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Express Entry experienced a record month in March.


Express Entry achieved four significant milestones in March 2023, including issuing the most Invitations to Apply (ITAs) in a single all-program draw since the application management system started functioning in 2015.


Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP), and Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) immigration applications are managed collectively through Express Entry, an application management system maintained by Canada’s federal government.


The Immigration Levels Plan 2023–2025, which states that Canada plans to accept at least 82,000 new immigrants through Express Entry over the next three years, demonstrates the predominance of this method.


Attention: The most recent Immigration Levels Plan specifies that Canada will target 82,800 Express Entry immigrants in 2023, 109,020 in 2024, and 114,000 in 2025.

Through Express Entry, Canada’s immigration system reached significant landmarks on the way to achieving this objective in the month of March. The next section will go over these notable events.

  1. Second-highest monthly ITA volume in the past two years


The amount of ITAs issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in March was the highest monthly total since February 2021. This number also makes March 2023 the second-largest Express Entry month since the program’s launch eight years ago, with a total of 21,667 ITAs awarded over four draws throughout the month.

  1. The largest all-program draw(s) ever held by Express Entry


This past month, IRCC surpassed a record set in January by holding the largest all-program draw in Express Entry history. When 7,000 people were encouraged to submit applications for PR in Canada, this was accomplished on March 15.


Attention: On January 18, 5,500 ITAs were given out in a draw, which set the previous record.


The Canadian immigration office went on to issue the same number of ITAs in two additional draws, so for three weeks in a row, 7,000 ITAs were distributed through IRCC draws.

  1. 21,000 ITAs in two weeks


As a result of the aforementioned milestone, the IRCC granted 21,000 ITAs during a two-week period, with three draws being held by the immigration agency between March 15 and March 29.


IRCC welcomed 7,000 immigration applicants to submit applications for Canadian PR in an all-program draw, starting with the first record-breaking draw on March 15 (see more above). Eight days later, on March 23, an extra 7,000 applicants received ITAs from Canada’s immigration service after a surprise all-program draw that had been held earlier that day. Finally, 7,000 additional applicants for economic immigration were asked to apply for Canadian permanent resident status six days after that draw.

  1. Lowest Comprehensive Ranking System score among all programs in the previous 27 months


High Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores are a requirement for Express Entry success. This is due to the fact that IRCC will only send ITAs to applicants who have CRS scores that are higher than the cut-off score for a certain draw during that round of invitations.


The fact that CRS scores at the end of March fell to their lowest level (across all program draws) since December 2020 is noteworthy. The cut-off CRS score was 484 on March 23 and 490 on March 15, however, it dropped to 481 as of March 29.

Attention: 468 was the all-program CRS cut-off score as of the end of 2020. (December 23)


Future Plans for Express Entry


Express Entry draws have historically proven difficult to forecast, from CRS scores to the quantity of ITAs. There is no set method for when the IRCC must conduct a draw or how many applicants will obtain an ITA during any given round of invitations, therefore this is expected to continue.


Having said that, it is anticipated that the IRCC would start conducting targeted draws during the second quarter of this year. Targeted Express Entry draws will enable IRCC to award ITAs to immigration candidates based on particular variables such as occupation, educational background, language abilities, etc., while the exact start point of these draws is still to be defined. These draws are anticipated to help Canada more effectively handle particular labor market needs, enabling all provinces and territories to boost the impact of immigration into this nation.

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