May Express Entry Cut-off Score Sees 4th Decrease

April 27, 2021


  • Robynn Farrell

The May Express Entry draw marks another timely addition to the frequent Express Entry draws that have already taken place in 2019. Due to the frequency of the draws, we’ve seen the cut-off score drop once again by a single point. While this may seem insignificant, for some applicants it makes the difference of being drawn immediately or waiting a few more months to achieve their Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence in Canada. Canada is well on its way to achieving its immigration goals for this year, with a goal of 81, 400 for 2019 with 31, 250 invitations already issued. Seeing as 2018’s Express Entry quotas already broke immigration records at 89, 800 invitations issued, this year is expected to far exceed its goal as well. Labour market shortages are still growing across the country, making now the best time for applicants to apply for their skilled worker visa before all of the spaces are filled.

Express Entry

The Express Entry system was created in 2015 to umbrella the three federal programs which are, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program and the Canadian Experience Class. All of these are aimed at getting skills fast-tracked into Canada in as little as six months to address the growing labour market shortages. To apply through Express Entry, applicants need to create an online profile stating which program they are applying for as well as information about their background. These profiles are then scored according to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) which is a set of criteria detailed below. Once deemed eligible for their selected program, applicants are entered into the Express Entry pool from where the highest scoring candidates are drawn and issued with Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for permanent residence. These draws typically take place every two weeks. CRS Criteria Awards Points For:
  • Age
  • CLB Language proficiency (English and French)
  • Level of Education (In and outside Canada)
  • Work Experience (In and outside Canada)
  • Arranged employment
  • Provincial Nomination achieved
  • Siblings living in Canada as permanent residents/citizens
  • Your spouse’s profile (if married)

Improving Your Score

There are many ways that candidates can improve their scores, starting with the CRS criteria. This could mean studying further (in and outside of Canada), gaining further work experience (in and outside of Canada), improving your French or English or obtaining a job offer letter from a Canadian employer. However, the most effective way to ensure a successful ITA is to achieve a Provincial Nomination (PN). This is done separately from your Express Entry profile through submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) to your choice of the 11 provinces and territories that participate in the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Candidates need to select a stream they are eligible for and meet the set requirements outlined by that province/territory. Achieving a nomination adds 600 points to your profile, effectively guaranteeing your chances of being drawn.

The 1 May Draw

The latest draw for the federal programs or skilled worker visa took place on 1 May 2019 and issued another 3, 350 invitations to prospective candidates. The cut-off score was 450 and, using the tie-break rule, the timestamp was set at November 5, 2018, at 12:27:07 UTC. This means that applicants who achieved a score of 450 or more who entered the Express Entry pool before this date and time achieved an ITA this time around. The reason for the cut-off score lowering is that as draws happen more frequently (or at least consistently at two-week intervals), the Express Entry pool doesn’t have as much time to be replenished by higher-scoring candidates. This is positive for those who are missing just a few points in order to be selected in the next draw as the score could continue to drop, having reached lows of 430 in the past. The number of invitations issued are also being boosted by Express Entry-linked streams under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

Hypothetical Candidates

Below are examples of candidates who would have been drawn from the May Express Entry pool due to their respective qualifications, work experience or other such factors. See how your score measures up in order to determine your chances of being selected in one of the next rounds. Derek is a 28-year-old nurse from Hungary with two years of work experience. He is married to a French woman who also has two years of work experience with a degree and high proficiency in French. His profession meets the labour impact assessment standards and he has obtained an offer of employment in Canada. With his wife’s profile making up a percentage of his overall score, Derek achieves a final total of 517 points. Saraya is from the UAE and is a 30-year-old with a master’s degree in fine arts. Her English is good, achieving her a Level 10 on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) test while her French is still developing at a Level 5. She has a sister living in Canada (as a citizen) and she has obtained an offer employment in one of the provinces but did not apply for a nomination. With six years of work experience and studies at a Canadian university, her score is totalled at 457.

What We Do

We are a group of three Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) who are here to be your guiding hand through the immigration process. We have all been through the application period ourselves, putting us in the best position to give you advice and ease all of your worries about the different procedures. With over 60 different programs to apply for, we make it easy to decide which is right for you by implementing a personalized immigration strategy. This means that we make all the calls for you, procure the correct documents and submit them on your behalf. Make a stressful process easy and choose to work with an RCIC. Sign up with our services today in order to get started on your journey to immigrate to Canada through the skilled worker visa. You can join those who were drawn from the May Express Entry pool and achieve your ITA for permanent residence with the right professionals on your side.