Express Entry: Minimum CRS hiked as 4,500 ITAs issued for Canada PR

Express Entry draw165

The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) held its 166th Express Entry draws on November 5, only a week after announcing the historic Immigration Levels Plan for 2021-2023

Express Entry draws are held every two weeks. However, November 5 draw was delayed following an update in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) evaluation: French-speaking candidates are now eligible for additional CRS points over their English-only speaking counterparts. 

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Quick Highlights on 166th Express Entry Draw

#1 Largest Draw Size: IRCC maintains the same draw size as the previous Express Entry draw at 4,500 invitations to apply (ITAs) for permanent residence. This is the third instance in 2020 where IRCC issued 4,500 ITAs in a single draw. 

CanApprove anticipates increased draw size in near future Express Entry draws based on the following factors: 

  • Those who receive invitations now will be able to enter Canada only in 2021. It takes upto six months or beyond to process the application 
  • The reduced refugees intake temporarily is replaced with more number of immigrants intakes under the economic class immigration
  • With Provincial Nominee Programs falling short of its demand, Express Entry nominations may remain high. 


#2 Qualifying CRS increases: Express Entry is merely an application management system for federal immigration programs and specific provincial nominee programs. Thus all the registered profiles in the Express Entry pool are evaluated using a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). This ranking system factors in the core human capital like age, work experience, education, and skills in English or French. The profiles are scored upon a maximum of 1200 points. 

November 5 draw saw a sharp increase in qualifying CRS to 478. The previous draw required CRS scored equal to or above 471 for selection. 

Express Entry draw Chart

#3 Tie-break rule: Often there arises a situation where candidates end up having the same CRS score. Here is where IRCC uses its tie-break rule to rank a particular candidate higher. The timestamp used in the latest draw was October 26, 2020 at 22:44:19 UTC. 

This meant that all candidates with a CRS score above 478 before the selected date and time were eligible to receive an ITA in this invitation round. 

Fill-in this free online assessment to know more about your eligibility for various other immigration programs.  


Example: Who Gets Nominated? 

Consider these hypothetical examples for a better understanding of Express Entry invitation rounds. Contact our consultants for further details. 

Core Human Capital Couple Single
Age 29 years old and a Software Designer

27 years old and System Analysts

25 years old and Electrician by training
Education One has a Bachelor’s and the Other has a Master’s degree  Two-year Trade Certificate from a college in her country of origin
Work Experience Software Engineer has 7 years of work experience & System Analysts has 4 years of work experience.  Three years in her country of origin and then another two years in Nova Scotia.
Language Proficiency One has high intermediate proficiency in English (CLB 7) and the Other has lower advanced proficiency (CLB 9) CLB 6 for English in all four levels


Factoring in the above human capital:

  • Couple: If System Analysts received an offer of employment in Canada, she would enter the Express Entry pool as the principal applicant, gaining the couple a score of 488, sufficient to qualify for the November 5 Express Entry draw.
  • Single: Her initial human capital score is 422, not enough to qualify. However, since she holds a provincial certification in her occupation from Nova Scotia, she gains 600 additional points. This makes her eligible to qualify for November 5 draw.  

CRS Calculator

Express Entry Draws in 2020

Canada is already cruising ahead with 87,350 ITAs for permanent residence so far in 2020. It is further expected to cross the 100,000 ITA landmark, exceeding the 2020 annual allocation target of 91,800 ITAs. 

Despite the negative consequence of pandemic on immigration levels, Express Entry has created record-breaking nominations for permanent residence, thereby welcoming eligible foreign skilled workers with/without job offers or Canadian work experience. 

The regular conduct of Express Entry draws and Provincial Nominee draws during the ongoing travel restrictions in Canada shows a high level of commitment towards welcoming immigrants. Having offered our immigration consultancy services for over two decades now, CanApprove senses a big pull for skilled immigrants- professionals, entrepreneurs/investors, students, in the coming years to migrate to Canada.  


Here is a list of all Express Entry draws held in 2020.

Draw Number Date Number of ITAs issues Minimum CRS
166 November 5 4500 478
165 October 14 4500 471
164 September 30 4200 471
163 September 16 4200 472
162 September 2 4200 475
161 August 20 3300 454 (CEC-specific)
160 August 19 600 771 (PNP-specific)
159 August 6 250 415 (FSTP- specific)
158 August 5 3900 476
157 July 24 3343 445 (CEC-specific)
156 July 22 557 687 (PNP-specific)
155 July 8 3900 478
154 June 25 3508 431 (CEC-specific)
153 June 24 392 696 (PNP-specific)
152 June 11 3551 437 (CEC-specific)
151 June 10 341 743 (PNP-specific)
150 May 28 3515 440 (CEC-specific)
149 May 27 385 757 (PNP-specific)
148 May 15 3371 447 (CEC-specific)
147 May 13 529 718 (PNP-specific)
146 May 1 3311 452 (CEC-specific)
145 April 29 589 692 (PNP-specific)
144 April 16 3782 455 (CEC-specific)
143 April 15 118 808 (PNP-specific)
142 April 9 3294 464 (CEC-specific)
141 April 9 606 698 (PNP-specific)
140 March 23 3232 467 (CEC-specific)
139 March 18 668 720 (PNP-specific)
138 March 4 3900 471
137 February 19 4500 470
136 February 5 3500 472
135 January 22 3400 471
134 January 8 3400 473

You can now fix an appointment with one of our consultants to further discuss the prospects of your Canadian immigration.    


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