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Canada invited record number of candidates through Express Entry in Q2 2021


Canada set a new record in the number of Invitations to Apply(ITAs) issued through Express Entry in the second quarter of the year 2021. The total number immigration candidates who received ITAs during this period was 44591 and this is the highest number of invitations issued in any quarter. The previous record was set in the first quarter of the year 2020, when 44124 candidates received Express Entry invitations.

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The second quarter of 2021 was marked with large Express Entry draws and low CRS cut-off scores. During this quarter, as in the previous quarter, Express Entry draws alternated between Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)-specific draws and Canadian Experience Class(CEC) draws. The reason was preference for candidates who had already been there in Canada at the time of invitation as it would have been difficult for overseas candidates to travel to Canada owing to border restrictions.

The number of draws was also high in the second quarter, compared to the first quarter. While 10 draws were conducted in the first quarter, the number of draws held in the second quarter was 14. The draw size was also larger, as Canada started conducting larger draws in the second quarter of 2021. In some CEC draws, up to 6000 ITAs were issued. For the first time ever, more than a 1000 candidates received invitations in a PNP-specific draw during this period.

Express Entry: Expectations for the rest of the year

Federal Skilled Worker Program(FSWP) candidates and Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) candidates have not been included in the draws held so far. The FSWP candidates used to receive nearly half of the invitations in Express Entry draws before the pandemic. But owing to travel restrictions, Canada is currently inviting a low number of immigration candidates who are not present in the country.

Now Canada is rolling back several restrictions. So, exempt travellers who are fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines approved by Canada need not undergo quarantine when they arrive in the country. Further, candidates who hold a valid Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) are allowed to enter Canada. It is expected that Canada will lift travel ban from India in July or in August.

These relaxations were introduced in the wake of improving COVID situation in the country. Almost 75 per cent of Canada’s population above the age of 12 has been partially vaccinated against COVID-19. 22 percent has been fully vaccinated. It is expected that 75 percent of Canada’s population will be fully vaccinated by July. So, it is expected that Canada will resume all-program draws in the second half of 2021.

Despite the border restrictions introduced in the wake of COVID-19, Canada has reiterated its commitment to meet its annual immigration target for 2021, which is around 401000 new immigrants. Canada thinks that immigrants have to play a crucial role to play in the economic recovery of the country.

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