of ITAs Issued by mid of the year












PNP draws will always be smaller than CEC draws, and they will also have higher score requirements for the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) because, in addition to its human capital ranking, a provincial nomination automatically gives candidates an additional 600 points. On April 29, the lowest CRS threshold this year for a PNP draw was 692. This means, in addition to the PNP criteria which awarded them the nomination, recipients only required a human capital score of at least 92.


A PNP draw that provided 118 ITAs on April 15, was the smallest Express Entry draw ever. At 808, it also had the highest CRS cutoff of the year.


Canadian Experience Class (CEC) applicants must have at least one year of professional work experience in Canada, meet the mandatory Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) in their field and live outside Quebec. Express Entry draws that targeted CEC candidates this year were comparatively bigger and wanted much smaller CRS.


Express Entry in corresponding half of 2020


All will be decided before the end of the month, since the new limits on travel ban remain in place until June 30. Premier Justin Trudeau is due to make the announcement in the days to come.


Minister Mendicino reiterated in a new TV interview that Canada will continue to rely on Express Entry and other streams to welcome talent from around the world.


Unless they had a provincial nomination, FSWP and FSTP candidates weren't picked in the current situations. IRCC stated that they give priority to programs such as CEC and PNP for the number of candidates currently in Canada.


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