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On 4th March 2020, Canada’s federal immigration authority – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) – conducted a round of invitations or ‘Express Entry draw’. 3,900 eligible candidates under three federal Express Entry programs – who scored 471 or more points based on varied eligibility criteria – were invited to apply for permanent residence to IRCC. 

Under the Express Entry System, aspirants are required to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) under any one of the three streams – Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, or Canadian Experience Class – depending on which stream they are eligible for. The EOI remains valid for one year. 

Each profile in the EOI pool is allocated points out of 1200, and ranked, based on the selection factors of the Comprehensive Ranking System. This includes human capital factors, credentials of an accompanying spouse/common-law-partner (if applicable), skill transferability factors, and additional adaptability factors.

Through regular draws, the highest-ranking candidates – who fulfill the minimum point requirement or ‘cut-off’, which changes with each draw – receive Invitations to Apply (ITAs) from IRCC. If several candidates have scored the cut-off mark, and not all of them can be invited, the IRCC takes into account the date and time on which the EOI was submitted in the pool. EOIs submitted earlier are given preference. 

For instance, in the latest draw, ITAs were only issued to those who scored 471 or more points in an EOI submitted on or before 24th February 2020 at 06:02:57 UTC. Within 60 days of receiving the invitation, candidates must submit a complete application – including forms, supporting documents, and relevant fees – to the IRCC. Applications are typically processed within six months. If approved, the candidate receives a Canada PR Visa and Confirmation of PR. 

In the previous Express Entry Draw, conducted on 19th February 2020, the cut-off score was 470 points. The cut-off for the most recent draw has only been increased by one point. With the latest draw, the number of ITAs issued thus far in 2020 in has reached 18,700. This year, Canada intends to welcome 341,000 new permanent residents.

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