Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has significantly lowered the qualifying score, or the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points score required for candidates to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence under Express Entry. The qualifying score substantially decreased from 538 to 491 for those candidates in the Express Entry pool.
In addition, 1000 ITAs were issued to candidates in the latest draw from the pool on September 7, 2016. This is a significant increase in invitations since the last round on August 24, 2016, when 750 ITAs were issued.
The Express Entry system was created to manage applications for individuals seeking to immigrate under the economic immigration programs, specifically, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class.
Prospective skilled immigrants must complete an online Express Entry profile, where they are assigned points based on various factors including work experience, language ability and education. According to IRCC, these factors assess an individual's ability to be successful in Canada. Candidates who are able to secure a valid job offer based on a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), or a provincial nomination, are awarded an additional 600 points.
The Express Entry system then selects skilled workers with the highest rank in the Express Entry pool with regular rounds of candidate invitations. Those candidates selected are provided with an Invitation to Apply (ITA), after which candidates must submit a permanent residence application to IRCC within 60 days.