After pausing the Express Entry draws due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Canada has recently resumed inviting applicants for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP). Additionally, Canadian Experience Class (CEC) application draws were included for the first time since September 2021.
Canada's Immigration Minister has announced that the applications will be processed within 6 months since Immigration has completed the backlog due to the closure of borders in Canada. The resumption of the Express Entry draws holds much significance as most skilled immigrants depend on the Federal Skilled Worker Program to enter Canada. In fact, before the pandemic, the FSWP accounted for 45% of the total skilled immigrants who secured Express Entry ITA.
Additionally, the resumption of the Canadian Experience Class entries bodes well for international students and workers who depend on the CEC to obtain permanent residency. The prominence of the CEC is evident from the fact that, before the pandemic, it accounted for 9% of the total 341,000 immigrants welcomed in Canada.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) had previously announced the decision to resume the all-program Express Entry in April. However, Canada’s Immigration Minister Sean Fraser confirmed the news via his Twitter account on July 6. After the resumption of the services, around 1,500 Express Entry applicants received invitations to apply for permanent residency in the country.
Before 2020, IRCC conducted all-program Express Entry draws. This allowed candidates from the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) to obtain permanent residency as long as they met the cut-off Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. But from January 2021, IRCC focused on inviting CEC candidates since most applicants were based in Canada. But IRCC stopped inviting new applicants in September 2021 to tackle application backlogs.
Now that Canada has begun accepting applications for Express Entry, the aim is to invite over 110,000 Express Entry applicants by 2024.