Published by Gabriel Oliveira
on June 12, 2020

Express Entry Draws 2020 - How it works

Invitation Rounds 101 - The Basics

Invitation Rounds are just another expression for "Draws". Before we dive into how they work, let's go over the context around it. If you already know a bit about the fundamentals around it, go ahead and skip to the next sections.

So, canada is looking for immigrants, nothing new there. But it is not looking for any immigrants - they want skills! and even more, they want specific sets of skills.

To make sure only the right people are selected, there are several programs in place. And by several, I mean several! There are Federal programs, Provincial programs, Quebec programs, etc. etc. Take a look at the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) Immigration Page to have a glimpse of what I'm talking about.

Turns out some of those programs share a specific process to select the right candidates. And this is called Express Entry. In other words, more than one program use the same tool (Express Entry) to select immigrants.

And an important part of the Express Entry process are the invitation rounds. So here is a summary how it works:

  1. People all around the world create their Express Entry profiles informing their age, their skills, their work experience, their education, etc.
  2. All that information is processed and each person is assigned a score, based on the information provided.
  3. The biggest the score, the better the chances are of being invited.
  4. Around twice a month, IRCC do rounds of invitations, in which they invite the top scorers to apply for Permanent Residency.
  5. The people that get invited then submit a few forms and documents as part of an application
  6. Those applications are processed, and if everything is ok, those people are granted Permanent Resident status.
Note: These are summarized steps. For the full list, check out our Express Entry Guide and Tracking System.

How often do invitation rounds happen?

There is no specific rule or law that dictates the frequency of draws. We can however have an idea of the frequency looking at the history of draws from the past. And that tells us that the "normal" is for draws to happen around every 15 days. Keep reading to see some stats regarding rounds from the past, and you will see that frequency pop-up it by yourself.

If the above is enough for you, go ahead and skip to the next section. But going a bit deeper on understanding why invitations happen when they do, here is how it works:

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) is a set of laws that guide everything related to Immigration. And it doesn't really say anything like "Every 15 days there must be a round of invitations". Instead, it says on chapter 10.3(1), that the Minister (of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship) "May give instructions governing any matter relating to the application of this Division", which pretty much means the Minister can decide when and how invitations will be made.

Minister of Immigration Marco Mendicino

So every time a round of invitation is made, it was deliberaty planned by the Minister (and his team), according to the current needs and circunstances.

How many people get invited on each round?

Once again, there is no rule about how many are invited each round. On the same fashion that the Minister (of Citizenship and Immigration) "decides" when draws happen, he also decides how many invitations are made.

In fact, paragraphs 10.3(1)(i) an (j) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act states that "The minister may give instructions governing any matter relating to the invitations, including rank needed and number of invitations". Well those are not the exact words - I've summarized it a bit to make it more digestible, but please do check the original text on the link above.

All we can do is to look on rounds from the past to have an idea of what is considered a normal number. Take a look on the stats section below.

Am I eligible on all draws?

On a short answer, no, you are not.

Express Entry is a process shared among different immigration programs. And each draw targets one (or a group) of these specific programs. Well, some of them don't specify any program, and on those ones, yes, anyone on the Express Entry pool is eligible.

Based on the history of rounds, there are basically 4 types of invitation rounds:

  1. No Program Specified

    When a draw is published as "No Program Specified", anyone on the Express Entry pool is eligible. For an example,the candidates on the Federal Skilled Worker program would be eligible to these draws.

  2. Provincial Nominees Program

    The name explains itself - only candidates on a Provincial Nominee Program are eligible to these rounds. Just by being nominated by a province, one might get up to 600 points on the CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System), which would definetly boost up your chances. Therefore, usually PNP draws have a higher minimum score. I hope that makes sense to you :)

    These are really not that common, but they have been very frequent during the COVID-19 pandemic. See numbers on the stats section for details.

  3. Canadian Experience Class

    This category is for people that have at least 1 year of work experience in Canada, among other requirements. Invitation rounds for this class are also not common when we look at the past, but during COVID-19 they are very frequent.

  4. Federal Skilled Trades

    This is yet another specific program. Invitation rounds for it are also very uncommon - see data on the stats section.

How to follow-up on the rounds?

At some point during the Express Entry process, you will create a profile, get a score, and pretty much wait to be invited to apply.

That's when you start following the draws. The game is simple - you wait for a round that includes your immigration program, and hope that your score is enough to be invited.

The place to check for new rounds is the IRCC Rounds of Invitations page .

Of course, there are hundereds of YouTube channels, Instagram profiles, Facebook pages, blogs, etc. that will inform about each draw. But they all get the information from the same place - the IRCC website. And you should too.

When a round happens, it is published using the following format:

  1. Number and date of the invitation round. Each round has a unique number.
  2. Program(s) included in the round. In this case, it is only valid for Canadian Experience Class.
  3. Number of people that were invited on this round.
  4. Minimum postion on the pool that you'd need to be to be invited. In this case, everybody from the first place to 3,599th where invited.
  5. Worst score invited. Usually it means if your score is above this number, you were invited too.
  6. In case several people have the score mentioned on item #5, the tie-breaker is the date they submitted their Express Entry profile. The first ones are selected first.

So, every once in a while, go there and check the rounds to see if you are in.

When will the next round of invitations be?

There is no public information on future rounds of invitations. We only know about them when they happen. So, we cannot predict future rounds. At least not with accuracy.

That said, the closest we can get to an estimation is to see the current trend based on the history. On that point of view, usually they happen with around 2 weeks between each other.

I wasn't invited on the latest round, now what?

After you create your Express Entry profile, it is valid for 12 months. So, if you weren't selected on a specific round of invitations, you can wait for the next one, as long as the 12 months haven't passed.

While you are waiting, if you feel like your score is too far from the lowest ones being called on the latest draws, you can always try to improve your score. IRCC website has more information on how to do that.


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