- In March 2023, Canada’s Express Entry system hit several milestones, including issuing a record-breaking number of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) in a single month and the largest all-program draw in Express Entry history.
- These milestones show Canada’s commitment to increasing immigration levels to meet labor market needs and address demographic challenges.
- The high number of ITAs issued in March is good news for potential immigrants, indicating that there may be more opportunities for them to immigrate to Canada through the Express Entry system.
March 2023 was a historic month for Canada’s Express Entry system. The country’s federal government announced four significant milestones, which include setting a record for the most Invitations to Apply (ITAs) issued in a single all-program draw since the application management system began operating in 2015. In this article, we will discuss these milestones and their potential impact on Canada’s immigration system.
What is Express Entry?
Express Entry is a program management system used by Canada’s federal government to manage immigration applications for three programs, including the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). With the Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025, Canada aims to welcome at least 82,000 new immigrants through the Express Entry program each year for the next three years.
Milestone 1: Most ITAs in a Single Month in Over Two Years, Second-Most All-Time
In March, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued the highest number of ITAs in a single month since February 2021, with a total of 21,667 ITAs issued across four draws throughout the month. This figure also makes March 2023 the second-largest Express Entry month since the program’s inception eight years ago.
Milestone 2: Largest All-Program Draw(s) in Express Entry History
IRCC set a new record for the largest all-program draw in Express Entry history in March, inviting 7,000 candidates to apply for Permanent Residency (PR) in Canada. This number was higher than the previous record of 5,500 ITAs issued in a draw on January 18. Furthermore, IRCC conducted three consecutive draws issuing 7,000 ITAs in each draw.
Milestone 3: Two Weeks, 21,000 ITAs
As a result of the above milestone, IRCC issued 21,000 ITAs over two weeks, conducting three draws between March 15 and March 29. During the first draw on March 15, IRCC invited 7,000 immigration candidates to apply for Canadian PR in an all-program draw. Eight days later, another 7,000 candidates received ITAs in a surprise all-program draw. Finally, six days following the second draw, 7,000 more economic immigration candidates were invited to apply for permanent resident status in Canada.
Milestone 4: Lowest All-Program Draw Comprehensive Ranking System Score in 27 Months
Success in the Express Entry system is based on high Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores. Only those with a CRS score above the cut-off score for a particular draw will receive an ITA from IRCC during that round of invitations. It is noteworthy that CRS scores at the end of March hit their lowest (for all program draws) since December 2020, with a cut-off CRS score of 481 as of March 29.
The Future of Express Entry
Express Entry draws, from CRS scores to the number of ITAs, have always been difficult to predict. It is expected that IRCC will begin conducting targeted draws at some point in Q2 of 2023. Targeted Express Entry draws will allow IRCC to issue ITAs to immigration candidates based on specific factors such as occupation, educational background, language skills, etc. These draws are expected to help Canada address specific areas of need in the labor market, allowing all provinces and territories to increase the impact of immigration to the country.
You may be interested in:
Potential Impact of the Milestones
These milestones indicate Canada’s commitment to increasing its immigration levels to meet labor market needs. The high number of ITAs issued in March 2023 is good news for potential immigrants, as it means more opportunities to apply for permanent residency in Canada. The increase in the number of ITAs issued also means that the processing time for applications may decrease, as IRCC can now process a higher number of applications at once.
Additionally, the low CRS scores required for the all-program draws mean that more people with lower scores have the chance to receive ITAs. This is positive news for individuals who may not have previously qualified for permanent residency through Express Entry due to lower CRS scores.
Targeted Express Entry draws
The targeted Express Entry draws that IRCC is expected to conduct in Q2 of 2023 may further increase opportunities for immigrants with specific skills or experience that Canada requires. This will help the country fill labor shortages in specific industries, and enable immigrants to find work in their respective fields upon arrival.
March 2023 was a historic month for Express Entry, as Canada’s immigration system experienced several milestones through the program. With a record number of ITAs issued, the largest all-program draw in Express Entry history, and the lowest all-program draw CRS score in 27 months, Express Entry is on track to welcome at least 82,000 new immigrants to Canada in 2023. Looking ahead, targeted draws will help Canada address specific areas of need in the labor market and increase the impact of immigration across all provinces and territories.
Overall, the milestones achieved in March 2023 suggest Canada is committed to welcoming more immigrants through the Express Entry system. This is good news for individuals who are interested in immigrating to Canada, as it means more opportunities to apply for permanent residency and potentially receive ITAs.