Canada aspirants often confuse Express Entry draw invitations with the annual immigration targets and assume that IRCC will not hold any other round of invitations because the yearly quota has been reached.
Canada is aiming to welcome 110,770 new permanent residents (PRs) via the Express Entry system as per the new immigration levels plan for 2024–2027.
But this doesn’t mean that IRCC will only be sending 110,770 invitations to apply in 2024.
The annual immigration targets set by Canada are for the number of new permanent residents who activate their permanent residency at any Canadian port of entry, not the ones who are even approved.
Furthermore, these also include temporary residents in Canada who get permanent residency via Express Entry and confirm their PR online or at any port of entry.
Express Entry Draw History Since 2015
The Express Entry system was introduced in 2015, with the first round of invitations announced on January 31, sending only 779 invitations to apply with a CRS cutoff score of 886.
There have been a total of 272 Express Entry draws since 2015.
In 2015, Express Entry sent a total of 31,063 invitations to apply with lowest CRS cutoff score of 450 and all were ‘no program specified draws.’
The number of invitations to apply has continued to increase since then, with the highest (114,224) invitations to apply sent in 2021.
This includes the largest single draw of 27,332 invitations for Canadian Experience Class (CEC) with a CRS cutoff score of 75.
Prior to that, IRCC sent out 107,350 invitations in 2020. This was the actual year with the highest number of invitations and consistent draws for all categories.
|Year||Number of |
|Annual Express |
|Overall Annual |
|2024||To be announced||110,770||485,000|
allocated to Tr to PR)
allocated to Tr to PR)
|2017||86,023||73,700 (2017 targets included|
Atlantic Immigration Pilot)
It is evident from the above table that the number of invitations has exceeded the annual targets in recent years, except in 2022, 2016, and 2015.
Historical Lowest CRS Cutoff Scores
The lowest CRS cutoff score was noted in a Federal Skilled Trades (FST) draw on May 26, 2017 of 199, but IRCC is no longer holding any FST draws now other than the skilled trades category-based draws.
‘No Program Specified’ Express Entry draw on May 31, 2017 recorded the lowest CRS cutoff score of 413, issuing 3,877 invitations to apply.
Canadian Experience Class draws recorded the lowest CRS cutoff score of 357 in June and July of 2021, other than the 75 cutoff score in an unexpected CEC draw during the same year.
Provincial Nominee Program draws had the lowest CRS cutoff score of 673 in November 2017 and 674 in February 2022, and one of the lowest cutoffs at 691 in May 2023.
Should We Expect More Express Entry Draws in 2023?
IRCC has a service standard of processing Express Entry applications within 6 months and the current official processing time shows 80% of the CEC and FSW applications are being processed within 5 months.
IRCC should be conducting more Express Entry draws in 2023, given that most of the candidates who submitted their applications after August–September 2023 will be processed in 2024 and contribute to next year’s immigration targets.
Furthermore, all the new invitations to apply sent in the upcoming draws of this year will be processed in 2024 only and have nothing to do with the 2023 targets.
So there should be more draws, but the CRS cutoff score is expected to be high because there has been no Express Entry draw since October 26.