Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) released its annual report on Express Entry performance from January to December 2021.
2021 was a successful year post-pandemic as 155,810 people (principal applicants + accompanying family members) gained permanent residence in Canada via Express Entry. This was despite pausing Express Entry ITAs for all Federal High Skilled immigration programs on September 20, 2021, to be only resumed on July 06, 2022.
Canada Express Entry is the primary federal immigration pathway for foreign skilled workers (even without a job offer or Canadian work experience) seeking direct Canadian permanent residence (PR).
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Top Five Highlights from Annual Express Entry Report 2021
1. Most ITA recipients worked in food services, admin, and retail
The five most common occupations among Express Entry ITA recipients include
- Food Service Supervisors (NOC 2021: 62020)
- Administrative Assistants (NOC 2021: 13110)
- Retail Sales Supervisors (NOC 2021: 62010)
- Software Engineers and Designers (NOC 2021: 21231)
- Cooks (NOC 2021: 63200)
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2. Most Express Entry PRs intended to settle in Ontario
The data shows most PR applicants (96,535 persons) under Express Entry indicated Ontario as their first settlement choice. British Columbia (35,735) and Alberta (12,082) were the next two most popular destinations.
Quebec also remains to be one of teh most popular destinations among immigrants in Canada was not accounted for here, as the province operates its own distinct immigration programs.
3. Lowest CRS cut-off scores for CEC-specific draws
CRS cut-off scores ranged from 75 and 462 points for CEC-specific draws, while PNP-specific draws had a qualifying range of 682 points to 813 points. IRCC did not invite any FSWP and FSTP candidates throughout 2021.
Express Entry pool in 2021 had profiles with a CRS score range:
- 351 and 400 (31% of all eligible candidates)
- 401-450 (27% of profiles)
- 451-500 (21%)
- 301-350 (16%)
A Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is the basis for Express Entry profile assessment and evaluation to rank eligible candidates based on human capital criteria like age, education, work experience, and language proficiency, among others.
IRCC report noted, “Express Entry pool is dynamic and that the distribution of CRS scores changes” with every new eligible profile submission or skill updation within the validity.
Likewise, 12% of eligible candidates boosted their CRS score while being registered in the pool either for having secured a job offer in Canada or showcasing French-language proficiency.
4. 80% of Express Entry applications are processed in nine months
Express Entry manages applications for three major federal programs: the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). It also manages a selected Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)-linked streams, however, such candidates must also be eligible for one of the three federal programs.
Total processing time for all programs remained the same as in 2020, with IRCC finalizing 80% of applications in nine months. Breaking down further, 80% of CEC applications were processed within 7 months, compared to a longer time for PNP (21 months), FSTP (23 months), and FSWP applications (26 months).
Express Entry application processing times remained a significant concern for many prospective Canadian immigrants post-pandemic.
5. Women applicants preferred FSWP while men applied for PNP & CEC
Considering all three programs, more men applied for PR in Canada through the PNP (57% of all PR applications) and CEC (58%), while 53% of women applicants submitted FSWP PR applications.
Further, 79.6% (nearly four-fifths) of those who received Express Entry ITAs in 2021 were already holding temporary residency in Canada. This speaks for itself about the popularity of the Canada Experience Class. The remaining ITA recipient mostly came from residents in India and Nigeria. Less than 1% of those who received ITAs resided in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
What’s New in Express Entry 2023?
Come 2023, Canada may target eligible profiles in the Express Entry pool based on subjective skills like occupation, education qualification, or language proficiency. This seems quite likely to take place soon as Bill C-19 had already received royal assent on June 23, 2022.
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