Coronavirus has led to many changes occurring in the Canadian immigration system. Surprisingly enough, Canada ended up inviting more Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence in the first quarter of 2020 as compared to the first quarters of the last two years. While the coronavirus measures implemented by Canada have the potential to make significant changes to the Canadian immigration landscape, this year, in particular, has begun on a positive note. It seems that it could be a big year for the Express Entry system.
Canada announced the 2020-2022 Levels Plan less than a week before the adoption of the coronavirus prevention measures, and it seems that the country has managed to uphold its spirit. Canada has set a target of 341,000 new immigrants this year. Among them, 91,800 candidates were supposed to be Federal High Skilled workers, while 67,800 of them would be offered invitations through the provincial nominee programs.
Express Entry draws were organized regularly every fortnight since the first draw took place on 8th January 2020. After the special measures for controlling the spread of coronavirus came into effect, Canada organized an Express Entry draw on 18th March that only issued invitations to provincial nominees. It was followed by another exceptional draw on 23rd March that only gave invitations to candidates belonging to the Canadian Experience Class immigration stream.
During the first quarter of 2020, Canada organized its biggest Express Entry draw ever on 19th February and invited 4,500 principal applicants allowing them to apply for permanent residence.
What to expect?
The Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) posted a tweet confirming that Express Entry rounds are taking place even now. Applications are being accepted and processed. However, the candidates who are being invited to apply currently will probably not have their applications processed for another six months. The number of ITAs distributed in this quarter rose by 25.5 percent as compared to the previous quarter. Canada issued around 18,000 ITAs during the fourth quarter of 2019.