Cut-off score of 442 continues record low start to 2018.

The Government of Canada has sent invites to 3,000 Express Entry candidates with a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System score of 442 to apply for Canadian permanent residence in a draw that took place February 7.

The total of 3,000 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) represents an increase of 250 over each the previous six draws, all of which issued 2,750 ITAs.

The cut-off score of 442 represents a reduction of two points from the previous draw that took place on January 24, and continues the record low start to 2018 in terms of cut-off CRS scores.

So far, all three draws in 2018 have had minimum CRS scores well below those of the first draws from 2017. 2017 saw a number of record-low CRS scores established. The lowest score reached in 2017 was 413 on May 31, 2017.

As with the six previous draws, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) implemented a tie-break rule. In this case, the time and date of the tie-break was May 29, 2017, at 07:01:15 UTC. This means that all candidates with a CRS score above 442, as well as those candidates with scores of 442 who entered their profile in the Express Entry pool before this time, will receive an ITA.

Express Entry PNPs

Provincial Nomination Programs, or PNPs, linked to the Express Entry system have also had an active couple of weeks since the January 24 draw. In that time, Express Entry-aligned PNP streams in the provinces of Ontario, New Brunswick have opened and Manitoba also held a draw for Express Entry candidates.

On January 26, Ontario’s Human Capital Priorities Stream issued Notifications of Interest (NOIs) to 380 Express Entry candidates with CRS scores that ranged from 433 to 444.

This was followed by news on January 30 that New Brunswick’s Express Entry Labor Market Stream had opened to Expressions of Interest and a January 31 draw in Manitoba that issued 148 Letters of Advice to Apply for provincial nomination through its Express Entry Pathway.

Express Entry candidates with a provincial nomination receive an additional 600 points toward their CRS score, leaving them highly eligible to receive an ITA.

In order to illustrate an example of the Express Entry candidate who would have received an ITA in today’s draw, here’s a fictional example:

Sania and Asif are married and 29 years old and 34 years old, respectively. They each have a bachelor’s degree, have advanced English language skills and have been working as software engineers for more than three years. They have never worked or studied in Canada and entered the Express Entry pool with Sania as the principal applicant. Sania’s CRS score of 443 would have been sufficient to receive an ITA in this draw.

Increasing the number of candidates drawn can have the effect of reducing the CRS cut-off scores. It will be interesting to see the size and the cut-off scores of the draws to come.

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