May 1, 2020 was the second Canadian Federal Express Entry (EE) Draw held in two days by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Services (IRCC). A total of 3311 Invitations to Apply (ITA) were issued to candidates under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) category. CEC candidates must have 1 year of Canadian work experience out of the last 3 years.

This is the fourth CEC EE draw since March 23, 2020. The minimum Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) for this draw was 452, which is the lowest amongst all the recent CEC EE draws. In fact, under the CEC EE, the CRS scores have steadily decreased approximately 2-3 points during each of the following draws: March 23 – CRS 467; April 9th – CRS 464 and, April 16th – CRS 455.

All draws held by IRCC since March 4th have been targeted CEC EE, or Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) EE draws. In response to the COVID-19 health crisis and extensive travel restrictions currently implemented by the Canadian Government, IRCC has decided to restrict their draws to CEC and PNP candidates and we have not been advised when they will start conducting all-program draws again. The rationale held by IRCC is that with travel restrictions and the Quarantine Act, it is easier to grant permanent residency (PR) to applicants who are already in Canada.

Under the CEC, almost all applicants are currently residing in Canada, so there are no issues with coordinating travel, looking for exemptions to travel, or self-quarantine requirements. Applicants who file under the CEC are those already living and working in Canada. Some of them have been attending school and are on a Study Permit, which has transitioned a Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP), where they have gained the required one year of work experience. Others have been Temporary Workers and now have the work experience to qualify for the CEC. The decision to limit and target applicants is a strategic decision to reduce the backlog of incoming immigrants and those currently in Canada have no delay to become permanent residence. In fact, IRCC has transitioned to telephone, rather than in-person PR interviews and there are reports of applicants receiving PR approvals without even having an interview!

Currently, there are travel restrictions to ALL foreign nationals seeking to travel to Canada, unless they are covered under a specific exemption, and they are travelling for non-optional and non-discretionary purposes, and if entering from the U.S., foreign nationals must satisfy government officials that they are travelling for non-optional and non-discretionary purposes.

In order to determine whether you may qualify for the CEC EE, or if you already have received an Invitation and would like assistance on your PR application, feel free to contact us.