Canada’s Express Entry system had a banner 2018, and the coming year could be even more exceptional.
Express Entry, which manages the pool of candidates for Canada’s three Federal High Skilled immigration programs, issued a record 89,800 invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence in 2018 — the most issued in a single year since Express Entry’s introduction in January 2015.
The previous record of 86,023 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) was set in 2017 and, like this record, it appears likely that 2018’s ITA total will be surpassed once again by the end of the new year.
Under Canada’s multi-year immigration levels plan, the admissions target through the three programs managed by the Express Entry system — the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC), Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) — is set to increase in 2019 by 6,500. It will rise again in 2020, by another 4,400.
In order to meet these increased admissions targets for the FSWC, FSTC and CEC, the number of ITAs issued will likely also rise.
2019: Bigger draws or more draws, more frequently?
If Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is to issue more ITAs in 2019 than it did in 2018, draw sizes will need to expand, or IRCC will have to hold more draws more frequently than the current interval between draws, which is typically every two weeks.
Over the past 12 months, IRCC established a pattern of increasing draw sizes that began at 2,750 ITAs at the start of the year and were then increased by increments of 250 or 500 ITAs every two to three months to a peak size of 3,900 ITAs. This size then remained largely stable between September 5 and the last draw of 2018 on December 19.