Here’s how Canada’s Express Entry system performed in 2019

posted on January 2, 2020

By CIC News |

Canada’s main immigration pathway for skilled foreign workers invited 85,300 candidates to apply for Canadian permanent residence in 2019

Canada’s Express Entry system kept both candidates and observers on their toes in 2019 with a number of unexpected twists and turns.  

Though it fell just short of 2018’s record results, Canada’s principal immigration pathway for highly skilled foreign workers still finished the year with an impressive 85,300 invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence (ITAs) issued.

This was the second-highest invitation total since the Express Entry system was introduced in 2015 to manage the pool of candidates for Canada’s three Federal High-Skilled immigration programs — the Federal Skilled Worker ClassFederal Skilled Trades Class and Canadian Experience Class — and a portion of its Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

Canada’s federal immigration ministry, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), held a total of 26 draws from the Express Entry pool over the course of 2019 and the 24 that involved all Express Entry-managed programs ranged in size from 3,200 to 3,900 ITAs.

Given Canada’s higher 2019 and 2020 admissions targets for the three Express Entry-managed Federal High-Skilled programs and the PNP, it was expected that the number of Express Entry candidates invited in 2019 would surpass the record 89,800 ITAs that were issued the year before.

However, with so many invitations issued in late 2018, one explanation for 2019 falling short is the possibility IRCC had to keep the number of ITAs issued down in order to maintain its processing standard of six months for permanent residence applications filed through the Express Entry system.

Draw sizes in 2019

A defining development in 2019 was IRCC’s deviation from the pattern it established the year before that mostly saw draw sizes incrementally increased every two to three months over the course of 2018, from 2,750 to 3,900 ITAs.

Draw size followed a much less predictable pattern in 2019, leaving observers guessing whether it would increase or decrease with every new invitation round.

The last three months of 2019 were a case in point as draw sizes rose briefly to 3,900 ITAs in October then dropped to 3,600 in November and finished the year with two December invitation rounds of 3,200 ITAs each.

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