Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) decision-making process for Express Entry draws is essential for candidates navigating the Canadian immigration landscape. In this guide, we delve into the factors influencing when, how, and why IRCC conducts Express Entry draws, offering valuable insights for prospective immigrants.
Pre-Pandemic Draw Patterns
Before the pandemic, Express Entry draws adhered to a predictable schedule, occurring every two weeks on Wednesdays. Each draw typically featured over 3,000 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) with Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) cut-offs of around 470 points. This stability provided certainty for candidates as Express Entry’s policy objectives remained intact.
Post-Pandemic Draw Dynamics
Since the onset of the pandemic, Express Entry draws have become less predictable. Factors such as category-based selection, addressing labor shortages, and welcoming more Francophone immigrants have led to more frequent draws.
IRCC held a record 12 draws between June 27 and August 15, deviating from the previous norm.
Immigration Levels Plan
IRCC’s Immigration Levels Plan, released annually, sets targets for permanent resident admissions. Evaluating the number of applications in the queue helps determine whether additional ITAs are necessary to meet yearly targets. The plan accounts for both the current and upcoming years, ensuring a strategic approach.
IRCC Policy Objectives
Aligning with the immigration minister’s mandate to strengthen the national economy, IRCC issues ITAs based on program-specific goals. The choice between all-program draws and category-based invitations requires careful consideration.
Changes to CRS and Express Entry Profiles
Occasional changes to the CRS, like adjustments in points allocation for specific attributes, impact draw frequency. Updates, such as phasing out NOC Skill Types, necessitate technical adjustments to maintain profile accuracy.
IT Issues and Glitches
Technical glitches, like the recent Express Entry profile builder issue, can lead to the postponement of draws. IT problems following the introduction of category-based selection rounds of invitations exemplify the challenges IRCC may face.
Staffing Changes at IRCC
Organizational restructuring and staffing changes, recommended by former Deputy Minister Neil Yeates, may influence Express Entry draws. Adjustments within IRCC based on lines of business could impact the decision-making process.
In short, cracking the code behind IRCC’s Express Entry draws involves navigating a complex interplay of factors. From policy objectives to technical glitches, each element plays a role in shaping the Canadian immigration landscape. Prospective immigrants can stay informed and prepared by understanding these dynamics as they embark on their journey through the Express Entry System.