Express Entry Draws

Introduced in 2015, Canada’s Express Entry system organizes immigration applications for three federal immigration programs: Federal Skilled Worker (FSW), Federal Skilled Trades (FST), and Canadian Experience Class (CEC). To be considered for these programs, a candidate first submit an Express Entry profile to the pool of candidates. All Express Entry profiles are ranked against one another through the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) which assigns each candidate a CRS score out of 1200 points.

Approximately every two weeks, the Canadian government conducts an Express Entry draw. Each draw has a CRS cut-off score, which represents the CRS score of the lowest-ranking candidate to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. Once a candidate receives an ITA, they are given 60 days to complete and submit an official electronic Application for Permanent Residence (eAPR).

What type of Express Entry Draws are there?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) conducts 3 types of Express Entry Draws. These are:

    • Canadian Experience Class (CEC) draws: These draws target candidates in the Express Entry pool who have at least 1 year of Canadian Work Experience.
    • Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draws: These draws target candidates in the Express Entry pool who have been nominated by a Canadian province to receive Canadian permanent residence.
    • Federal Skilled Trade Worker (FST) draws: These draws target candidates in the Express Entry pool who qualify under the Federal Skilled Trade Program. Generally, these candidates have a lower CRS score in comparison to others in the pool.
    • All Program Draws: All program draws are not program specific. Instead, they focus on the overall CRS score of the applicant, irrespective of the program they qualify under.

What do I need to do to have my profile selected in an Express Entry Draw?

Most Express Entry Draws focus on an applicant’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. For this reason, once you have submitted your Express Entry profile to the pool, you should examine all the ways you may increase your CRS score ranking within the pool.

What is the lowest CRS score accepted in an Express Entry Draw?

The lowest accepted CRS score varies with each Express Entry draw.

Since the Express Entry system was introduced in 2015, the lowest ever accepted CRS score has been 75. This was from a CEC Draw that took place in February 2021.

The lowest CRS score from an all program draw, targeting Federal Skilled Workers was 413.

How many profiles are selected in each Express Entry Draw?

There is no set number of Express Entry Profiles selected in each Express Entry draw. How many profiles selected with each draw depends on the number  of candidates in the pool, the quality of candidates in the pool and the Canadian labour market needs at the time of the draw.

What do you do if your profile has been selected from an Express Entry Draw?

If your profile has been selected from an Express Entry Draw, you will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA). With an ITA, you have 60 days to submit a full Application for Permanent Residence (eAPR). Please refer to our guide to receiving an ITA and submitting an eAPR for more information.

How often are there Express Entry Draws?

There is no set schedule for Express Entry Draws to happen, however, you can expect an Express Entry Draw at least every 2 weeks. Since the start of the COVID 19 pandemic, IRCC have generally conducted 2 Express Entry draws every 2 weeks. These Express Entry draws have focused on CEC and PNP applicants.

Am I more likely to be selected during an Express Entry Draw if I have a job offer?

Having an approved Canadian job offer does not guarantee that you will receive an ITA from an Express Entry Draw. It will however increase your chances. When you apply to the Express Entry pool with an approved Canadian job offer, you will receive either 50 or 200 points CRS points.

In addition to this, a Canadian job offer may make your profile more desirable to the province where the job offer is located.

How can you improve your CRS score to make sure you receive an invitation in the next Express Entry Draw?

If a candidate’s CRS score is significantly lower than the minimum cut-off in the pool, they should consider trying to improve their score. For more information on improving ranking, please refer to Canadim’s guidelines for improving the CRS score and ranking.

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