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#198 Express Entry Draw | CRS score resumes its decline

On July 22, 2021, Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) conducted its 198th Express Entry (EE) draw for Canadian Experience Class (CEC) only. This is also the 14th CEC draw in 2021. A total of 4,500 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) were issued, and the lowest Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score is 357, 12 points lower than the previous round.

The specifics of the 198th EE CEC draw are as the follows:

Express Entry System #198 Draw
Class CEC Canadian Experience Class
Date and Time of Draw July 22, 2021 at 14:02:32 UTC
Minimum CRS Score 357 (Past data and trends)
Number of Invitations Issued 4,500
Tie-breaking Rule February 14, 2021 at 09:04:15 UTC

The pandemic has delayed some skilled workers’ plan of entering Canada. However, inland CEC applicants has thrived in the past few months. To meet the immigration target of 401,000, there is a higher-than-ever demand for CEC applicants. Consequently, the CRS cut-off has continued to lower for CEC in the past few months. Since February’s historical low CRS score of 75 points, the program has been rather lenient on both the intake and the standards. Although some fluctuations in scores have occurred along the way, the trend overall is of a downward one.

As of July 19, 2021, the EE pool contains 167,244 candidates. 52,577 individuals fall under the 351-400 score range, followed by 40,246 in the 401-450 range, and 34,729 in 451-500 range. According to IRCC’s immigration levels plan, about a quarter of Canada’s projected 401,000 intake is allocated to EE. Given the size of the draw pool, most of the candidates may not be able to receive an ITA in 2021. Nevertheless, candidates can always shift their focus towards other immigration programs, especially during this period where standards have loosened.

The Canadian Public Health Agency (PHA) have announced that borders will open towards travellers on September 7. On one hand, this may recommence Federal Skilled Workers and Traders (FSW and FST) to Canada’s workforce. On the other hand, there is not much time left for inland applicants. While the Canadian immigration landscape undergoes various rapid changes, one thing is for certain: opportunities are constantly available. The important thing is: applicants must seize an opportunity whenever they see one. For those who have not submitted their applicants, it is strongly recommended to do so as soon as possible, for no one knows whether the score will decline further in the following draws.

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