Since Express Entry began on January 1, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) has issued several rounds of Invitations to Apply (“ITAs”). An ITA allows a foreign national to submit their application for permanent residence under one of the following categories:

  • The Federal Skilled Worker (“FSW”) Class;
  • The Canadian Experience Class (“CEC”);
  • The Federal Skilled Trades (“FST”) Class; or
  • Members of the Provincial Nominee Class who fall within the Express Entry Stream of a Provincial Nominee Program (“PNP”).

Express Entry applicants are selected to receive an ITA based on how many points they are assigned under the Comprehensive Ranking System (“CRS”).

As of the date of this article, CIC has issued a total of 35 rounds of ITAs. A summary of these Express Entry rounds appears below:

  • In Round #1 (January 31, 2015), CIC issued 779 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 886 CRS points.
  • In Round #2 (February 7, 2015), CIC issued 779 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 818 CRS points.
  • In Round #3 (February 20, 2015), CIC issued 849 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 808 CRS points.
  • In Round #4 (February 27, 2015), CIC issued 1187 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 735 CRS points.
  • In Round #5 (March 20, 2015), CIC issued 1620 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 481 CRS points.
  • In Round #6 (March 27, 2015), CIC issued 1637 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 453 CRS points.
  • In Round #7 (April 10, 2015), CIC issued 925 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 469 CRS points.
  • In Round #8 (April 17, 2015), CIC issued 715 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 453 CRS points.
  • In Round #9 (May 22, 2015), CIC issued 1361 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 755 CRS points.
  • In Round #10 (June 12, 2015), CIC issued 1501 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 482 CRS points.
  • In Round #11 (June 26, 2015), CIC issued 1575 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 469 CRS points.
  • In Round #12 (July 10, 2015), CIC issued 1516 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 463 CRS points.
  • In Round #13 (July 17, 2015), CIC issued 1581 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 451 CRS points.
  • In Round #14 (August 7, 2015), CIC issued 1402 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 471 CRS points.
  • In Round #15 (August 21, 2015), CIC issued 1523 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 456 CRS points.
  • In Round #16 (September 8, 2015), CIC issued 1517 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 459 CRS points.
  • In Round #17 (September 18, 2015), CIC issued 1545 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 450 CRS points.
  • In Round #18 (October 2, 2015), CIC issued 1530 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 450 CRS points.
  • In Round #19 (October 23, 2015), CIC issued 1502 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 489 CRS points.
  • In Round #20 (November 13, 2015), CIC issued 1506 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 484 CRS points.
  • In Round #21 (November 27, 2015), CIC issued 1559 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 472 CRS points.
  • In Round #22 (December 4, 2015), CIC issued 1451 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 461 CRS points.
  • In Round #23 (December 18, 2015), CIC issued 1503 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 460 CRS points.
  • In Round #24 (January 6, 2016), CIC issued 1463 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 461 CRS points.
  • In Round #25 (January 13, 2016), CIC issued 1518 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 453 CRS points.
  • In Round #26 (January 27, 2016), CIC issued 1468 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 457 CRS points.
  • In Round #27 (February 10, 2016), CIC issued 1505 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 459 CRS points.
  • In Round #28 (February 24, 2016), CIC issued 1484 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 453 CRS points.
  • In Round #29 (March 9, 2016), CIC issued 1013 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 473 CRS points.
  • In Round #30 (March 23, 2016), CIC issued 1014 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 470 CRS points.
  • In Round #31 (April 6, 2016), CIC issued 954 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 470 CRS points.
  • In Round #32 (April 20, 2016), CIC issued 1018 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 468 CRS points.
  • In Round #33 (May 6, 2016), CIC issued 799 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 534 CRS points.
  • In Round #34 (May 18, 2016), CIC issued 763 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 484 CRS points.
  • In Round #35 (June 1, 2016), CIC issued 762 ITAs. Applicants in this round were required to receive at least 483 CRS points

The lowest minimum CRS score that was previously eligible to receive an ITA was 450 points, which occurred in rounds 17 and 18. However, the minimum CRS score subsequently rose to over 480 points in rounds 19 and 20.

This was still a low enough score for a candidate to be selected without a Labour Market Impact Assessment or a nomination under a provincial nominee program Express Entry stream. However, many applicants were hoping that the minimum CRS score would continue to drop before the end of 2015; this clearly did not occur.

Fortunately, the minimum CRS score has dropped several times during 2016, to levels approaching rounds 19 and 20. In rounds 25 and 28, the minimum CRS score dropped to as low as 453 points. That said, the minimum CRS score also rose to as high as 534 points in round 33. In the most recent round on June 1, 2016, the minimum CRS score was 483 points.