The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) department of the Canadian government has invited 2,000 Express Entry candidates in the first CEC (Canadian Experience Class) draw of September 2021 on 14th September. CEC candidates with scores of at least 462 were invited and they have 60 days to apply for Canada Permanent Residency.
The CEC draw was originally planned for September 2 and was conducted later than expected. Reportedly, IRCC is actively processing the pending CEC applications to meet its 2021 immigration targets and is currently looking into the ones received in January. The pending load of CEC applications could delay applications of the other Express Entry programs.
The department is prioritizing applicants who are already in Canada due to international travel restrictions and is trying to meet its target of 108,500 immigrants for 2021.
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What is Express Entry?
The Express Entry program is an online system used by the Government of Canada to manage applications for permanent residence. It uses a points-based Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to rank applicants. The ones with the highest scores get invited. Reportedly, IRCC almost doubled the number of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) issued year-over-year. Applicants are issued invitations under the following programs:
Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
The Canadian Experience Class is for skilled workers who have worked in Canada for at least a year (1,560 hours) in the last three years and want to permanently settle in the country. They also have to be proficient in the English language. The CEC draws generally have a lower cutoff for entry point scores due to the singular group of applicants. There is less competition, unlike the Federal Skilled Worker Program or the Federal Skilled Trades Program.
Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
The FSWP is for skilled workers with foreign work experience who want to settle in Canada permanently. Applicants have to meet the minimum requirements like skilled work experience, language proficiency and education. Applications are then assessed based on factors like age, education, work experience, valid job offer, language skills, and adaptability.
Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
The Federal Skilled Trades Program is for workers qualified in a skilled trade. Apart from language proficiency, applicants need to have at least a couple of years of paid work experience (or 3,120 hours) in a skilled trade in the last 5 years. They also require a valid job contract with a Canadian employer for one year.