In the seventh Express Entry lottery of 2023, held late last week, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued up to 7,000 invitations to apply (ITAs), a record amount in a single draw. This draw broke the previous record of 5,500 applicants invited in the preceding all-program lottery on January 18, 2023.
Before 2023, all Express Entry drawings between July and November 2022 were all-program draws with over 1,000 candidates invited each time.
Candidates from all three Express Entry programs are considered, including the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class. (CEC). In this draw, the minimum Comprehensive Ranking System score was 490.
Apart from releasing a record amount of ITAs, this draw deviates from the previous two months’ trend of program-specific drawings. There have been four program-specific rounds of invites since the last all-program draw, three for PNP-only applicants and one for FSWP candidates. Only 697 individuals earned ITAs in the most recent PNP-only draw on March 1, 2023.
Before 2023, all Express Entry draws performed between July and November 2022 were all-program draws that invited over 1,000 applicants each time, and the number of invitations climbed as the minimum CRS score declined.
IRCC has also issued a report detailing Express Entry data for 2021, a one-of-a-kind year in the program’s history. To alleviate the backlog due to travel restrictions and border closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, all program drawings were suspended beginning in December 2020. IRCC continued to award ITAs to candidates in the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and the Provincial Nominee Program from December 2020 to September 2021. (PNP). There were no all-program Express Entry drawings in 2021, and all 42 draws for the PNP and CEC were program-specific, with no ITAs awarded to FSWP or FSTP candidates.
Sixty-four percent of the 114,431 ITAs given in 2021 went to individuals aged 20 to 29 who obtained 100 CRS points under the Comprehensive Ranking System. After the age of 30, candidates earn fewer points. While the majority of ITAs were awarded to applicants who were already residing in Canada as temporary residents, some ITAs were issued to candidates living abroad.