The Government of Canada drew for the first round of Express Entry invitations in December 2018. In this draw, 3,900 Invitations to Apply (ITA) were issued and the cut-off score was 439 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. This draw featured the same number of invitations as previous draws this season. This draw features a substantial dip in the cut-off score in comparison to the previous draw, which took place on December 12th, 2018.
This is likely the last Express Entry draw for 2018
This was the only draw in 2018 to feature a cut-off score lower than 440 points
A total of 89,800 Express Entry ITAs have been issued in 2018, surpassing the total number of ITAs issued in 2017
This year featured a record number of ITAs issued
New Progress Bar for Express Entry Applications
Starting on December 12, 2018, online Express Entry applications will feature a progress bar. The progress bar shows the time elapsed since Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada received your application. It will also give you an estimated completion date based on their latest estimated processing times.
Canada’s Updated Immigration Plan
At the end of 2017, the government of Canada released a multi-year immigration plan. This plan aims to admit 242,100 immigrants through the Express Entry System within the next three years. The target for 2018 is 74,900 immigrants. With several large draws this early in the year, the government will likely achieve this goal.
On October 31st 2018, the Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration was released. This report contains an updated immigration plan for the years 2019-2021. The plan is designed to “strengthen the Canadian middle class through economic growth.” It aims to support “diversity and help build vibrant, dynamic, and inclusive communities, while maintaining border integrity to preserve the safety and security of Canadians.”
Express Entry Program
Immigration Canada uses a federal system, referred to as Express Entry, to manage applications for permanent residency from individuals in these programs: Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, or the Canadian Experience Class. The Government of Canada holds an average of two to three Express Entry draws per month.
Express Entry Profile
Candidates must create an Express Entry profile online where they enter information about their skills, education, language ability, work experience, and more. Candidates are then assigned a CRS score out of 1200 points. Every two to three weeks, the Canadian government will conduct an Express Entry draw where applicants with the highest CRS score receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency. Those who are extended an ITA have 90 days to complete an application.
The Comprehensive Ranking System
Prospective immigrants are then ranked in a point system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Points are given for each piece of information in your Express Entry profile. Some different factors that play into your CRS score include your age, level of education, English and French language proficiency, work experience, and connections to Canada (e.g. education, work experience, siblings, etc.). The number of points allotted for each factor differs if you have a spouse or common-law partner or not.