A quick overview of the impact of Coronavirus on Canada immigration and on the activity of Express entry and Provincial Nomination Progam (PNP) in the first quarter.
Looking at the previous two year’s first quarter, 2020 has the first quarter with the most number of Express Entry candidates invited to apply for Canada permanent resident visa. The year 2020 started as it is would be the big year for the Express entry.
Canada revealed its 2020-2022 Immigration Level Plan just a week before they started taking measures for the virus. Immigrants admission target for this year has been set at 341,000 new immigrants, out of these 91,800 will be admitted are the Federal High Skilled workers and 67,800 through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).
Since the first express draw of the year held on January 8, they are being held regularly every two weeks. After the implementation of the measures to contain the spread of Coronavirus virus, Canada has held one express draw inviting express entry candidate on March 18 invited only provincial nomination candidate. Another express draw held on March 23, inviting only Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates.
Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently tweeted that Express entry draws are still happening and they are processing the application for the PR Visa. Invited candidates will not likely have their application processed for a minimum of six months.
So far this year, a total of 22,600 Express entry candidates have been invited to apply for Canada permanent residency. By this same time the previous year, Canada issued a total of 21,200 ITAs and in 2018 it was 17,500 ITAs.
The number of ITAs issued has increased in this quarter with 25.5 percent from the previous year. One of the draws in this timeframe of the first quarter was the Federal Skilled Trades Program draw that invited a total 500 express entry candidates with the minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 357 points. In this quarter, Canada has held its biggest ever express entry draw inviting a total of 4,500 applicants for Canada PR Visa.
Express entry program is the main source for skilled immigrants immigration to Canada, introduced in 2015, it manages the profiles of the immigrants who have applied for Canada PR Visa through Canada’s three major skilled economic immigration programs: Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC). All the profiles submitted in the express entry pool are ranked according to their CRS scores that are awarded based on candidate’s credentials like age, language proficiency, etc.
Highest ranked profiles are then issued ITAs through regularly held express draws to apply for Canada PR Visa.
For express entry candidates who are not able to meet the minimum requirement for the CRS score, they can increase their CRS score by getting a provincial nomination certificate.
Canada PNPs Enhanced Streams
Every PNP in Canada has an “enhanced” stream that allows the provinces to search for skilled immigrants in the federal government’s express entry pool. Through this provincial governments are able to select candidates who will be able to support their population and labour market goals. They also have shorter processing time that provincial base programs.
PNPs held their own round of invitations to nominate express entry candidates for provincial nominations. For an express entry candidate to get a provincial nomination certificate, they are awarded 600 CRS points.
Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) has held three provincial draws in the first quarter through its two immigration streams: Human Capital Priorities Stream and French-Speaking Skilled Workers Stream.
First OINP draw of the year 2020, was held through French-Speaking Skilled Workers Stream that invited 242 french-speaking candidates to apply for provincial nomination.
OINP’s Human Capital Priorities Stream held two provincial draws inviting a total 1,440 express entry candidates to apply for a provincial nomination certificate. Jan 15th draws inviting a total of 954 candidates with work experience in one of the six eligible occupations in the tech industry. Feb 13 draw, invited candidates in 10 skilled occupations such as nurses, managers, and accountants among others.
Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) held five provincial draws through its’ “enhanced” stream – Alberta Express Entry Stream. Out of these five draws, three draws have selected express entry candidates with CRS score as low as 300 and the other two draws required minimum CRS score of 350 points. A total of 751 candidates have been invited so far through AINP’s “enhanced” stream.
Other major PNP’s that have been inviting Express entry candidates for a provincial nomination in the first quarter of 2020 are as follows:
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