Canada’s Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has said that the immigration department of Canada was looking to resume Express Entry draws for skilled worker category candidates. The Express Entry system of Canada manages three Federal High Skilled categories— the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), as well as the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). Canada has not held Express Entry draws for FSWP candidates since September 2020 and for CEC candidates since September 2021.
According to news reports, the minister has also addressed the concerns of Post-graduation Work Permit holders, who have applied for Canada PR through these categories. He assured that the immigration department was looking at different options to find a solution for their problem. Temporary workers losing their status is pointed out to be a major reason for Canada resuming FSWP and CEC draws.
FSWP draws in 2022?
Before the pandemic, the highest number of invitations in the Express Entry draws used to go to FSWP candidates. But when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, Canada had to close its borders to international travel. In this context, it became impossible for invited FSWP candidates to complete their landings in Canada. So Canada started to invite CEC and Provincial Nominee Program(PNP) candidates more, as they would already be in Canada. Another concern that prevents Canada from inviting FSWP candidates is the backlog of applications. As Canada has already adopted various steps to solve this issue, the country is now considering to resume Express Entry draws for FSWP candidates.
CEC draws in 2022
In 2021, CEC candidates received a record number of invitations. In February that year, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada held one single Express Entry draw which invited a total of 27332 CEC candidates. The minimum Comprehensive Ranking System(CRS) score requirement in the draw was 75. In the following months, IRCC invited around 6000 CEC candidates in every two weeks. However, since September 2021, the IRCC has not held any CEC draws. The backlog of applications is assumed to be the reason.
Currently, Canada is holding Express Entry draws only for Provincial Nominee Program candidates. They are those who have proved their eligibility for one of the Federal High Skilled programs and then received a provincial nomination. Express Entry candidates with a provincial nomination receive 600 additional CRS score points, which guarantee them an Express Entry invitation in a subsequent draw. It is expected that the IRCC will continue to hold a few more PNP-specific Express Entry draws, until the application backlogs in other programs are effectively handled.
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