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Canada releases Annual Report on Express Entry for 2021

Express Entry is the federal government’s main immigration route for foreign skilled workers seeking permanent residency in Canada. Every year, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) release an annual report on Express Entry (PR).

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program are all managed by Express Entry, which was established in 2015. (FSTP). It also oversees a section of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), but PNP applicants also need to be qualified for one of the schemes stated above.

114,431 Invitations to Apply (ITA) were issued for Canadian PR in total. 155,810 individuals—principal candidates plus accompanying family members—acquired permanent residency through all ITAs. This was in spite of IRCC’s notable decision to halt Express Entry ITAs on September 20, 2021, for all Federal High Skilled Immigration Programs (CEC, FSWP, and FSTP). Throughout 2021, IRCC did not invite any FSWP and FSTP applicants. The CEC draws were initially conducted by IRCC for the majority of 2021, but they were stopped in September. In 2021, only PNP draws occurred often, typically every two weeks.

More than 440,000 Express Entry profiles submitted

IRCC received a total of 443,004 Express Entry profile submissions by the end of 2021. This represents a 23% rise from 2020. Around 74% of these profile submissions qualified for at least one Express Entry program, while just 26% were rejected. In comparison to 71% of men, 77% of women who submitted profiles were qualified for at least one Express Entry program.

Most people who got into the Express Entry pool had CRS scores between 351 and 400

Based on a numerical value assigned to several parameters, eligible candidates are ranked using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores. It is crucial to keep in mind that with each new eligible profile submission, the “[Express Entry] pool is dynamic and that the distribution of CRS scores varies,” according to the report.

Nonetheless, 31% of all qualified applicants had a CRS score between 351 and 400. 401-450 (27% of profiles), 451-500 (21%), and 301-350 (16%) were the other most prevalent CRS score ranges among qualified candidates.

For PNP-specific draws, CRS cut-off scores ranged from 682 to 813 points, while for CEC-specific draws, they were between 75 and 462. (more on program-specific draws later).

Note: The remaining 12% of qualified candidates received extra CRS points for having a job lined up or demonstrating French language skills.

Number of ITAs given out up 6% from 2020

In total, 114,431 ITAs were given in 2021 through 42 program-specific Express Entry lotteries, a six percent increase from 2020. 64% of all ITA recipients were between the ages of 20 and 29 in keeping with Canada’s objective to attract younger immigrants.

Since no invitations were extended to candidates for the FSWP or FSTP, ITAs were concentrated on two programs throughout the year: the CEC (17 drawings, accounting for 87% of all ITAs) and the PNP (25 draws, 13% of all ITAs).

Most ITA recipients worked in food services, admin and retail

Since no invitations were extended to candidates for the FSWP or FSTP, ITAs were concentrated on two programs throughout the year: the CEC (17 drawings, accounting for 87% of all ITAs) and the PNP (25 draws, 13% of all ITAs).

This is a list of the top five jobs held by ITA beneficiaries, together with their NOC 2021 codes and the number of ITA recipients employed in each position.

1. Food Service Supervisors (NOC 2021: 62020) – ITAs issued: 13,097

2. Administrative Assistants (NOC 2021: 13110) – ITAs issued: 5,930

3. Retail Sales Supervisors (NOC 2021: 62010) – ITAs issued: 5,020

4. Software Engineers and Designers (NOC 2021: 21231) – ITAs issued: 4,916

5. Cooks (NOC 2021: 63200) – ITAs issued: 4,624

Outside Canada, most ITA recipients resided in India and Nigeria

The majority of Express Entry ITA receipts came from Canada (102,806). Nonetheless, the majority of international candidates who were given an ITA resided in either Nigeria (3,826) or India (1,432). In contrast to 2019 and 2020, when the USA ranked third on this ranking, this marks a significant change.

The top 10 countries of residence among 2021 ITA recipients (including the number of ITAs issued) are as follows:

1. Canada: 102,806 ITAs issued

2. India: 3,826 ITAs issued

3. Nigeria: 1,432 ITAs issued

4. USA: 806 ITAs issued

5. People’s Republic of China: 687 ITAs issued

6. United Arab Emirates: 465 ITAs issued

7. United Kingdom and Overseas Territories: 348 ITAs issued

8. Pakistan: 269 ITAs issued

9. Morocco: 235 ITAs issued

10. Lebanon: 215 ITAs issued

Most ITA recipients were citizens of India, China and Korea

Further information reveals that the top citizenships among ITA recipients have also slightly varied over time. In each of the previous three years, India has topped the list. The People’s Republic of China came in second place on this list in both 2020 and 2021. Third-placed Nigerian nationals (6,550) obtained ITAs in 2020, whereas Republic of Korea citizens (3,131) received the third-highest number in 2021.

The final seven nations that make up the top 10 citizenships of ITA grantees are listed below. The total number of ITAs issued to inhabitants of each nation in 2021 is shown next to each country.

1. India: 65,565 ITAs issued

2. People’s Republic of China: 9,592 ITAs issued

3. Republic of Korea: 3,131 ITAs issued

4. Nigeria: 3,123 ITAs issued

5. Brazil: 2,877 ITAs issued

6. Philippines: 2,429 ITAs issued

7. United Kingdom and Overseas Territories: 2,298 ITAs issued

8. Iran: 1,700 ITAs issued

9. Socialist Republic of Vietnam: 1,514 ITAs issued

10. Republic of Ireland: 1,348 ITAs issued

CEC now the most popular program under Express Entry

Principal applicants who were attempting to enter Canada through the CEC accounted for nearly 80% (79.6%) of all applications for PR made through Express Entry. 12,652 Express Entry PR applications were submitted by PNP applicants, whilst 8,245 FSWP applications for Canadian PR were submitted by PNP applicants. Combining all three programs, more males (57% and 58% of all applications, respectively) than women (53% of all FSWP applications) applied for permanent residence in Canada through the PNP and CEC.

FSTP participants submitted three economic immigration PR applications in total.

80% of Express Entry applications processed in nine months

The length of time it takes to process applications is still a major worry for many would-be immigrants to Canada. The amount of time it took to process all applications remained the same as in 2020, with IRCC concluding 80% of them in nine months. By program, 80% of CEC applications were processed in 7 months as opposed to 21 months, 23 months, and 7 years for PNP, FSTP, and FSWP applications (26 months).

Most Express Entry PRs intended to settle in Ontario

96,535 people in total who applied for PR through Express Entry specified that they were headed to Ontario. The three Canadian territories of Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and Yukon were the least popular (187 total people) destinations, followed by British Columbia (35,735) and Alberta (12,082).

It should be noted that the numbers of immigrants from Quebec are not included in this analysis because the province has its own unique immigration policies.

Express Entry in 2022 and 2023

Following a break that began in January 2021 (for the FSWP and FSTP) and September 2021, IRCC resumed all-program draws in July 2022. (for the CEC). The immigration agency held a PNP-only draw on February 1 and an FSWP-only draw on February 2—the first ever in Express Entry history—so far in 2023; however, two lotteries have returned to a program-specific format.

At some point this year, the IRCC intends to implement category-based draws, which will move Express Entry draws one step farther away from their customary format, which now prioritizes CRS scores. Candidates will be chosen through these draws based on particular personal characteristics like employment, language proficiency, and education.

Jasmine Kaur
Author: Jasmine Kaur

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