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  • Writer's pictureC&A Insights Team

Express Entry in 2020: A Record-Breaking Year

Updated: May 15

2020 was a wild ride for the world.. and for Canadian Immigration. Express Entry has unexpectedly high numbers despite global travel being restricted. Read more about the highlights of Express Entry in 2020, and what to expect for 2021.


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Express Entry in 2020: A Record-Breaking Year

The Coronavirus pandemic has created uncertainty and a feeling of unsettling across the globe. Immigration to Canada has always been affected by internal factors such as demographics, economy, policies, politics as well and application processing capacity. External factors influence immigration differently each year. These factors may be civil war or a pandemic!


Reported surveys state that the interest in immigrating to Canada has increased globally due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Immigrants and Newcomers contribute significantly to the country’s growth by:

  1. Filling gaps in the Canadian labor force

  2. Contributing to an educated Canada

  3. Being politically engaged

  4. Contributing to Canada’s future – the children of immigrants tend to achieve higher education and similar labor market outcomes

  5. Enterprising, innovative, and job-creators – many immigrant owners of small and medium-sized enterprises are successful and also aid in further job creation in the Canadian economy.


Thus, despite restrictions on travel, and a home-office workplace, Express Entry has noted a record-breaking increase in applications and processing. 


Some interesting facts about Express Entry in 2020:

36 - Total Immigration Rounds Held
107,350 - Total invitations to Apply (ITA) to Express Entry candidates
468 - Lowest CRS Cut-Off for an All-program Draw

1. Total invitations to Apply (ITA) to Express Entry candidates – 107,350

  • Highest ITAs issued since the inception of Express Entry in 2015


2. Total immigration rounds held – 36


3. Smallest Express Entry – PNP only draw happened in April 2015 where 118 ITA’s were handed. Eventually, this increased to thousands of ITAs being handed over at once by the end of the year.

4. Increasing draw sizes – 2020 saw a consistent increase in draw sizes, and a new format of Express Entry draws:

  • IRCC held ‘PNP only’ and ‘CEC only’ draws

  • The PNP-only draw had only 668 ITAs, and CEC-only draw had much more; together, the draws would add up to approximately 3,800 ITAs.

  • 1 Federal Skilled Trades draw – 250 ITAs were sent


5. CRS scores to determine the cut-off for draws:

  • Lowest CRS cut-off – 415 for a Federal Skilled Trades Program draw

  • All-program draw, lowest CRS cut-off – 468 (Dec 23, 2020)

  • Lowest CEC score requirement – 431


Express Entry in 2021

Canada recently announced the 2021-2023 immigration plan which has a strong focus on economic immigration programs, with 58% of expected immigrants being admitted under economic class programs. Express Entry is one of the economic programs under which Canada will be inviting individuals for Canadian permanent residency. Canada is expecting to welcome over 400,000 new permanent residents every year, and more than 100,000 of these new immigrants will be through the Express-Entry managed programs. Here are some quick facts about the plan for 2021:

  1. Next year’s immigration target is 401,000 permanent residents, with a maximum total of 410,000 expected permanent residents

  2. 108,500 of the above-mentioned permanent residents are expected to through the Express Entry program, i.e., approving 8,946 Express Entry candidates a month

  3. The maximum expected immigration in one year via Express Entry is expected to be 113,750 permanent residents in 2023.

  4. Based on high-range estimates for the immigration programs in the 2020 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration, the following total permanent residents are expected:

  • 208,500 Federal Economic, Provincial/territorial nominees

  • 105,000 Family reunification applicants

  • 68,000 Refugees, protected persons, humanitarian and compassionate, and other


What is Express Entry?

The Express Entry system is an application system that manages the pool of candidates applying for Canadian economic immigration. The Express Entry system facilitates economic immigration through the following three programs - the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). Express Entry is a two-stage process, which starts with the creation of an express entry profile. A CRS Score is calculated for candidates which determines their rank in the pool. Periodic Express Entry draws are held by IRCC to invite candidates with certain scores. If you meet the express entry draw score, you are issued an invitation to apply for Canadian Permanent Residency.

What do I do if I get an invitation to apply?

You now have 60 days to submit all of your documents to IRCC for your Permanent Residency application. We can help you with Stage 2 of the application. We offer flexible service options including:

  1. Consultations - Useful for those looking for answers to specific questions about their profile and applications

  2. Review Services - Useful and budget option for those looking for professional oversight while applying on their own

  3. Full Representation - Useful for those who would like an RCIC to take charge of the process and represent them in the application.


I didn't apply for Express Entry yet but I want to before the next draw - What do I do?

Get started by booking a consultation. It is important to understand if your profile meets basic eligibility for this program and whether or not you have good prospects to immigrate through this program. During the consultation, our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) will review your profile and see if Express Entry is the best option for you. We will also assess your profile for other federal and provincial programs for Permanent Residency. Regardless of whether you retain our services, at the end of the consultation, you will have a plan for your path to Canadian permanent residency. If you choose to retain our services, we will adjust this fee to our full retainer fee.


A Cautionary Note: The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained, and the readers are asked to refer to the government website for the most updated information.

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