This month has seen two Express Entry draws invite a total of 7,500 candidates to apply for Canadian permanent residence, making it the busiest June since Canada introduced the Express Entry system in 2015.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued 3,750 Invitations to Apply, or ITAs, in each of the two all-program draws held in June — the largest invitation rounds yet in 2018.
Express Entry is the application system that manages the pool of candidates for Canada’s three main economic immigration classes — the Federal Skilled Worker Class, the Federal Skilled Trades Class and the Canadian Experience Class.
The highest-ranked candidates in the Express Entry pool are issued ITAs in regular invitation rounds.
The number of ITAs issued in each all-program draw of 2018 has gradually increased over the course of the year. The year began with two draws of 2,750 ITAs each in January, followed by four draws of 3,000 ITAs each in February and March and four draws of 3,500 ITAs each in April and May.
More big draws to come?
The 7,500 ITAs issued this month more than doubled the 3,409 issued in June 2017, a year that smashed all previous Express Entry ITA records. In 2017, IRCC issued 86,023 ITAs over the course of the year. With 2018 now almost half over, IRCC has issued a total of 39,700 so far — less than half the 2017 total. If IRCC plans on matching or exceeding 2017’s ITA totals this year, which could be possible given the higher admissions targets that Canada has set for both 2018 and 2019, draw sizes may continue to be large and frequent in the coming months.
Larger draw sizes, and more frequent invitation rounds, can also have the effect of lowering the CRS score, which we witnessed in June. The second draw of the month, held on June 25, saw the cut-off CRS score fall to 442.
In the case of the June 13 draw, IRCC had let three weeks elapse between all-program draws, which allowed more candidates to enter the pool and saw the CRS cut-off jump from 440 to 451.
The June 25 draw occurred only 12 days later, which meant the pool had less time to replenish and contributed to the CRS scored dropping by nine points, to 442.
If IRCC maintains an invitation round schedule with large draws every two weeks heading through the summer, this could result in a further reduction of the CRS score.
“We had long anticipated that IRCC might increase draw sizes or frequency at some point in 2018, and June 2018 has seen both,” said David Cohen, senior partner with the Campbell Cohen Canadian immigration law firm in Montreal.
“It remains to be seen what additional steps IRCC will continue to take if it hopes to achieve its targets for the coming years