Express Entry CRS Point Requirement Decreases Yet Again in March 1 Draw

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  • March 12, 2017

The largest ever Express Entry draw for immigration to Canada has taken place, and the number of Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points required in order for a candidate to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence has decreased yet again. Candidates in the Express Entry pool with 434 or more CRS points were issued an ITA in the March 1 draw.

A total of 3,884 ITAs were issued in this draw.

The decrease in the CRS requirement means that a wider range of candidates, as well as accompanying family members, are now in a position to submit an application for permanent residence to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Last week, on February 22, an Express Entry draw took place that saw candidates with 441 or more CRS points invited to apply. The decrease of seven more points in one week, while it may seem marginal, actually allows an even greater range of candidates to submit an application.

The following hypothetical scenarios illustrate this point.

Abdul is a 29 year-old single candidate who has been in the pool for a few months. He has a Bachelor’s Degree obtained outside Canada, as well as three years of skilled work experience, also outside Canada. He has English language ability equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 9, or initial advanced level, in reading and writing, while his speaking and listening has been proven at CLB 10 level (developing advanced). His 435 CRS points would be enough for him to receive an ITA in the latest draw.

Celine is 35 years old, with adequate intermediate language ability (CLB 7), three years of foreign work experience, and two years of Canadian work experience while on a Post-Graduation work permit after she completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Canada. She benefited from the improvements made to the Express Entry system last November which, for the first time, awarded international graduates with additional CRS points. She is also single. Overall, her 436 CRS points were enough for her to receive an ITA.

Simon‘s language ability is almost as good as Celine’s, but not quite. The 29 year-old has developing intermediate language ability (CLB 6) and is eligible to enter the pool under the Canadian Experience Class on account of his work experience in Canada in an occupation that falls under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) B level. He has worked for a total of three years in Canada, as well as three years abroad, and he also has a Bachelor’s Degree obtained in Canada. As a single candidate, his 435 CRS points mean that he is well on the way to becoming a Canadian permanent resident.

38 year-old Katherine is married, and the couple intends to move to Canada as a family. Katherine has a Master’s Degree, five years of foreign work experience, and advanced language ability. Her spouse is 45 years old, with a Bachelor’s Degree and advanced English ability. Katherine’s younger age and higher level of education meant that she entered the pool as the principal applicant, and even without a provincial nomination or a qualifying job offer, the couple’s credentials mean that her profile was worth 437 CRS points.

To find out how CLB levels equate to language test results in IELTS, CELPIP, or TEF, use the Canada Immigration Language Converter tool.

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It is worth noting that draw sizes are now many times larger than they were just a few months ago. The first draw after the changes to Express Entry were introduced may be seen as an anomaly, as only candidates with a provincial nomination were invited. However, even taking that into account, draw sizes are now much larger than they were through the closing months of 2016.

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“The Express Entry system has gone into overdrive over the first nine weeks or so of 2017, and this can only be good news for candidates, applicants, and other stakeholders, such as employers and communities across Canada that are crying out for rejuvenation and talent,” says Attorney David Cohen.

“When the changes to Express Entry first came in, I said at the time that the CRS point requirement may come down, but only after it goes up temporarily. This was because the number of candidates in line to receive points for a job offer actually increased, though the number of points awarded for such a job offer went down substantially. Once these candidates left the pool — and they are now well on their way to settling in Canada as permanent residents — the prediction was that the CRS requirement would come down over time. Recent draws have shown that this has come to fruition. Indeed, there is reason to believe that the threshold may continue to decrease.”

The CRS Calculator

Use the CRS Calculator to find out what your score would be under the Comprehensive Ranking System.

To find out if you are eligible to immigrate to Canada permanently, fill out a free online assessment form.
Candidates who receive an ITA and want to learn more about the next steps may complete this short form.