85 per cent of the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) applications are finalized under Express Entry in the year 2021.

Express Entry is the main way Canada welcomes economic class skilled immigrants. Candidates that meet the criteria of an Express Entry program can submit their profile onto IRCC’s website. Candidates receive a CRS score based on human capital criteria such as their age, education, language skills, and work experience. Approximately every two weeks, IRCC invites the highest-scoring candidates to apply for permanent residence. Such candidates then have 60 days to submit their permanent residence application to IRCC. Once IRCC approves the application, a candidate receives a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) which enables them to officially land in Canada as a permanent residence. The landing process can entail a COPR holder that was residing in Canada as a temporary resident converting their legal status to permanent residence. It can also entail an individual arriving from abroad with their COPR to become a permanent resident.

IRCC has made significant changes to its Express Entry policies amid the pandemic. The department is currently pursuing a plan to land 401,000 new permanent residents this year. At the start of 2021, it made the decision to focus on transitioning more temporary residents to permanent residence to give it a better shot of achieving its 401,000 immigrant target. As a result, it has only invited CEC and PNP candidates under Express Entry this year. This is a major departure from precedent since the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) accounted for some 45 per cent of successful Express Entry candidates before the pandemic. IRCC has made this temporary shift in policy for two reasons. First, it argues that because some 90 per cent of CEC candidates currently reside in Canada during the pandemic, they are less likely to face COVID-related disruptions that would impede their ability to complete their permanent residence landings in 2021. Second, IRCC continues to invite PNP candidates to help provinces across the country address their labour market needs.

We have obtained data from IRCC showing that the CEC is accounting for some 85 per cent of all finalized Express Entry applications this year. Between January and October, IRCC issued COPRs to 108,860 CEC applicants. The department has issued 12,514 COPRs to PNP candidates (about 10 per cent of all COPRs issued to Express Entry applicants this year).

IRCC is well on its way to achieving its immigration target this year. It has landed nearly 314,000 permanent residents through to October, and in recent months has been landing over 45,000 per month. The department is currently in the process of determining Canada’s immigration levels target for 2022, as well as what Express Entry strategy to pursue next year. We can expect to learn more in the coming months. Major announcements still to come include the issuance of mandate letters to each federal minister, including immigration minister Sean Fraser. In addition, Fraser will unveil Canada’s Immigration Level Plans 2022-2024 by February 10. The mandate letter and new levels plan will provide stakeholders with more guidance on IRCC’s policy priorities in 2022 and beyond.

Reference: Cic news

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