In July, FSWP and CEC will resume their Express Entry Draws

Candidates wishing to apply for the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) Express Entry will begin again at the beginning of July 2022. Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Sean Fraser, announced this development for skilled worker visa Canada. With this announcement, a month-long pause in the draw of FSW and CEC will be lifted.

There will be a similar number of participants in this upcoming draw as there were before the pandemic. Approximately 3,000 applicants will likely be invited to participate in the draw. The number may even exceed 4,000. The following information concerning the size of upcoming Express Entry draws is disclosed in an internal IRCC memo. In May 2022, it became public following a request for disclosure.

The memo is dated March 28, nearly one month before the Minister’s announcement on April 22. Therefore, candidates and other interested parties can be confident that selections for all programs will start in July, as opposed to the July to September timeframe initially proposed.

Draws for Express Entry for FSW have not taken place since Dec. 2020. Furthermore, CEC draws have been suspended since September 2021. The Canadian government has stated that the draws will remain suspended. It is planned that they will wait until a significant portion of IRCC’s backlog of qualified applicants has been processed. As of September 2021, the backlog of skilled worker visa Canada was 111,900.

In the period between September and February, IRCC decreased the backlog of Express Entry applications by 50,000. In light of the progress made in the processing of applications, the IRCC will commence express entry draws for FSWs and CECs by early July. 

Estimating the CRS score for Express Entry FSW and CEC draws.

By the time Express Entry draws for the FSW and CEC resume in July 2022, the CRS cutoff score is likely to be more than 500 points. During the first round of draws, the CRS cutoff will likely remain high. Despite this, once regular draws have been established, its level could return to levels that prevailed before the pandemic. 

Since regular draws for Express Entry have been halted, the number of highly qualified candidates in Express Entry has increased to its highest number ever. The pool of Express Entry candidates recently exceeded the 200,000 mark following its launch in 2015. 

IRCC memos reveal that immigration authorities anticipate a minimum CRS score of 500 for Express Entry qualifying FSW and CEC candidates. For candidates to be invited to apply, they should have a score of over 500 on the Canada CRS calculator. Before the outbreak of the pandemic in 2019, the cutoff for the CRS score was in the range of 438-475 points.

CRS cutoff scores cannot be predicted precisely or for how long they will persist. Several factors determine the cutoff score for the Canada CRS calculator. Among the factors considered are the number of applicants, the frequency with which the draw takes place, and the number of invitations given in each drawing. It is only after Express Entry draws resumes that you will begin to understand how things will proceed for the remainder of 2022.

Additional measures for candidates residing in Canada

Some special immigration policies will be introduced by Canada for certain prospects who are currently in Canada. Such measures will be issued to potential immigrants who stand to lose their immigration status. 

An international graduate whose temporary status in Canada is nearing its end may be eligible for a new public policy aimed at providing temporary protection. If they qualify for this new policy, they will be given an extension of their stay. Upon graduation from an overseas university and holding a work permit that is set to expire between January and December 2022, recent international graduates are eligible for a one-time extension for up to 18 months.