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Near-Record ITAs for CEC Candidates

Posted on 02/06/2021

Express Entry – IRCC’s portal for economic immigration to Canada – has just completed two rounds of invitations for permanent residence as a foreign worker in Canada: on May 26, 2021, and on May 31, 2021. Let’s take a look at the numbers.

  1. May 26, 2021 Round

Think of this round as a special, limited-edition round of invitations. That’s because invitations to apply (or ITAs) were restricted to those candidates with a provincial nomination. This is what IRCC has been doing since the start of 2021 because COVID travel restrictions have made it very difficult for many candidates living abroad to travel to Canada.

Here are the numbers for the May 26 draw:

Number of Invitations to Apply issued 500
Rank required to be issued an invitation 500th or higher
Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of lowest-ranked candidate 713


The number that really pops out here is the incredibly high CRS score of 713 for the lowest-ranked member. It seems a ridiculously high bar until your remember that all these candidates had a provincial nomination which is worth 600 points in the CRS system. Take out those 600 points and that lowest-ranked candidate had a measly 113 points.

It might be helpful to quickly review the CRS points system as it is the key to getting near the top of your candidates pool in Express Entry.

                                              A CORE/HUMAN CAPITAL FACTORS (*= without spouse)
Age 100/110*
Level of Education 140/150*
Official languages proficiency 150/160*
Canadian work experience 70/80*
                                              B SPOUSE OR COMMON-LAW PARTNER FACTORS
Level of Education 10
Official Languages proficiency 20
Canadian work experience 10
MAXIMUM TOTAL POINTS FOR A + B (with or without spouse/partner) 500
                                              C SKILL TRANSFERABILITY FACTORS
With strong language skills and post-secondary degree 50
With Canadian work experience and post-secondary degree 50
With CLB language score 7 or higher and foreign work experience 50
With Canadian work experience and foreign work experience 50
With strong language skills and certificate of qualification 50
                                                  D ADDITIONAL POINTS
Brother or Sister in Canada (citizen or permanent resident) 15
French Language skills 50
Post-secondary education in Canada 30
Arranged employment in Canada (you’ve been offered a job) 200
PNP (provincial nomination program) nomination 600

Remember these are maximum obtainable points. Most candidates will obtain less points in each category unless it involves a specific fixed requirement like a job offer or a provincial nomination for example.

From this table one can see that a score of 113 would leave you at the bottom of any candidate pool. However, when combined with a 600-point provincial nomination, it gets you an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence in Canada.

Now let’s look at the most recent round of invitations.

  1. May 31, 2021 Round

In addition to PNP (provincial nominee programs) nominees candidates from the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) – for workers who have at least 1 year of work experience in Canada during the last 3 years – have also received ITAs in this most recent round on May 31.

Because Canada has a target of 108,500 new Express Entry ITAs for 2021, there’s a fair amount of pent-up demand. And you might say the floodgates opened on Monday, May 31, 2021. Given the improving numbers and the expectation that travel restrictions will continue to be eased, IRCC issued nearly 6,000 ITAs. That’s almost the top amount of ITAs issued in any round this year.

Here are the numbers.

Number of Invitations to Apply issued 5,956
Rank required to be issued an invitation 5,956th or higher
Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of lowest-ranked candidate 380


Almost 6,000 ITAs were issued, and the lowest-ranked candidate score was a very achievable 380 CRS points. There have been approximately 74,000 ITAs issued so far this year for Express Entry candidates, so that means we have around 34,000 remaining ITAs to be issued for 2021.

As travel restrictions are eased we’ll see broader pools of candidates being eligible to receive an ITA rather than just PNP nominees or CEC applicants. And remember, you should aim for at least 400 points in your CRS score in order to ensure you aren’t waiting close to the bottom of your candidate’s pool.

Posted in News Tips and tagged Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Express Entry, PNP

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