The first Express Entry draw of March 2019 went according to earlier predictions, producing a lower average Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. Another 3, 350 skilled workers were issued with Invitations to Apply (ITAs), making the total for 2019 rise to a significant 17, 850 issued so far. This number is much higher than it was this time last year and will continue to grow in the future. There is still a quota to be met as the government reminds applicants of its plans to introduce a total of overa million people into its workforce throughout the next three years.

What Does Express Entry Mean?

The Canadian flag signals the first March Express Entry Draw of 2019.

Express Entry is a system that was created in 2015 to fast-track three of the most popular skilled worker/experience programs that the federal government offers, namely the Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Trades and the Canadian Experience Class programs. This process now takes as little as six months to process, meaning that a lot more people are immigrating a lot faster than the other traditional programs (which still exist).

You can begin the process by creating an online Express Entry profile which works with the CRS to score you with points. This criteria determines factors such as age, work experience in Canada and language proficiency, to name a few. You are free to update any information that changes throughout the process but it’s recommended to have everything in order before you begin the process as it is so fast.

Your profile is matched against those of other applicants who are also in the Express Entry pool. If you reach a high enough score, you stand a chance of being drawn from the pool (which generally happens every two weeks) and issued with an ITA. You must apply for permanent residence within 60 days of receiving your ITA. Have a look at our tips for success when you apply to the Express Entry system.

Draw Statistics 6 March 2019

The maple leaf is a symbol of Canada where candidates will immigrate after the first March Express Entry Draw of 2019.

This time around the draw took exactly two weeks to happen again with the last one having taken place on the 20th of February. Since the March Express Entry draw took place in quicker succession than the previous one, the overall CRS score was lower. Frequency of draws results in lower overall scores because there is less time to create probability for more higher scoring candidates to be in the pool at the same time.

For this draw, the minimum CRS score was 454 which is not much lower than than the previous draw but is still attainable. The cut-off was determined using the tie-break rule and the time stamp used was February 11, 2019, at 17:21:27 UTC. This means there was only one space left but the candidate who first entered the pool with the minimum score of 454 on their Express Entry profile was drawn.

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

Hannah is a 26-year-old French-speaking (with a score of 8 for French on the IELTS test) journalist from France with a one-year diploma she achieved in Canada and 6 years work experience in her home country. She has a job offer for a 12-month contract from a Canadian employer. She scored 458 points which just pushed her over the minimum score, allowing her to achieve her ITA.

Alba is a 42-year-old from Saudi Arabia who completed his Master’s Degree in Anthropology in his home country. He has 14 years of work experience in his home country and 2 years of experience working in Canada. He achieved a score of 8 on the IELTS test, bringing his overall CRS to 487. He is married but his wife has no qualifications and is not very proficient in French with a basic understanding of English, so he applied as the primary applicant. The factor that pushed him over the top was a job offer from a recognized Canadian employer.

Improving Your CRS Score

A woman speaks on the phone after being selected in the first March Express Entry Draw of 2019.

The biggest way to improve your CRS score is by applying for a Provincial Nominee Program. If you are successful in achieving a Provincial Nomination, 600 points are added to your profile which is basically a guarantee of being selected in the next draw. This is because there has never been a score of 600 or higher.

Provinces that offer Express Entry streams such as Manitoba, British Columbia and Prince Edward Island also issued ITAs during these past two weeks, which boosted the final outcome of how many invitations were issued during the draw for March.

Other ways of increasing your CRS score include boosting your Express Entry profile. It’s recommended that you have everything you need before applying but it’s very possible to still improve certain aspects. Consider the following things that can add a few extra points and make the difference between selection and rejection.

Factors to Improve:

  • Take a course to improve your skills/education
  • Recent proof of work experience including time in Canada
  • Inclusion of extra finances or sponsors
  • Taking the language test again or brushing up on your speaking/listening/writing/reading ability

Get Issued With an ITA

Men shake hands after the first March Express Entry Draw of 2019.

We are a team of Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) who are very familiar with Canadian immigration policies and the over 70 different programs that are available to applicants. We are all immigrants ourselves, putting us in the best position to provide expert advice about the process. With a few pointers, you can be in the top percentile of Candidates hoping to qualify for permanent residence through Express Entry. Read more about why you should use an RCIC.

Get your ITA as soon as possible with more and more candidates applying and the number of invitations on the rise. It’s crucial to start gathering all your documents in order to be one of the eligible candidates by 2021. If you have a necessary skill that is on the list of in-demand occupations, there has never been a better time to put it to use in beautiful Canada. Get started by signing up with our service today!