(Ottawa, ON) – Canada’s immigration department nonimated every single person in the Express Entry pool who was eligible for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) was invited to apply for permanent residence on February 13.

In total, 27,332 CEC candidates to apply, which is nearly six times more Invitations to Apply (ITAs) issued than the previous record of 5,000. The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) cut off was 75, another record-smasher, although the average CRS score of invited candidates was 415, IRCC said.

The tie-break rule was reported as an administrative requirement but IRCC did not actually use it, according to a spokesperson. This means that there was no CEC-eligible candidate in the pool with a score of 75 or lower who submitted their profile before September 12, 2020.

It is too early to say if the massive draw has caused an uptick in the number of new Express Entry profiles, especially for people who are in Canada and may be eligible for the CEC. Canada is prioritizing candidates who are already in Canada, due to the high immigration targets and travel restrictions. Furthermore, the government recognizes that Canada still needs immigrants to help grow the population.

Before the pandemic, it was well-documented that Canada would need to look to immigration in order to sustain population growth, and make sure that there were enough workers in the labour market to fill the gaps left by retiring baby boomers.

“Immigration remains crucial to addressing Canada’s longstanding demographic challenges and labour market shortages, especially during the pandemic,” an IRCC spokesperson said in an email. “While travel restrictions remain in place to protect the health and safety of Canadians, IRCC is exploring new ways for those who have already been hard at work in Canada to stay permanently.”

​For more information on Express Entry please see here.