On April 13, 787 Express Entry candidates were invited to apply for permanent residence in Canada.
All of the invited candidates had received a nomination from a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and had a CRS of at least 782. Because Express Entry candidates receive an automatic 600 points boost when they receive a provincial nomination, the minimum score was relatively high. The lowest-scoring candidates would have received 182 base points if they had not been nominated.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invited 919 PNP candidates with scores of at least 785 in the previous invitation round.
The year is off to a slow start.
Canada only welcomed 6,470 Express Entry individuals to apply for immigration in the first quarter of 2022. Since the start of Express Entry in 2015, the first quarter has been the slowest.
Since September 2021, when draws for Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates ceased, IRCC has only invited PNP candidates, resulting in a decrease in overall invitations. Since December 2020, there have been no drawings for Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) candidates.
Most draws before the pandemic were not program-specific, which meant that candidates from any Express Entry-managed programme could be invited to apply.
However, as a result of COVID-19-related travel restrictions, Canada decided to focus on meeting its record-breaking immigration targets by transitioning high numbers of temporary residents to permanent residents. The number of Express Entry applications piled up as a result of this strategy, particularly FSWP applications, which were frequently from overseas applicants. Due to the backlog, processing timeframes have beyond the six-month standard.
Internal briefing memos later revealed that IRCC decided to pause Express Entry draws for non-PNP programmes until the backlog was cut in half, and processing standards were back to six months. Minister of Immigration Sean Fraser has hinted that skilled worker draws could resume as early as this spring, but no date has been set.
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