The Third Quarter of 2018 Sees Records for the Express Entry Scheme

Published on: Oct 22, 2018 | Tags: Invitations to Apply (ITA), Canada Immigration, Canada Entry Requirements


22,800 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) was the pinnacle achieved in 2018's 3rd quarter, with July and September producing the record high points. As part of Canada Immigration between July and September 2018, the Express Entry economic immigration system enjoyed a record number of invitations to those non-Canadians wishing to apply for Canada permanent residency.

The Express Entry Scheme was launched in 2015 for the sole purpose and benefit of managing the pool of three main and significant Canada economic immigration classes, namely the Skilled Worker Class, Skilled Trades Class and the Canadian Experience Class. All applicants are rated according to the Scheme's comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and the highest scoring candidates are then regularly and selectively Invited To Apply (ITA) for Canada permanent residency via pool draws.

Records for the highest number of ITAs

Since Express Entry was introduced, the number of issued ITAs has never reached the third quarter heights of 22,800 as in July, August and September 2018. The previous record month had been June 2018 when 7,500 ITAs had been issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. July continued in this vein, with another 7,500 invitations, more than doubling the previous July (2017) high of 3,202 ITAs. The only month of 2018 that didn't exceed the number of ITAs issued in the same month the previous year was August, which had 7,500 ITAs compared to just over 9,000 in August of 2017.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, with 7,800 ITAs made in September 2018, set a new record for permanent residence invitations. Additionally, within the figure for the month, they set a record of the most ITAs issued in a single day (3,900 on September 5th) involving all three economic classes.

Large Volume Draws

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada continued the 2018 pattern of carrying out standardized large volume draws for each batch of invitations issued in all the classes in July and August 2018. There were four invitation batches covering these two months when a total of 3,750 ITAs were made. This followed the trend set at the end of 2017 (December) when 2,750 ITAs were issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada in both of the Express Entry draws of that month. This was repeated in January of 2018. These invitation batches continued and increased gradually by 250-500 on an approximate bi-monthly basis, culminating in the high of 3,900 ITAs issued on September 5th.

There was, however, a reduction in the trend when, on September 19th, a reduced figure of 3,500 ITAs was recorded, down from 3,900 on September 9th. This was more than compensated by an unusual draw of invitations made to 400 candidates a week later on September 24th in the Federal Skilled Trades Class. Subsequently, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada made up the deficit by issuing 3,900 ITAs on October 3rd, right at the start of the last three months of 2018.

The minimum CRS scores

The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is a system that uses points to assess those in the Canada immigration pool for Express Entry. In the seven all-class draws that took place in the 3rd quarter of 2018, the minimum and maximum scores attained were between 440 (lowest of 2018)and 445 (highest of 2018 to date). Six of these draws contained a cut-off score ranging from 440 to 442.

It's possible for candidates putting themselves forward for Express Entry to enhance their ranking by a number of strategies that include earning an extra 600 CRS points by having a provincial nomination. These Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), linked to Express Entry, had new streams added in Alberta and Nova Scotia and were increasingly active in 2018's 3rd quarter.

ITA record - 2018 to beat 2017?

The final three months of 2018 are being observed with great interest to see if 2018's Express Entry invites can overtake those of 2017. The first three quarters of 2018 have seen 62,500 ITAs issued whereas, by the same point in 2017, the higher figure of 69,420 applied and the year ended with a record 86,023. 2018 can better 2017, provided Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada can at least maintain (or better still, surpass) the larger draw sizes experienced in 2018's 3rd quarter. The Canadian Government's Multi-Year Immigration Levels Plan for Federal Skilled Workers, Federal Skilled Trades and the Canadian Experience Classes has a 2018 target of 74,900 new admissions and, for 2019, a figure of 81,400.

Of course, it's important to note that an ITA is quite different from a Canada Visa or Canada ETA. An ITA is an invitation enabling certain individuals who have an Express Entry profile to apply to become permanent residents, whereas a Canada Visa and Canada ETA are more temporary ways to visit Canada and don't include any permanent benefits.


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