According to an IRCC memo, when all-program drawings begin in July, Express Entry draw sizes will be similar to those before the pandemic.
when all-program Express Entry drawings start in July, the number of invites might mirror pre-pandemic statistics.
Although the expected number of invites issued in each round was deleted, the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) document said that the draw size would be similar with the pre-pandemic average number of invitations issued.
Prior to March 18, 2020, all-program draws ranged between 3,400 and 4,500. All-program draws in 2019 ranged from 3,200 to 3,900.
According to the March 28 memo, keeping the hold in place until the end of June will allow IRCC to review new applications in six months. IRCC’s current Express Entry application backlog is sufficient to achieve admissions expectations for 2022. To fulfil expectations for 2023, however, invitation rounds will need to restart between July and September.
What impact the pandemic had on Express Entry?
Prior to the pandemic, IRCC would send out invitations to Express Entry applicants from all programmes to apply for permanent residence every two weeks. Only on rare occasions were program-specific draws held.
The pandemic affected all of it. When the border closed in March 2020, IRCC’s approach changed to holding the program-specific draw. For the first several months of the pandemic, only applicants from the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) were invited to apply.
Despite travel limitations, IRCC continues to organise draws for these individuals in order to reach its record-breaking immigration objectives. Because CEC applicants were less likely to be impacted by travel restrictions, IRCC continued to arrange draws for them. PNP applicants were invited as a result of the federal government’s commitment to assisting provinces with their immigration goals. Candidates for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) were excluded because a considerable number of them reside overseas and were unable to enter Canada due to travel restrictions.
In July 2020, IRCC began all-program draws that included FSWP applicants, but ceased in December 2020 and has not staged a draw including FSWP candidates since.
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The government established the Temporary Residence to Permanent Residence (TR2PR) initiative in May 2021 with the goal of admitting 90,000 new permanent residents who are currently in Canada. This attempt would lead IRCC resources to be diverted to the new priority, contributing to an increase in the backlog of immigration applications for Express Entry-managed programmes.
Then, in September 2021, IRCC halted accepting CEC candidates because it couldn’t promise to process 80% of applicants in six months, which is the service criteria for Express Entry-managed programmes. The suspension of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) allowed IRCC resources to be focused on addressing the current backlog. According to the document, between September and February, IRCC decreased the Express Entry backlog by 50,000.
Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said in April that FSWP and CEC Express Entry draws will restart in July. The IRCC’s service standard for new Express Entry applicants is projected to return to six months by this time.