The government of Canada invited 85,300 candidates across the globe to apply for Canadian Permanent Residency in 2019. This was lower than the 89,800 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) issued in the previous year.
According to the report released by Canadian Immigration Newsletter, Canada’s Express Entry system kept both candidates and observers on their toes in 2019 with a number of unexpected twists and turns.
Permanent Residency Invitations issued in 2019
According to the Canadian Immigration newsletter, a defining development in 2019 was the deviation of Canada’s federal immigration ministry, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), from the pattern it established in 2018 that saw draw sizes increase from 2,750 to 3,900 ITAs every two to three months.
Given Canada’s higher 2019 admissions targets, it was expected that the number of Express Entry candidates invited in 2019 would surpass the recorded 89,800 ITAs issued in 2018. However, the IRCC held a total of 26 draws from the Express Entry pool over the course of 2019.
The last three months of 2019 were cases in point, as draw sizes rose briefly to 3,900 ITAs in October then dropped to 3,600 in November and finished the year with two December invitation rounds of 3,200 ITAs each.
However, one explanation for 2019 falling short is the possibility that IRCC had to keep the number of ITAs issued down, in order to maintain its processing standard of six months for permanent residence applications filed through the Express Entry system.
Minimum cut-off score jumped
The minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score for 2019 was higher when compared to 2017’s record low of 413. The higher minimum-required score that characterized Express Entry draws in 2019 may be attributed to a combination of the smaller draw sizes throughout the year and the fact that IRCC allowed more than the usual two weeks elapse between draws on four occasions.
Over the 26 all-program draws held in 2019, the cut-off score ranged from a low of 438 on January 30 to a high of 475 on October 30.
ITAs are issued to Express Entry candidates based on their CRS scores, which is determined by age, level of education, skilled work experience and proficiency in English or French, among other factors.
Another factor that could help explain the higher minimum required CRS scores in 2019 is the growing number of Express Entry candidates who are receiving provincial nominations, and the 600 additional CRS points that come with one.
A new admission target in 2020
Based on Canada’s multi-year immigration levels plan, 2020 will see the target for new permanent residents admitted through the three Express Entry-managed immigration programs rise to 85,800.
The target for new permanent resident admissions through the three Federal High-Skilled programs is slated to rise to 85,800 in 2020 and 88,800 in 2021.
The target for Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program is also set to rise to 67,800 in 2020 and 71,300 in 2021.
Note that the re-election of the Justin Trudeau-led Liberal Party in Canada’s federal election last October means admissions targets will likely rise again in 2022 and 2023.
In 2017, Trudeau’s Liberals introduced the multi-year immigration targets that would see total admissions of new permanent residents to Canada reach 350,000 in 2021.
According to the mandate Letter issued to Canada’s new immigration minister, Marco Mendicino, there is a renewed call for “modest and responsible” rise in Canada’s immigration levels over the coming years.