What is Happening with Express Entry?

It has now been over 4 months since IRCC issued invitations to apply in the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and over one year since invitations were issued to candidates for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP). This has left us wondering when invitations will start up again, how many invitations will be coming in 2022, and what points total will be needed to secure an invitation over the next year.

We finally learned some clues this week when an Access to Information request led to the release of an internal IRCC memo discussing the Express Entry situation. Highlights from the memo include:

  • The current inventory of economic immigration applications already in process that still need to be finalized is high. In fact, it is so high that processing the existing inventory alone will allow IRCC to meet 2022 admissions targets.
  • Many in the processing inventory applied through the new Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident (TR to PR) Pathway that targeted essential workers and international graduates in Canada, so the introduction of this new program contributed significantly to the inventory growth.
  • No new federal program Express Entry draws will be needed in the first half of 2022 to meet admissions targets. When draws do restart, it is anticipated that the score needed to receive an invitation will be higher than 500.
  • The number of invitations issued in the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Federal Skilled Trades Program may be reduced by more than 50% as compared with previous years.
  • There are an estimated 207,000 candidates in the Express Entry candidate pool as of January 2022.

Many who were planning to use the Federal Express Entry programs as a route to Canadian permanent residence may need to reconsider their strategy in light of this information. Candidates for the Canadian Experience Class with scores above 500 are likely still in a good position to receive an invitation within the next year, but they may need to renew their temporary status in Canada, given that invitations are not expected until the second half of 2022. Many who hoped to obtain an Open Bridging Work Permit to continue working in Canada pending permanent residence may not be able to utilize that strategy, and will need to seek the support of their employers to continue working in Canada beyond the expiry of their current permits.

Candidates whose scores are or will be less than 500 may need to explore alternative paths to permanent residence. Those who could potentially qualify for permanent residence via a provincial nomination program, for example, should be exploring that option. Others may need to reevaluate whether they have a viable route to Canadian immigration at all.

If you would like to meet with one of our Canadian immigration law professionals to discuss your specific circumstances and potential strategies, we are happy to advise. Our legal professionals can be reached by phone (416 368 1111) or via email: caruso@cilf.ca; guberman@cilf.ca; appleby@cilf.ca; mukherjee@cilf.ca; fagan@cilf.ca; bonisteel@cilf.ca; ali@cilf.ca; green@cilf.ca; trahan@cilf.ca