The report provides essential information such as who was accepted into the Express Entry pool, how long it took to process applications, and who was granted Canadian permanent residency in 2021.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) publishes an annual report on Express Entry, the federal government’s principal immigration option for foreign skilled professionals seeking permanent residence in Canada (PR).

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Express Entry, which debuted in 2015, oversees three distinct programmes: the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). It also oversees a component of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), however PNP candidates must also be qualified for one of the programmes listed above.

Please keep in mind that all of the data below is from January to December 2021.

There were 114,431 Invitations to Apply (ITA) granted for Canadian PR. 155,810 persons (primary candidates + accompanying family members) obtained permanent residency through all ITAs. Notwithstanding IRCC’s significant decision to halt Express Entry ITAs for all Federal High Skilled immigration programmes (CEC, FSWP, and FSTP) on September 20, 2021. Throughout 2021, IRCC did not invite any FSWP or FSTP applicants. IRCC suspended CEC drawings in September after initially holding them for most of 2021. Only PNP drawings were held on a regular basis in 2021, usually biweekly.

Important Discoveries

More than 440,000 Express Entry profiles submitted

By the end of 2021, IRCC had received 443,004 Express Entry profile submissions in total. This is a 23% increase over 2020. Almost 74% of these profile submissions were declared qualified for at least one Express Entry programme, while around 26% were deemed ineligible. In all, 77% of women were qualified for at least one Express Entry programme, compared to 71% of males.

The majority of those admitted to the Fast Entry pool had CRS scores ranging from 351 to 400.

CRS scores are used to rank qualified applicants based on a numerical value attributed to several parameters. It is vital to remember, as stated in the report, that the “[Express Entry] pool is dynamic and that the distribution of CRS scores varies” with each new qualifying profile submission.

However, 31% of all qualifying candidates had a CRS score of 351 to 400 points. The following CRS score ranges were the most prevalent among qualified candidates: 401-450 (27% of profiles), 451-500 (21%), and 301-350 (16%).

CRS cut-off scores for PNP-specific drawings varied from 682 to 813 points, while CEC-specific draws ranged from 75 to 462 points (more on program-specific draws later).

At the time of submission, more than half of all eligible profiles (58%) did not match the criterion for bonus points. More than half (54%) of these profiles were provided by guys. Of the remaining qualifying profiles, 21% earned bonus points for Canadian schooling, while 13% received bonus points for having Canadian siblings.

Nota bene: The remaining 12% of qualified candidates received additional CRS points for either arranging employment or demonstrating French-language competency.

Number of ITAs given out up 6% from 2020

In 42 program-specific Express Entry draws, 114,431 total ITAs were issued in 2021 – an increase of six percent from 2020. In line with Canada’s desire to bring in younger immigrants, 64% of all ITA recipients were 20-29 years old.

Note: No all-program Express Entry draws were conducted in 2021

ITAs were focused on two programs throughout the year, the CEC (17 draws, accounting for 87% of all ITAs) and the PNP (25 draws, 13% of all ITAs), while no invitations were issued to FSWP or FSTP applicants.

Most ITA recipients worked in food services, admin and retail

The most common primary occupation among those who received an ITA in 2021 was “Food Service Supervisor”. The National Occupation Classification (NOC) 2021 code for this job is 62020. The total number of ITA recipients who worked in this role was 13,097. Among this group, 60.4% of people occupying this role were women.

In order, the five most common occupations among ITA recipients are listed below, alongside their NOC 2021 codes and the number of people in these jobs that received ITAs.

1. Food Service Supervisors (NOC 2021: 62020) – ITAs issued: 13,097

2. Administrative Assistants (NOC 2021: 13110) – ITAs issued: 5,930

3. Retail Sales Supervisors (NOC 2021: 62010) – ITAs issued: 5,020

4. Software Engineers and Designers (NOC 2021: 21231) – ITAs issued: 4,916

5. Cooks (NOC 2021: 63200) – ITAs issued: 4,624

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