The Government of Canada issued 3,500 invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence to Express Entry candidates in a draw held February 5.

The minimum CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System)  score in this latest invitation round was 472, an increase of one point over the previous draw held January 22.

The Express Entry system manages the pool of candidates for three of Canada’s main skilled labour immigration categories — the Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class and Canadian Experience Class.

Candidates are ranked in the pool based on a score awarded under the CRS that considers factors such as age, education, skilled work experience and proficiency in English or French.

A job offer is not required in order to be eligible for an Express Entry ITA( invitation to apply), though additional CRS points are awarded if a candidate has one.

A set number of the highest-ranked candidates are invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence through regular draws from the pool. These invitation rounds typically take place every two weeks and the vast majority involve candidates from all three Express Entry-managed categories.

The Government of Canada has a processing standard of six months for permanent residence applications filed through the Express Entry system.

The February 5 invitation round brings the total number of ITAs issued this year to 10,300.

The target for new permanent resident admissions through the three federal high-skilled programs is slated to rise to 85,800 ITAs this year and 88,800 in 2021.

The target for Canada’s PNP (Provincial Nominee Program) , a portion of which is also managed by the Express Entry system, is set to rise to 67,800 in 2020 and 71,300 in 2021.

Nine Canadian provinces and two territories have what are known as “enhanced” PNP streams that are linked to the Express Entry system.

These streams — many of which have lower or even no CRS score requirement — allow participating provinces and territories to select Express Entry candidates and invite them to apply for a provincial nomination for Canadian permanent residence.

Express Entry candidates who obtain a provincial nomination receive an additional 600 points toward their CRS score and are effectively guaranteed an ITA.

Today’s draw was slightly larger than the previous invitation round held January 22, which issued 3,400 ITAs. The minimum CRS score was up compared to the January 22 draw, which had a cut-off score of 471.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) applied a tie-break time and date of January 30, 2020, at 07:36:26 UTC in this draw.

This means that all candidates with a score of 472 who submitted their profile before this date and time received an ITA.

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