Record number of applications made through Canada’s Express Entry system

The number of invitations to apply for permanent residence issued to candidates through Canada’s Express Entry system in the first quarter of 2019 has officially surpassed the first quarter of 2018.

Official figures show that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada received around 21,200 Invitations to Apply (ITA) in the first three months of this year. This is a 3,700 increase from 2018’s first quarter, which ended with 17,500 invitations issued.

As all-time record 89,800 ITAs were issued in 2018, the highest annual number of invitations issued since Express Entry was introduced in 2015. With intake target levels having been increased for 2019, it was already expected that more ITAs would be issued this year, and the first quarter data suggests this will be the case.

The Canadian government utilizes the Express Entry system to select permanent immigration candidates from a pool of potential candidates who are eligible under one of the Federal High Skilled economic immigration programs: Federal Skilled Worker Program; Federal Skilled Trades Program; or the Canadian Experience Class.

In the first quarter of this year, the minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score requirement dropped as low as 438, which is its lowest cut-off for an all-program draw since the final quarter of 2017 when the CRS fell to 436. All applicants to the Express entry program receive a CRS score depending on a number of factors including age, previous work experience, and skills and qualification.

The minimum CRS score is the score that a candidate must satisfy in order to be invited to apply for permanent residence during a given draw. All candidates in the Express Entry pool with scores above this cut-off are drawn and are issued invitations to apply for permanent residence.

A score of 438 is the second lowest minimum CRS requirement for a first quarter of a year. The lowest recorded CRS for a first quarter was 434 in 2017. That year also holds the record for the lowest minimum CRS ever recorded in an all-program draw which occurred on 31st May, 2017, when the minimum CRS dropped to 413.

Article published 1st April 2019