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Canada holds biggest ever Express Entry PNP-only draw ever



Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) hosted a new Express Entry draw, inviting 940 candidates to apply for permanent residence on June 9.

All of the invited candidates had previously received a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) nomination. This is why the score threshold was relatively high at 711, as all PNP candidates in the Express Entry pool automatically get 600 points added to their score. Without the nomination, the lowest-rated candidate would have had only 111 points.


By administrative requirements, IRCC has published a cut-off time for the tie-breaking rule, whether or not there has been a substantive tie. In the new draw, applicants with the minimum score were only invited if they had submitted their Express Entry profile by February 16, 2021, at 09:06:30 UTC.

In the previous PNP-only draw, Canada invited 500 applicants and the required score was 713 points. This draw nearly doubled the number of invitations and the cutoff score dropped by two points.

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How COVID affected express entry draws?

As of early 2021, IRCC has only held Express Entry draws that target applicant who is likely already in Canada. This strategy is partly a function of meeting Canada’s immigration targets for the year, and another part of avoiding coronavirus-related travel restrictions and other service closures that affect international applicants.

Canada issued more invitations this year compared to the same period in 2020, thanks to the 27,332 lead applicants invited on February 13. Of those applicants, IRCC stated in an email that about 87% completed applications within the 90-day deadline. Canada has invited 75,713 immigrants to this date.


PNP applicants and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) applicants are found in large numbers in Canada. This is because PNPs often require work experience or training from the nominating province, and CEC applicants must have at least one year of work experience in Canada.

PNP draws will always have much higher score requirements due to the 600 point award. CEC draws will have lower cut-off points, due to the large size of the draws in a relatively small pool of applicants.

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