Canada has invited Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) candidates for the first time since December 2020.
Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates were also included in today’s Express Entry draw. This marks the first time since September 2021 that CEC candidates have been included in an Express Entry draw.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invited a total of 1,500 Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence. The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) cut-off score was 557.
The return of all-program draws is significant for several reasons. From its launch in 1967 until 2020, the Federal Skilled Worker Program was the main way Canada welcomed skilled immigrants. Prior to the pandemic, the FSWP comprised about 45% of all those who received an Express Entry ITA.
The return of all-program draws is also major news for CEC candidates. The CEC is the primary way for Canada’s large international student and foreign worker population to gain permanent residence. The CEC has increased in prominence in recent years as Canada has relied on this pool to achieve its immigration levels targets. Prior to the pandemic, the CEC comprised just 9% of all 341,000 immigrants welcomed under Canada’s economic, family, and humanitarian classes combined. Last year, the CEC comprised nearly one-third of the over 405,000 immigrants who landed in Canada.
Beginning in January 2021, IRCC focused on only inviting CEC candidates. IRCC did this because most of these candidates were in Canada and were less likely to face COVID-related challenges than immigration candidates overseas. However, IRCC paused CEC invitations in September 2021 in order to address its application backlogs. In the meantime, IRCC has continued to hold bi-weekly draws only inviting Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates to help the provinces and territories address their labour market needs.
By 2024, Canada will welcome over 110,000 Express Entry immigrants per year.
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