Canada has invited Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) applicants for the first time since December 2020 in the Express Entry invitation draw held on July 6th, 2022.
Canadian Experience Class (CEC) applicants were also invited in this invitation round – the first time CEC applicants were included in an Express Entry draw since September 2021.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invited 1,500 Express Entry candidates to apply for Canadian permanent residency in this round, with a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) cutoff score of 557 points.
Speaking on the resumption of Express Entry draws, Canadian Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said the applications would have a standard processing time of 6 months.
He also thanked applicants from all around the world for their patience while IRCC cleared application backlogs before resuming Express Entry invitation rounds.
Mr Fraser said he was looking forward to welcoming skilled workers who would be integral in alleviating Canada’s labour shortages.
Since its inception in 1967, the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) was Canada’s primary source of skilled immigrants until it was paused in December 2020.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, about 45 per cent of all Express Entry invitations to apply (ITAs) were issued under the FSWP pathway.
The Canadian Experience Class (CEC), on the other hand, is the primary way in which international students and foreign workers gain permanent residency in Canada.
The CEC grew in prominence over the last few years as Canada relied on this pool of applicants to meet its immigration level targets.
Last year, almost one-third of the 405,000 immigrants who landed in Canada arrived via the CEC pathway.
Between 2015 and December 2020, IRCC held all-program draws, which meant applicants under Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) could get ITAs for Canadian permanent residency.
However, IRCC shifted its focus to inviting only CEC candidates starting January 2021, as it would ensure applicants were already in Canada and were less likely to face Covid-related travel disruptions and other challenges.
IRCC then paused CEC invitations in September 2021 to clear application backlogs but continued to invite Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates to help Canadian provinces and territories address their labour shortages.
Express Entry is a two-step process for Canadian permanent residency.
First, candidates must ensure they meet the criteria of at least one of the three Express Entry programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
Once this step is completed, applicants can upload their Express Entry profile on IRCC’s website, where they will get Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points based on various factors, including age, education, work experience, and language skills.
The highest-scoring candidates will then be selected by IRCC and invited to apply for permanent residency in Canada in periodic invitation rounds.