Express Entry: CRS 717 for PNP candidates, lowest of 2021


Canada invited 381 Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence on April 28.

Invited candidates needed to have previously received a nomination from a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). This is why the cutoff score was 717 because PNP candidates automatically get 600 points added to their human capital score. This is the lowest score requirement of any PNP-only draw held so far this year. Without the nomination, the lowest-scoring candidates would have had 117 points.

As per the tie-break rule, candidates who had the minimum score of 717 were only invited if they submitted their Express Entry profile before March 16, 2021 at 21:20:50 UTC. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) publishes the cutoff time for the tie-break rule as an administrative requirement, regardless of whether there was an actual tie.

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“Provinces nominate candidates based on the needs of their regional labour markets,” said David Cohen, Senior Attorney of Campbell Cohen. “Without the provincially-managed PNP, local labour shortages may be overlooked at the federal level, where the focus is more nation-wide.”

Canada focusing on domestic candidates

Since the start of 2021, IRCC has only held Express Entry draws that target candidates who are likely to be in Canada. This is part of an effort to admit 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021. Of these, 108,500, are expected to come through Express Entry-managed programs.

Canada has already invited 55,771 Express Entry candidates in 2021. This is significantly more invitations than it issued at the same time last year because on February 13 IRCC invited every single candidate who was eligible for the Canadian Experience Class. About 90 per cent of these candidates are in Canada, according to IRCC estimates.

PNP candidates often need work experience, study experience, or some other connection to the province in order to get the nomination. As such, these candidates also have a high proportion of candidates already in the country.

On average, IRCC holds two Express Entry draws every two weeks. One inviting PNP-only candidates, and the other inviting CEC-only candidates. PNP draws tend to have higher score requirements due to the automatic 600-point award. CEC draws tend to have lower score requirements because there are less candidates from other Express Entry-managed programs competing for Invitations to Apply (ITAs).

In a bid to achieve its target of welcoming 401,000 new immigrants in 2021, the government has created six new programs aimed at essential workers, and international student graduates. Starting May 6, Canada will open the door to 90,000 new immigrants plus an unlimited number of French-speaking essential workers and graduates.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is an application management system for the three Federal High Skilled programs: Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Worker Program, and Federal Skilled Trades Program. Some PNPs also use the Express Entry system to invite candidates to apply for a provincial nomination.

If you want to immigrate to Canada through the Express Entry system, you first have to see if you are eligible. If so, you will get a score based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), which awards you points based on your skilled work experience, education, age, official language skills, and other factors.

IRCC issues ITAs to the highest-scoring candidates through Express Entry draws. After you send in your application, an IRCC immigration officer will review it. If they approve your application, the last step is to complete the landing process and officially become a Canadian permanent resident.

Who was invited?

The following is a hypothetical example of someone who may have been invited in the new draw.

Satish and Amiti married and are 34 and 31 respectively. They each hold a bachelor’s degree, and each wrote the IELTS and scored an 8 in listening and a 7 in reading, speaking and writing. Amiti has been working as a software engineer for the past three years while Satish has been working in human resources for four years. They entered the Express Entry pool with Amiti as the principal applicant and a CRS score of 421. Amiti later received a provincial nomination from the Province of Ontario. Amiti’s CRS score increased to 1,021 and she received an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence in the new Express Entry draw.

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