February brought with it yet another welcome surprise for 3, 350 skilled workers who received their invitation to apply for permanent residency through the Express Entry draw. This number is only set to increase with larger intakes and a higher frequency of draws lined up for the rest of 2019 with a total of 14, 500 invitations already issued this year. The trends also see a 70% increase in invitations compared to this time last year which means a larger quota has been established.

What Does Express Entry Do?

Canadian flag signals Express Entry draw.

The Express Entry system (which is linked to the Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Trades and the Canadian Experience Class programs) was created by Canadian immigration authorities in 2015 to speed up the process of immigration to a period of as little as 6 months. This helps the right people enter the workforce faster than they would through a more traditional route.

The Express Entry process starts by creating an online Express Entry profile which asks you questions based on certain criteria such as your age, education, work experience, language skills and other program requirements. This information can be updated by you throughout the process according to new developments (such as a new qualification or further work experience) in your profile.

Based on your answers, you are awarded points according to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Your score is then compared with other applicants’ scores that are also in the pool before the draw takes place (typically every 2 weeks). The highest-scoring profiles from this draw are then extended an Invitation to Apply (ITA) after which you must complete your application (with all the necessary documents in place) within 60 days to qualify for permanent residence. For help with your application, read our tips for success using the Express Entry system.

The February 20th Draw Statistics

Some express entry candidates journey to Montreal.

This time around the draw took place after three whole weeks instead of two, setting a president of higher CRS scores in order to qualify. In the future, there will likely be lower overall scores due to more frequent draws, unlike this month where time allowed for only higher scoring candidates to be selected from the pool.

The minimum CRS score for this draw stood at 457. This cut-off was determined using the tie-break rule and the time stamp used was December 6, 2018 12:38:11 UTC. This means only candidates who achieved a higher score than 457 on their Express Entry profile stood a chance of being selected in the draw.

Below are hypothetical examples of the kind of profiles that received an ITA after the recent draw:

Teresa is a 32-year-old linguist with 9 years work experience in this field. She has a three-year degree in Linguistics from a local university in the Bahamas. She only scored a 6 on her IELTS test which examines reading, listening, speaking and writing skills because English is her 3rd language. With a sister already in Canada as well as an offer letter from a Canadian company, her score came up to 259. This was not enough to be drawn but since she applied for a Provincial Nomination and was successful, her score was boosted by 600 points, pushing her total to 859 points.

Ben is a 22-year-old from New Zealand who completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting as well as a postgraduate qualification in the same field at a Canadian university. He has no significant work experience but achieved a score of 8 on the IELTS test, bringing his overall CRS to 496. In this case, Ben’s age scores him more points as he has a long future of possible economic contribution in his field.

How to Improve Your CRS

Express Entry opens up snowy Canadian streets to new candidates.

There are many ways to improve your CRS, the first being through the Provincial Nominee Program. Applying to this program and receiving a nomination from a one of the Canadian provinces automatically adds 600 points to your score. With the average score after a draw (without this nomination) never having surpassed 500, having these points on your side is somewhat of a guarantee of being selected in the next draw. Provinces such as Manitoba, British Columbia and Ontario issued invitations for Express Entry candidates to apply for a provincial nomination during the last three weeks, which boosted the total outcome as well.

Other options to increase your score include improving certain aspects of your profile throughout the process. Strengthening things you can improve such as work experience, education, finances, language proficiency and more can make a massive difference in you CRS. This is where our services are very useful.

We have three RCICs who have all been through the immigration process themselves and have authority to guide applicants through the different programs and scoring systems. Having someone on your side who has intimate knowledge of everything from what documents to procure to which program is best-suited for your background can really push you to the top of this fast-track system. Read more about why you should use an RCIC.

Getting Your ITA

Mother and daughter head to Canada after Express Entry draw.

There has never been a better time to try and get your ITA for permanent residence in Canada. This is because of the Canadian government’s plan to introduce over a million immigrants into the workforce by 2021. With the number of candidates being drawn out of the Express Entry pool on the rise, applying to one of the over 70 immigration programs on offer, as soon as possible, is crucial.

Let our RCICs assist you through the rigorous process that is immigration. We’ve helped countless applicants on their journey to Canada by assessing their profiles and guiding them towards the correct programs that are most likely to result in you getting your ITA. Get started by signing up with your service today!