Again, Express Entry applications will be processed in six months

Express Entry Applications

Prior to the pandemic, Canada expected to complete most Express Entry immigration applications in six months. However, because of the pandemic, applicants have had to wait much longer. Non-Canadian Experience Class (CEC) Express Entry applicants must wait an average of more than 20 months for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to process their permanent residence applications.

Thankfully, the IRCC has announced that most new Express Entry applications will be processed within six months. This will take effect once IRCC starts Express Entry invites to FSWP, CEC, and FSTP candidates in early July. For various reasons, the early July normalisation of Express Entry is significant. To begin, IRCC’s primary method of bringing skilled professionals to Canada is through Express Entry. Permanent residence invitations to FSWP candidates have been temporarily suspended since December 2020, while CEC candidates have not received invites since September 2021, however this will change in July. Between 1967 through the onset of the pandemic, the FSWP was the major method Canada admitted skilled immigrants, while the CEC accounted for one-third of the record-breaking 405,000 immigrants Canada welcomed in 2021. Resuming invites for these two programmes will allow hundreds of thousands of people to realise their dream of becoming permanent residents of Canada.

The return of draws is also good news for employers in Canada. According to Statistics Canada, Canada has over 800,000 job openings and the lowest unemployment rate in history. To alleviate labour shortages, employers want more immigrant talent. Because Express Entry is returning to normal and most new applications will be completed within six months, companies will soon have more access to talent, which will be critical to Canada’s post-pandemic economic recovery. The return of processing timeframes to six months is also significant for immigration candidates, as Express Entry will once again become the shortest path to permanent residency in Canada for skilled professionals. The processing durations for Canada’s more than 100 additional economic class immigration channels surpass six months.

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