Express Entry: Federal Skilled Workers are back in business

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) held an all-program Express Entry draw for the first time since the March after the spread of coronavirus.

Before the travel restriction applied in March, IRCC considered all the eligible candidates from the various streams and programs during its Express Entry draws. In those draws, the eligible candidates of Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) had equal chances to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence if their CRS score meets the cut-off score of the draw.

After the travel restrictions and other restriction were implemented, the IRCC continued to hold the draws but they were limited to PNP and CEC (Canadian Experience Class) candidates, whereas the draws for FSWP and FSSTP were on hold.

IRCC held the CEC and PNP draws as the candidates for these programs are more likely to be in Canada and hence, the travel restriction would not be much of issues and there would be less challenges related to spreading of COVID-19.

Although there were certain issues in the decision.

Any Express Entry program cannot determine the physical location of candidates all the time. A candidate eligible for CRS may be out of Canada at certain time while FSWP candidate can be in Canada.

Moreover, Canada’s PR processing time Express Entry candidates is six months or less. Hence, a candidate has sufficient time to submit a completed PR application and he may have chances to arrive in Canada by expected time considering the travel restrictions and flight availability.

Return of all-program draws will not affect the candidates of PNP as provincial nomination will earn them 600 CRS points which will confirm the ITA for them at any stage. On the other hand, CEC candidates will be affected as the CRS scores declined during this period, but it may go up again as per the usual trend.

The latest draw suggests that IRCC is now willing to continue the normal process of immigration treating the candidates of all programs equally. However, it will be difficult for the CEC candidates to secure the ITA except the IRCC decides to hold the CEC specific draw during the pandemic. Future draws will only be able to tell us how the trend continues for the process.

Whether you are a CEC, FSWP, PNP, or FSTP candidate, the return to a normal immigration system, and the normal world, is something that we all desperately want.


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