Draws are still proceeding, despite the pandemic. However, processing times are much, much slower as a result of the pandemic.
If you are planning immigrating to Canada, or changing your status to permanent, you are most likely using or going to be using Express Entry, the way skilled workers immigrate to Canada. This page contains the current distribution of CRS scores in the Express Entry pool. Find your range below and see how many candidates you are competing with.
The majority of candidates in the pool have scores under 400 points, but no draw cut-off for all candidates has been lower than 400 points, and there hasn't been a cut-off lower than 430 points in a draw open to all candidates since May of 2017 (that's over three years ago now).
The draws used to cap out at a maximum of 3,000 candidates but since summer 2018 the draws have been higher with the the draws in autumn 2018 at 3,900 candidates, only a few candidates below the all time high. In 2019 the draws dropped slightly to 3,350-3,600 candidates per draw but 2020 saw two all-time high draws of 4,500 candidates, including the most recent draw of October 14.
So basically, if there are at least 3,000 candidates in the pool with scores higher than your own, you need a better score. You owe it to yourself to figure out how you get more than 450 points. See this page for an in-depth explanation of how the score is calculated. See these other articles on how to improve your CRS score so you get an Invitation to Apply (ITA).
- Credentials Assessment for Express Entry
- Improving Your Language Test Scores for Express Entry
- Common Mistakes when Applying for Express Entry
- Canadian Headhunters Get You More Points
Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score distribution of candidates in the Express Entry pool as of November 16, 2020*
Find your current score on the left and see how many competitors you have on the right. Green means good (few to none), yellow means poor (many), red means bad (too many). Where this is not colour to the font at all, it indicates that there is no chance of getting selected, though those applying for Federal Skilled Trades at these levels still have a chance.
*The source page at IRCC's website has not been updated since November 16
|CRS Score Range||Number of Candidates|
|601-1200||348 (-106 candidates since October 12)|
|501-600||345 (-37 candidates since October 12)|
|451-500||27,172 (+2,938 canadidates since October 12)|
|491-500||233 (-59 candidates since October 12)|
|481-490||518 (-184 candidates since October 12)|
|471-480||3,668 (+1,259 candidates since October 12)|
|461-470||11,778 (+1,182 candidates since October 12)|
|451-460||10,975 (+740 candidates since October 12)|
|401-450 total||44,017 total (+1,136 candidates since October 12)|
|There Hasn't Been a Regular (Non-Program Specific) Draw with This Low a Threshold Since May 2019|
|441-450||10,180 (+438 candidates since October 12)|
|431-440||10,355 (+552 candidates since October 12)|
|There Hasn't Been a REGULAR (NON-FST) Draw with This Low a Threshold Since January 2019|
|421-430||7,247 (+118 candidates since October 12)|
|411-420||7,666 (+10 candidates since October 12)|
|Candidates with scores below this threshold have only ever been invited for the Federal Skilled Trades-only draws in May/November 2017, May/September 2018 and May/September 2019 only|
|401-410||8,559 (+18 candidates since October 12)|
|351-400 total||47,302 total (-793 candidates since October 12)|
|301-350 Total||24,519 total (-504 since October 12)|
|0-300||3,262 total (-7 since October 12)|
|Total||146,965 total (+2,947 since October 12)|
The total number of applicants in the pool is now nearly150,000. That's bad news for candidates with scores lower than the lowest historical cut offs. The cut off score got as low as 438 in January 2019, the lowest draw cutoff since November 2017. But, due to the increased number of candidates in the past couple of years, the rest of the draws for 2019, excluding the most recent FST draws, were over 450 or 460.
Is there good news? There was for a while. The general draws during the 2020 pandemic initially hovered around the 450-460 mark. This was due to an increase in specialized draws (PNP, federal program-specific) in recent months: because the borders are closed Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates, who are already in Canada, are being given ITAs instead of those in applying for FSW or FST. (There was an FSW draw in July 2020, but the borders are still closed.)
But over the last few months the cut-off scores have gone back up into the 470s. That is even with a few record-setting draws in October and November.
Still, there are now over 27,000 candidates in the pool with scores over 450. With this many candidates in the pool, IRCC usually invites between 3,600 and 3,900 people per draw (though sometimes as few as 3,200). That means that it will take at least 6 draws to invite all of these candidates. Even with draws of 4,500 or more, we're looking at 6 draws (12 weeks) to invite all these candidates.
There is only one thing to do now, for those who have scores below 450 who want to immigrate to Canada: do everything you can to make sure your score is 460 or higher for draws going forward. Beyond getting a nomination from a province or getting a job offer, we have other suggestions as to how you can improve your score below:
- Get Accredited for Canada
- Avoid Common Errors
- Improve Your Language Skills
- Prove Your Language Skills
- Find How to Improve Your Score in Other Ways