The year’s first round of invitations from Canada’s Express Entry system, on 11 January 2023, resulted in a large number of invited applicants, 5,500 to be exact. The invitations were from all Express Entry programs, including the Federal Skilled Worker, Canadian Experience Class, and others.

The minimum score required to receive an Invitation To Apply was 507, which is relatively high. As a reminder, the cut-off score is always relative to the strength of the point scores of the applicants within a particular draw. If a particular draw happens to be made up of a pool of candidates with high points on the Comprehensive Ranking System, that draw will reflect higher numbers.

Moving forward, we anticipate the government will continue to invite new applicants on a bi-weekly basis. We also expect the CRS cut-off score to lower below the 500s, given the government’s historically ambitious immigration targets (465,000 permanent residents in 2023, 485,000 in 2024, and 500,000 in 2025).

The open question is how effective will Canada’s immigration system run, given the plethora of severe processing issues and delays we saw last year. Poor quality IT software and continued short-staffing of immigration officers around the globe bear much of the blame.

Looking ahead, IRCC will remain a busy space to watch for all of 2023, with new programs and developments rolled continuously.

We will report on the most important developments in the weeks ahead.

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