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  • Writer's pictureCalver Immigration Consulting Inc.

How is COVID-19 Affecting Express Entry?

Express Entry Draw Results from March 2020

To contain the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada has put several travel restrictions in place. Earlier this month, Canada closed its borders, allowing only certain people to enter via air or land travel.

Many people now wonder how immigration programs will be affected by these restrictions. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced changes to immigration programs and procedures. With respect to Permanent Residency applications, such as Express Entry, applications that are complete will continue to be processed as per normal procedures.

Incomplete Permanent Residency Applications

Permanent Residency applications that are incomplete due to unavailable documents will be retained in the system and review in 90 days. This allows applicants additional time to supply documentation such as Biometrics and Medical Examinations, which are not currently being conducted.

New Permanent Residency Applications

New Permanent Residency applicants should indicate if they have been affected by service disruptions due to COVID-19. Upon indicating this in their application, they will also be granted a 90-day extension to provide all necessary documentation. Failure to provide this notice could result in rejected applications.

Express Entry Results March 2020

Despite these new restrictions, IRCC held three Express Entry draws in March 2020.

Express Entry Draw: March 23rd, 2020

Number of invitations: 3,232

CRS cut-off score: 467

Express Entry Draw: March 18th, 2020

Number of invitations issued: 668

CRS cut-off score: 720

Express Entry Draw: March 4th, 2020

Number of invitations issued: 3,900

CRS cut-off score: 471

How long does it take for Express Entry in Canada?

According to the Government’s processing time calculator, applications for programs managed by the Express Entry system should be processed in 6 months. Under normal circumstances, we find this estimate to be somewhat conservative. It often takes 12 months from start to finish for an Express Entry applicant to land in Canada.

However, in light of COVID-19, service disruptions and restrictions may take place. This, in turn, will have an impact on processing times. Applicants should expect their application to exceed the typical processing time.

Am I eligible for Express Entry?

There are different eligibility requirements for each of the economic immigration programs handled by the Express Entry system.

Canadian Experience Class

  • Language skills: English or French skills (CLB 7 if your NOC is 0 or A / CLB 5 if your NOC is B)

  • Type/level of work experience: Canadian experience in NOC 0, A, or B

  • Amount of work experience: 1 year in Canada in the last 3 years

  • Job offer: Not required

  • Education: Not required

Federal Skilled Worker Program

  • Language skills: English or French skills (CLB 7)

  • Type/level of work experience: Canadian or foreign experience in NOC 0, A, or B

  • Amount of work experience: 1 year continuous within the last 10 years

  • Job offer: Not required

  • Education: Secondary education

Federal Skilled Trades Program

  • Language skills: English or French skills (CLB 5 for speaking and listening and CLB 4 for reading and writing)

  • Type/level of work experience: Canadian or foreign experience in a skilled trade under key groups of NOC B

  • Amount of work experience: 2 years within the last 5 years

  • Job offer: Required

  • Education: Not required

How many points do you need to immigrate to Canada?

The CRS cut-off score varies in each draw based on a number of factors, which include:

  • The number of candidates invited

  • The frequency of draws

  • The number of new candidates entering the pool

  • Changes in the CRS scores of existing candidates (some candidates in the pool may increase their CRS score)

How can I apply for Canada Express Entry?

  1. Check to see if you are eligible for a program that is managed by the Express Entry system. Canadian Experience Class Federal Skilled Worker Program Federal Skilled Trades Program

  2. Get your documents ready (e.g. language test results, educational credential assessment, provincial nomination [if you have one], etc.)

  3. Create an Express Entry profile online where you can enter information about your skills, education, language ability, work experience, and more.

  4. You will then be assigned a CRS score out of 1200 points and enter the pool of Express Entry applicants.

  5. 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.

  6. Those who are extended an ITA have 90 days to complete an application.

For more information about COVID-19 and immigration, you may find these pages helpful:

Our Services

Calver and Associates is a leading provider of Canadian Immigration services in Durham Region. We serve clients in Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, and beyond. Our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant has over 10 years of experience in Canadian Immigration law and over four years of experience serving those in the Oshawa area.

We can provide assistance with applications for both temporary and permanent residency in Canada. We handle applications for study permits, permanent residency, family class sponsorship, visitor visas, work permits, and Canadian citizenship. We also handle criminal inadmissibility cases by developing remedies for refusal.

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