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Understanding the Express Entry tie-breaking rule

Express Entry is the federal government of Canada’s preferred immigration route for foreign skilled workers.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) introduced a tie-breaking rule based on the date and time “profiles were first submitted to the Express Entry pool” to help rank and choose between Express Entry candidates with the same Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.

Since the rule’s implementation, IRCC has listed a cut-off date and time for each Express Entry draw (according to Coordinated Universal Time, or UTC). Every candidate with a CRS score higher than the minimum for a specific draw who also submitted their profile before the cut-off date receives an Invitation to Apply (ITA) through Express Entry for Canadian Permanent Residency (PR).

A recent example of the tie-breaking rule

The Express Entry draw that took place on January 18, 2023 is a recent example of this.

IRCC distributed 5,550 ITAs for this draw, with a minimum CRS score of 490. The tie-breaking rule was set to occur on November 24, 2022, at 21:14:59 UTC.

Candidates with a CRS score of 490 or higher who submitted their Express Entry profile before the above cut-off date were among those who received an ITA during that draw.

Three important considerations about the tie-breaking rule

Despite the introduction of the tie-breaking rule, Express Entry candidates should keep a few key points in mind.

The tie-breaking rule does not take priority over a candidate’s CRS score

The CRS score of a candidate is still the most important factor in determining where they rank among other eligible Express Entry candidates for any given draw. Again, as the name implies, this rule is simply in place to break a tie between Express Entry candidates who have the same CRS score.

Modifying or updating an Express Entry profile does not alter the original timestamp of the profile submission

When a candidate, for example, updates their profile with new language test results or an Educational Credential Assessment, the submission timestamp associated with that Express Entry profile remains constant (ECA). In fact, there is only one circumstance in which a candidate’s profile’s submission timestamp will change (more on that below).

Deleting and reapplying for Express Entry with a new profile will result in a new profile submission timestamp

There is no carryover of Express Entry profile submission timestamps based on identity (name, birthdate, etc.). For example, if an individual named Aniket Sharma (fictitious) applied for Express Entry and then deleted their profile before reapplying at a later date and time, the recorded submission timestamp would reflect the date and time Aniket rejoined the candidate pool rather than when they first submitted their profile.

Lucky Vohra
Author: Lucky Vohra

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