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#196 Express Entry Draw | IRCC raising standards?

Today, Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) conducted the 196th Express Entry draw. The draw invited 4,500 Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates. The minimum CRS score is 369, 12 points higher than the previous CEC round. In alignment to IRCC’s newest procedures, candidates must complete their applications within 60 days upon receiving their Invitation to Apply (ITA).

The specifics of the 196th draw are as the following:

Express Entry System #196 Draw
Class CEC Canadian Experience Class
Date and Time of Draw July 8, 2021 at 14:02:45 UTC
Minimum CRS Score 369 (Past data and trends)
Number of Invitations Issued 4,500
Tie-breaking Rule June 10, 2021 at 22:46:37 UTC

The COVID-19 pandemic has precluded the draws of Federal Skilled Workers and Traders (FSW and FST). Given the shortage of foreign workers, inland CEC candidates constitute a significant portion of EE invitations. So far this year, IRCC has issued 88,153 ITAs to eligible applicants, an unprecedented record in the history of EE.

Although an increase in minimum CRS score may dishearten some, the EE still dwells in the phase of leniency. Compared to the 461 points at the beginning of the year, the reduction is rather astonishing. Considering the insidious threat of a fourth pandemic wave, the merits granted to candidates will last at least for another month or two.

As of July 5, 2021, the EE pool contains 166,851 candidates. 52,595 individuals fall under the 351-400 score range, followed by 40,476 in the 401-450 range, and 34,133 in 451-500 range. The fact that IRCC’s 2021 EE intake cap is near attainment may prolong many candidates’ immigration agenda. However, despite the additional waiting time, potential immigrants can also turn their heads towards other programs. Need not to mention that many programs have lowered their thresholds during the pandemic.

While the Canadian immigration landscape undergoes various changes, one thing is for certain: opportunities are constantly available. Most importantly, applicants must seize an opportunity whenever they see one. As addressed by many veterans in the industry, the best time to immigrate is always now.

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