2020 started off tough for Express Entry hopefuls as Coronavirus travel restrictions forced IRCC to restrict the pool of candidates to only those already present in Canada, and thereby cutting off a large number of highly qualified individuals. For a number of months, only candidates in the Canadian Experience Class or those with Provincial Nominations were eligible for the draw. The consequences of this unprecedented move were far reaching, creating a ripple effect in the Canadian economy which struggled with shortages of qualified labour resulting from these restrictions.
As restrictions began to relax, however, the outlook changed drastically. In the final two months of 2020, IRCC has reopened the pool to individuals qualifying through Foreign Skilled Worker and Foreign Skilled Trades categories. Additionally, in an effort to compensate for the labour shortages, an unprecedented number of invitations was issued (5000 individuals were issued Invitations to Apply for Permanent Residence in November). In the latest draw that took place December 9, the cut off score dropped to 469, which significantly increased the number of eligible immigrants.
As Canada has committed to bringing 400,000 new immigrants in 2021, the outlook is good for the future Express Entry hopefuls, as most new permanent residents are expected to be invited through this program.
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