Tackle Express Entry Backlogs before FSWP and CEC Invitations

The memo has been heavily revised to include important insights on Canada Express Entry operations.
The memo says that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) “aggressively” extended the invitation to the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) in December 2020 to invite candidates under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and temporary resident candidates. to pursue the strategy. Permanent Resident pathway to support your 2021 immigration goals.

“This strategy led to inventory growth, created a backlog of applications, and exceeded service standards for all economic categories,” the memo said.

As of October 2021, IRCC had 1.8 million applications in its backlog. It also covers permanent residency, temporary residency and Canadian citizenship applications. The backlog is growing from 1.5 million applications in July 2021. Statistics show that as of October 27, 2021, 99,968 Express Entry Permanent Residence applications were awaiting processing.

It appears that some progress is being made to reduce the Express Entry application backlog. The backlog was approximately 108,500 as of the date of the internal IRCC briefing note, September 3, 2021.
This shows that between September 3 and October 27 this year, there has been a shortfall of about 8,500 applications in the Tackle Express Entry backlog.

The briefing reveals that the backlog of Tackle Express Entry candidates stood at 62,450 in the last year (i.e., September 2020). This means it has nearly doubled amid IRCC’s strategy of focusing on providing permanent residency to candidates in Canada.

The IRCC states in the memo that “adjustments to meet the objectives of the resettlement of Afghanistan have created the need for trade-offs in the spousal sponsorship category, the CEC and the TR2PR programme. As a result, the department is now on the PR [permanent residence] list for 2021″. With over 760K individuals, the economic class estimates to end up with 360K.

It is unknown whether the IRCC’s forecasts have changed. As of 27 October, the permanent residency list was on about 550,000 applications, of which over 255,000 fell under the economic class. Given the slight decline in the Express Entry backlog between September and October, it is possible that IRCC has revised its internal forecast on the backlog and no longer expects them to be as large as indicated in the September 3 memo.
The IRCC noted in its memo that it would need to cut the Express Entry backlog by “more than half” to achieve the Express Entry processing standard of six months or less.

The memo concludes by saying that senior IRCC officials will return to the department’s highest-ranking civil servant (i.e., non-political staff), Deputy Minister Katrina Tapley, in November 2021, with express entry intakes for the remainder of 2021. There is a plan, and by early 2022, once a better understanding of the composition of immigrants is achieved, the IRCC will look towards the target in 2022.

About Canada Express Entry

IRCC is an express entry system operated by the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), to manage applications for Canadian Experience Classes (CEC), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). Express Entry is an important way to welcome Canadian economic class immigrants.

Candidates who are eligible for any one of the three programs can create a profile on the official website of IRCC. Candidates receive a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on their human capital characteristics such as their age, education, language skills and work experience.

Before the pandemic, IRCC used to conduct express entry draws almost every two weeks and invite the highest scoring candidates to apply for permanent residency. Invited candidates had 60 days to submit their completed permanent residency application to IRCC. IRCC then aimed to process applications within a service standard of six months or less for most candidates. FSWP candidates were the principal recipients of Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency, followed by CEC candidates.

However, things have changed during the pandemic. This year, IRCC has invited only CEC and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates to apply for permanent residency even though they were not the highest scoring candidates among all the candidates in the Express Entry pool. Further, IRCC is no longer committed to maintain its processing standard of six months due to the pandemic.

The CEC alumni is a popular program among international students and foreign workers who have at least 1 year of professional work experience in Canada. PNP meets the needs of the local labor market in provinces and territories across Canada. If an Express Entry candidate also meets the criteria for the PNP stream, a province may invite them to apply on their PNP. If the candidate accepts the invitation, they receive an additional 600 CRS marks, which essentially guarantees that they will receive an ITA under Express Entry.

The focus on inviting only CEC and PNP candidates in 2021 is to help IRCC achieve its goal of landing 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021, as set out in its Immigration Level Plan 2021-2023. IRCC’s focus on CEC and PNP candidates is guided by a two-fold argument.

First, CEC candidates are mostly in Canada and are therefore less likely to be affected by pandemic-related disruptions that would impede their ability to obtain permanent residency, and therefore undermine the IRCC’s ability to land immigrants which is 401,000 this year. We do. Second, the IRCC believes that the PNP draw is essential to meet the labor market needs of Canadian provinces.

This year, IRCC has conducted 33 PNP specific draws in which a total of 17,785 candidates have been invited. Meanwhile, there have been 27 CEC specific draws, resulting in 133,868 invites.

The last CEC draw took place on 14 September. The IRCC briefing note indicates that the pause in CEC draws is to allow IRCC to manage its current Express Entry backlog.

FSWP candidates have been most negatively affected by the above temporary policy changes. In an email to CIC News, IRCC confirmed that there were approximately 165,000 FSWP qualified candidates in the Express Entry pool as of October 25, 2021. This means they represent over 85 percent of the Express Entry candidates currently in the pool.