It’s been a rough few months for anyone with an interest in the Express Entry points requirement.
Candidates applying for permanent residency in Canada are assessed on their skills and assigned a score. At two-week intervals, candidates who are above a certain score receive invites to apply for permanent residency.
This threshold changes each time these fortnightly draws take place. Until April, 450-470 points was enough to receive an invite.
And then suddenly, officials sent out far fewer invites per draw. With fewer candidates being selected, the score needed to apply increased, and became out of reach for many.
This week, the points requirement reached its highest level of 2016. Only candidates with 538 Comprehensive Ranking Points or higher received invitations to apply.
Why are the Express Entry points so high lately?
In January 2015, Express Entry became the system through which economic applicants were selected for residency. It operates on a basis whereby the highest-qualified applicants receive invitations to apply.
Before this, a first come, first served application process existed. While this worked in some respects, it caused delays for eligible applicants as time was spent processing applications from those who never had a realistic chance of successfully obtaining residency.
Many applicants from the pre-Express Entry era are still waiting on a decision. Clearly, this is far from ideal, as their applications were submitted several years ago at this stage.
In May, a newcomers’ fair took place in Edmonton where a representative of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC, formerly known as Citizenship and Immigration Canada) addressed the audience.
He explained that efforts are being made since the spring to address this backlog of pre-Express Entry applications. In order to process these, they’ve temporarily reduced the number of invites they’re sending out in each Express Entry draw.