A November 24, 2021 internal IRCC Memo revealed that there is a large volume of FHS (FSW, CEC, FST) applications in the processing inventory. This memorandum was sent to the deputy minister and associate deputy minister for decision on extending the pause on Federal High Skilled Express Entry Rounds from November 1, 2021 to January 31, 2022. Pause on FSW draws has been in place since December 2020.
In this Nov memo, IRCC already projected that inventories under FSW, FST, and CEC by the end of 2021 will be more than sufficient to meet admission targets in 2022. Furthermore, TR to PR pathway for CEC candidates led to big jump in inventory of applications. This caused increase in processing time for previous express entry applications in progress.
For meeting FHS target of 2022 and reverting back to 6-month processing time, inventory needs to be reduced by half as per data of November 2021. Target for FHS in 2022 is 110,500. However, the department may reduce this target by more than 50% in order to accommodate TR to PR settlement and resettlement of Afghan refugees.
Memo also indicated that FSW processing time is currently at 20.4 months and is expected to rise to 36 months in 2022. As there has not been any Express Entry unspecified draw since December 2020, we believe memo is talking about FSW candidates having provincial nomination. Processing time for CEC was at 7.6 months in November 2021.
It was estimated in this memo that 76,000 FHS persons will be on the processing inventory at the beginning of 2022. This is higher than what is needed to meet target, so no new FHS intake is required for at least first half of 2022. Also, as of January 17, 2022 there are 196,685 candidates in the express entry pool.
CRS score was also projected in the memo. Minimum CRS score cut off was anticipated to rise above 500 and remain high, regardless of whether invitations are paused or resumed. This high score may persist for approximately 6 months.
End part of the memo was redacted for most of the part and only highlighted one of the next steps. This step stated that “The Department will continue inviting all PNP candidates in the Express Entry pool on a bi-weekly basis.” Last 10 express entry draws were PNP only since September 15, 2021.
Kamal Deep Singh, RCIC (Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant) licensed by CICC (formerly known as ICCRC) with member number R708618. He brings extensive knowledge of immigration law and new changes to rapidly evolving IRCC.