• Tetiana Karbovanets, RCIC

What is happening to Express Entry?

If you have been following Express Entry rounds of invitations you might have noticed that although the number of invitations issued is rising, the CRS cut-off score is becoming increasingly high. If you had a CRS score of 450 points in 2018, you were likely to get an invitation to apply sooner or later. 2019, on the contrary, set the target to the hard-to-attain score of 470.

While this seems disappointing and unfair, it is nothing to be surprised at. Since IRCC changed the rules to allocate extra points for Canadian education, the number of students applying to Canada increased dramatically. Colleges and universities across Canada started reaching out to international students. Various oversea agencies launched their promotion campaigns, advertising education in Canada as a direct way to immigration. And it seemed to be working, at least for a while.

Express Entry was designed as a competitive self-regulating system. With the growth of the number of eligible candidates in the pool, the cut-off score increases automatically. As of November, the number of people with the score in the range of 451-1200 points was about 16 thousand, while the number of invited candidates was limited by 3600 people. How likely are the people in the range of 401-450 to get their Invitation to apply? According to the latest data, there are about 40 thousand of them in the pool. Even if IRCC abruptly stopped accepting new profiles to Express Entry, it would take at least 4 rounds for the cut-off score to reach 450. But that is not the case, and taking into account the fact that in 2019, Canada issued about 350,000 study permits, which is about 130,000 more than in the year 2015, the amount of highly competitive candidates will only grow. Although, Canada is planning to invite close to 350 000 people to immigrate to Canada next year, only 85 800 of them are going to be achieved through Express Entry immigration streams. Express Entry pool is getting extremely crowded and the numbers show that it is not likely it will better over the next couple of years.

For instance, an international graduate with a Bachelor Degree from their home country and a 1-year certificate from a Canadian college; who have accumulated a year of qualifying experience from overseas and a year – in Canada, can reach a CRS score of 485, provided that he/she has a decent level of English or French and is 29 years old or younger.

And now imagine how many of those 350 000 are likely to meet the criteria of the example provided. Besides, there are also temporary foreign workers with qualifying job offers who can get an extra 50 or even 200 points for their job offer.

Therefore if you are a foreign national applying through Express Entry from overseas you have to make sure that you have:

- At least 3 years of qualifying experience

- English or French knowledge at the advanced level

- Decent knowledge of the second official language

- Education at least at the Master Level (Ph.D. preferred).

Sounds like something you can achieve? Great! You can join the pool of potential candidates and wait for your golden ticket. If not, it is better to start exploring some other options. Luckily, there are several other immigration pathways, though most of them are likely to involve job search, various preliminary stages and steps.

For more information, contact us and get your free immigration assessment.

Open statistical information available at was used for writing this article.

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