With Express Entry draws for the Federal High Skilled programs, which includes the Canadian Experience Class and Federal Skilled Workers, set to resume in July of this year, many people are asking the same question, “What can we expect from Express Entry draws this year?”

The first thing to expect from Express Entry draws this year is an increase in government processing fees. 

While it is free to submit an Express entry profile, those who receive an Invitation to Apply must pay several fees: an application fee, a Right of Permanent Residence fee, and in some cases, a biometrics fee. These fees increased on April 30, 2022, and are now as follows:

ProgramApplicantsOld Fee (in CAD)New Fee (in CAD)
April 30, 2022
Right of Permanent Residence FeePrincipal applicant and accompanying spouse or common-law partner$500$515
Federal High Skilled, Provincial Nominee Program and Quebec Skilled Workers, Atlantic Immigration Class and most Economic Pilots (Rural, Agri-Food)Principal applicant$825$850
Accompanying spouse or common-law partner$825$850
Accompanying dependent child$225$230
Live-in Caregiver Program and Caregivers Pilots (Home Child Provider Pilot and Home Support Worker Pilot)Principal applicant$550$570
Accompanying spouse or common-law partner$550$570
Accompanying dependent child$150$155
Business (Federal and Quebec)Principal applicant$1,575$1,625
Accompanying spouse or common-law partner$825$850
Accompanying dependent child$225$230
Family Reunification (Spouses, Partners and Children; Parents and Grandparents; and other relatives)Sponsorship fee$75$75
Sponsored principal applicant$475$490
Sponsored dependent child$75$75
Accompanying spouse or common-law partner$550$570
Accompanying dependent child$150$155
Protected PersonsPrincipal applicant$550$570
Accompanying spouse or common-law partner$550$570
Accompanying dependent child$150$155
Humanitarian and Compassionate / Public PolicyPrincipal applicant$550$570
Accompanying spouse or common-law partner$550$570
Accompanying dependent child$150$155
Permit HoldersPrincipal applicant$325$335

The second thing to expect from Express Entry draws this year is a higher-than-normal Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score cut-off. 

The last draw for those in the Canadian Experience Class required a CRS score of 462 or higher. The last draw for those in the Federal Skilled Worker Class required a CRS score of 468 or higher. With the large number of applicants who have accumulated in the Express Entry system, and the reduced number of draws for 2022, the CRS score required to receive an Invitation to Apply is expected to be at 500 points or higher when draws resume in July.

As of April 27th, 2022, there were 7,324 candidates in the Express Entry pool with a score of 500 or higher, and 17,648 in the Express Entry pool with a score of 481 or higher. IRCC has stated that their immigration target for Federal High Skilled programs applicants in 2022 is 55,900. 

With draws resuming in July, if IRCC adheres to their pattern of conducting a draw every two weeks there should be 14 draws before the end of the year. This means there should be an average of at least 3,992 Invitations to Apply in each draw. If these numbers are accurate, it would take more than 4 draws to clear out those with a score of 481 or higher. However, applicants can enter the Express Entry system at any time. This means that as more people enter the system, it may take more draws for the score to come down, as applicants will continue to enter the Express Entry system in the months ahead.

The third thing to expect from Express entry draws this year is uncertainty. 

While Sean Fraser, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship confirmed that draws would be resuming in July, he did not give any specific details. Since the start of the pandemic, we have seen Express Entry draws being conducted for specific programs, as opposed to the all-program draws we saw previously. This resulted in applicants being selected under certain programs with extremely low CRS scores. 

Some lucky applicants from the CEC program received an Invitation to Apply with a score of 75. The main unknown at this time is whether the draws that will take place in July and onwards will be all-program draws or will be a mix of all programs draws and program specific draws. If all of the draws are for all programs, then applicants can expect the CRS score to remain high. If they do program specific draws, then the CRS scores should be slightly lower for each program. 

Another possibility is that draws may start targeting candidates based on their occupation. Although this has not happened since Express Entry was launched in 2015, numerous government sources have indicated that the government is considering this as a possible way to help the immigration system better meet the needs of Canada’s labour market. This is not guaranteed, by any means, but it is worth keeping in mind as regular draws resume.

With the immigration target for Federal High Skilled programs applicants in 2022 being cut in half, it is recommended that applicants look at ways to increase their Comprehensive Rankings System score, or possible other ways to immigrate to Canada. You can potentially increase your comprehensive ranking system score by:

  • Obtaining a job offer supported by a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (or exempt from needing one)
  • Obtaining at least one year of Canadian work experience
  • Studying in Canada
  • Being bilingual (French and English)
  • Having a sibling in Canada
  • Obtaining a provincial nomination
  • Increasing your language test results 
  • Increasing your foreign education
  • Increasing your skilled work experience (inside and outside of Canada)

If you’re looking for professional guidance on your immigration options and other potential ways to increase your Comprehensive Ranking System Score, Moving2Canada is happy to recommend the services of Deanne Acres-Lans, a regulated Canadian immigration consultant and founder of Canada Abroad. You can get more information and book a consultation here.

Deanne Acres-Lans is a regulated Canadian immigration consultant (R#508363) and founder of Canada Abroad, an Ottawa-based immigration consultancy. She was born and raised in British Columbia, Canada and previously lived in South Africa for 8 years. Deanne has over twelve years of immigration experience, both working for the Canadian Government and in her own private practice.