As of July 8th, Canada has resumed all-program Express Entry (EE) draws and Federal Skilled Workers (FSW) and Federal Skilled Trade (FST) Candidates are now eligible to receive invitations and apply for permanent residence since March 4, 2020.

The July 8th issued 3,900 invitations to apply (ITAs) for candidates with a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of at least 478.

For the last four months, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada has introduced travel restrictions to prevent its spread. To keep up with Canada’s immigration mandate, Immigration Refugees Citizenship Canada (IRCC) limited EE draws to Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates and suspended FSW’s and FST candidates.

Why CEC and PNP draws? As for CEC candidates, they are already in Canada and not subject to Canada’s current travel restrictions. PNP candidates on the other hand, have been invited to keep up with the province’s immigration allocation. This means that for PNP candidates, they may not have necessarily been out of the country.

Today’s draw was the same size as the previous all-program invitation round held March 4, which issued 3,900 ITAs.

It is the 22nd draw of 2020 and brings the total number of ITAs issued this year to 53,800, a new record for this date.

Today’s minimum score of 478 was seven points higher than the previous all-program invitation round on March 4, which had a cut-off score of 471.

The higher CRS cut-off is a function of FSWP candidates once again securing ITAs. Given the length of time since the last draw featuring FSWP candidates, today’s draw featured ITAs to candidates with higher CRS scores who would have otherwise been invited in earlier months had the coronavirus pandemic not affected IRCC’s Express Entry policies.

This means that all candidates with a CRS score above 478, as well as those candidates with scores of 478 who entered their profile in the Express Entry pool before the February 11 at 7:17 pm EST, received an ITA in this invitation round.

The Express Entry system is Canada’s primary source of skilled foreign workers. It was introduced in 2015 to manage the pool of candidates for three of Canada’s three federal high-skilled immigration programs — the Federal Skilled Worker Program,  Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class.

Eligible candidates for each program are issued a score under Express Entry’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), which awards points for factors such as age, education, skilled work experience and proficiency in English or French.

While a job offer is not required in order to be eligible under the Express Entry system, the CRS does award additional points to candidates who have one.

A set number of the highest-scoring candidates are issued an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence (ITA) through regular draws from the pool, which typically take place every two weeks.

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