What is the change? Canada conducted its first Express Entry draw of the year Wednesday, issuing 3,900 invitations to apply for permanent residency, with a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System score of 449.

Analysis & Comment: Wednesday’s draw marked the eighth consecutive draw in which 3,900 invitations were issued. The minimum CRS score was 449, up 10 points from the last draw. The overall trend remains positive for Express Entry applicants, with Canada continuing to issue a high number of invitations for permanent residence.

The following chart lists the last five Express Entry draws:

Date               Invitations Minimum Score
Nov. 14 3,900 449
Nov. 28 3,900 445
Dec. 12 3,900 445
Dec. 19 3,900 439
Jan. 10 3,900 449

Background: The Express Entry system prioritizes permanent residence candidates in four skilled migration programs—Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, Canadian Experience Class and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program—on a points system that considers such factors as current job offer, education, skills, work experience and age, among others. Candidates register their profiles online through the Express Entry system. Draws are conducted roughly every two weeks, usually for all four categories but sometimes limited to one or two of them. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration publishes the results of each draw, indicating the number of invitations for permanent residence that are issued and the minimum score needed to earn an invitation. Individuals who receive an invitation must apply for permanent residency within 60 days. Under tie-breaking rules, applicants with the same Comprehensive Ranking System score are ranked according to the date and time they submitted their profiles, highlighting the importance of submitting Express Entry profiles as early as possible.

This alert was prepared by Garson LLP, an independent law firm, allied with Deloitte LLP in Canada.