Only PNP candidates were invited in the February 1, 2023 draw.

IRCC has held its third Express Entry draw of 2023.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued permanent resident invitations to 893 Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates with a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 733.

This was the first program-specific Express Entry draw since July 2022. Between July until today, IRCC was holding all-program draws in which it was considering all eligible Express Entry candidates for invitations. In an all-program draw, Express Entry candidates may be invited, without a provincial nomination, from one of the three programs managed by the Express Entry application management system.

Express Entry candidates in this draw have already received provincial nomination. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) allow Canadian provinces to nominate individuals who support their regional labour market and population objectives. Most Canadian provinces and territories have PNPs aligned with Express Entry, except for Quebec and Nunavut.

Receiving provincial nomination increases a candidate’s CRS score by 600 points. In this specific draw, Express Entry candidates needed a minimum CRS score of 133 before getting provincial nomination in order to be eligible.

Recent Express Entry results

Express Entry draws resumed three weeks ago after an unexpected pause of six weeks between November 23 and January 11. IRCC followed its January 11 draw by holding another one on January 18.

While the reason for the pause has not been confirmed, IRCC recently sent CIC News an email that implies the pause was due to a system glitch that occurred with the implementation of National Occupation Classification (NOC 2021) on November 16.

An IRCC spokesperson said, “Unfortunately, technical issues with the implementation of the new classification system on November 16, 2022, had adverse implications for the November 23, 2022, Express Entry invitation round. These technical issues, while a great inconvenience to IRCC clients, have since been resolved. A round of invitations for Express Entry was successfully implemented on January 11, 2023.”

The January 11 draw saw 5,500 candidates invited with minimum CRS cut-off scores of 507. The following week IRCC held another, surprise, draw on January 18 with the same number of candidates but a significantly lower CRS score of 490.

IRCC has said the department is working to resume regular draws. Since Express Entry began in 2015, draws have occurred regularly every two weeks on Wednesdays. This was true even during a long pause of draws for Express Entry managed programs between December 2020 and July 2022 and IRCC continued to invite Express Entry candidates from the Provincial Nominee Program.

Express Entry was created with the objective of identifying and targeting candidates that the government considers highly skilled. These candidates are more likely to integrate quickly and have a positive impact on Canada’s workforce and economy. This is because immigration accounts for as much as 90% of labour force growth in Canada and approximately 75% of population growth.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is the application management system for three Canadian immigration programs: the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates in the Express Entry pool are already eligible for at least one of these programs.

Express Entry uses a points-based system, the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), to rank candidates’ profiles. The top-scoring candidates receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) and can then apply for permanent residency.

After the candidate applies, an IRCC officer reviews the application and decides if they are approved. Once this is complete, if approved, the candidate is now a permanent resident of Canada and one step closer to becoming a Canadian citizen.