Express Entry draws still limited to Canadian Experience Class and Provincial Nominees

Since March 18, 2020, all Express Entry draws have been limited to provincial nominees and the Canadian Experience Class. The cutoff number has dropped dramatically from 467 to 437 for the draw held June 11, 2020. Canada has continued to issue 3,900 Invitations to Apply at each draw. This is surprising since the number of ITAs has stayed the same despite the pandemic.

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) includes person with at least one year of work experience in Canada. Approximately 90% of applicants in the CEC are currently in Canada. Apparently Canada is focusing on applicants who are already in Canada to avoid travel problems associated with the pandemic. Meanwhile, candidates in the Foreign Skilled Worker Class (FSW) with higher scores are not receiving invitations. However, since it is now difficult or impossible to take language tests, few if any FSW new candidates are being added to the pool. In meetings with stakeholders Canada has stated draws will eventually be opened to all categories.

As high scoring CEC candidates have now been removed from the pool, and new candidates are not coming in, we expect the over all cutoff range will drop as well once the draws are re-opened to all candidates, perhaps to the 460 range.

Cutoffs of 460 are readily attainable by persons with strong language test results, a master’s degree or better, and several years of work experience. Once regular processing resumes, immigration to Canada in as little as six months remains a realistic goal for many, including H-1B visa holders and DACA recipients in the United States.

For persons currently unable to meet the current Express Entry cutoffs, especially persons in their mid 30s or older, the best solution is to seek a job offer in Canada. This guarantees an extra 50 points, or 200 points in the case of a management level job offer. One year of work in Canada results in another 40 points for Canadian work experience. In some cases, a job offer will also result in a provincial nomination with a 600 point bonus. With strong language results these extra points will ensure an Invitation to Apply regardless of age.

Other solutions may include improving your language results through additional language training, or obtaining a second degree. In some cases, even a one year diploma can add 25 points to your score.

For more information, visit our web page on Express Entry.