A total of 4,449 Invitations to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence were issued over the course of January, the highest total number for any single month since the Express Entry selection system for immigration to Canada was launched just over a year ago. The previous record was set in March, 2015, when 3,257 ITAs were issued.
January, 2016 was also the first month in almost a year during which three draws took place.
- On January 6, a total of 1,463 ITAs were issued to candidates with at least 461 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points.
- On January 13, a total of 1,518 ITAs were issued to candidates with at least 453 CRS points.
- On January 28, a total of 1,468 ITAs were issued to candidates with at least 457 CRS points.
Each of the three draws so far this year have involved candidates without a qualifying job offer or provincial nomination receiving an ITA.
A qualifying job offer or provincial nomination results in a candidate obtaining 600 additional CRS points and an ITA at a subsequent draw from the pool. However, candidates who are awarded a significant number of points based on core human capital and skills transferability factors alone may be issued an ITA without obtaining a job offer or provincial nomination.
Is January the first step towards more ITAs being issued in 2016?
On December 16, 2015, an IRCC Policy Analyst made some important announcements regarding the short- and medium-term future of Express Entry, stating that: “The number of invitations issued per round is expected to increase as the pre-Express Entry inventory of applications is finalized. In turn, it is expected that the minimum score of those that are invited to apply will drop.”
While January’s results seem to support the prediction that the number of ITAs will increase, it remains to be seen if this trend will continue and whether a drop in the minimum CRS score required will follow.