Express Entry invitations to Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates will resume later in 2022, according to a new internal memo by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada(IRCC). According to news reports, this memo was submitted to the Deputy Minister of the IRCC on January 21, 2022. The Deputy Minister of the IRCC is the senior-most non-political official of the department. He is not an elected official and his primary responsibility is to provide technocratic advice to the government.
Though the memo says that the FSWP and CEC invitations would resume, it has specifically stated that it will happen only after March 31. Until then, the IRCC will continue to invite Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates through Express Entry.
Managing immigration application backlogs
During this gap, the IRCC is planning to effectively address the inventory backlogs. However, when the IRCC will resume inviting FSWP and CEC candidates will depend on their evolving priorities.
The backlog of applications was caused by the pandemic. Because of this reason, IRCC had to focus on landing in-Canada candidates to achieve its ambitious immigration target for the year 2021. The backlog also caused average application processing times exceeding its service standard of six months. This can be brought back to six months only if the IRCC is able to reduce Express Entry backlog at least by half.
According to the new Immigration Levels Plan for 2022-2024 announced recently by the IRCC, they will be admitting more than 110000 new immigrants through Express Entry by the year 2024. At present, they are taking some extra efforts to reduce application backlog and as a result, the applications of almost 4000 FSWP candidates were processed in the past two weeks alone. 2000 CEC applications were also processed during this time period and it is expected that the CEC backlog could reach 0 by the spring if this momentum is maintained.
Canada’s Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has also confirmed that IRCC would resume FSWP and CEC invitations in the near term. This has brought relief to so many of the Canada immigration applications who have been waiting so long for the IRCC to resume all-program draws.