Canada CRS Scores for Express Entry Rise Sharply

Last week, Canada held its first Express Entry draw of the year, which was also the first one since 23 November 2022. In this round, the CRS cut-off score rose sharply to 507; while at the same time, there was a record number of 5,500 ITAs issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This sharp jump in the CRS cut-off scores could possibly delay the immigration process for many in the Express Entry pool.

The previous draw in November 2022 saw the lowest minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, which was 491.  

Why has the CRS cut-off increased again? 

When compared to last year’s draws, there was a significant rise in the number of invitations in last week’s Express Entry draw.  The latest Express Entry draw came after one and a half months, which could be why there was a sharp increase in the CRS cut-off score.  

This time, there were 750 additional invitations over the November 23 draw, when a total of 4,750 candidates received the invitations. 

In comparison, in 2022, the total ITAs for all program draws, which began in July and spanned the rest of the year, was 35,750. 

Express Entry 2023 changes  

It is expected that in the coming months, the Express Entry draw could see some major changes. A few of these were already introduced in the second half of 2022.  

Starting November 16 2022, IRCC implemented NOC 2021. This was an updated take on NOC 2016. The National Occupation Classification (NOC) system determines a candidate’s profession and skill level in the Express Entry pool.  

IRCC shifted from categorizing skills as a 0-D level to one that is based on training, education, experience, and responsibilities (TEER). This TEER system has revised NOC 2016’s skill levels which were from 0-E and has now created an equivalent of five TEERS. As a result of this, 16 new occupations are now eligible to apply for economic immigration programs managed by Express Entry, such as the FSWP or CEC. 

In the case of candidates who have a profile already submitted to the IRCC Express Entry pool, they can be invited to switch their NOCs to the new NOC 2021 independently. Note that the update must be done for each position (job) included in their IRCC profile. A CIC News report states that any failure to do so will disqualify candidates from receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA). 

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