The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) conducts an Express Entry draw every 2 weeks. So far during 2021, the IRCC has focused on inviting applicants to the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). 2021 has seen no draws for the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW). Before the pandemic, the majority of all Invitations to Apply (ITA) issued went to the FSW applicants. The Comprehensive System Ranking (CRS) score requirement for the FSW applicants is generally lower than the rest of the pool.
The Canadian government has set the target to welcome over 401,000 new immigrants in 2021 to offset economic recovery post-pandemic. In 2021, between January and July, Canada managed to welcome 184,215 new immigrants. The immigration target may well be achieved this year as long as no more hurdles are created by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
What Is the Reason for No Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Draws in 2021?
The main reason that the IRCC is not inviting applicants to the FSW is the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic has hindered the ability of overseas applicants to travel to Canada due to the several travels and border restrictions imposed internationally. Therefore, to meet the set immigration levels target, the IRCC shifted its focus on inviting applicants to the CEC and PNPs as they are already residing in Canada and would face fewer issues in applying for permanent residence.
Another reason is to ensure speedy economic recovery after the pandemic. The pandemic negatively impacted many sectors of the Canadian economy and increased the demand for foreign workers in certain occupations. Therefore, by focusing on temporary foreign workers already in Canada, the IRCC is aiming to achieve economic recovery post-pandemic.
When Can the Next Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Draw Be Expected?
The next Federal Skilled Worker draw can be expected to take place only when the pandemic has been controlled. Between July and December 2020, the pandemic was somewhat under control and the IRCC conducted a few FSW draws. While it is impossible to predict the exact date when these draws will be conducted, they can generally be expected at the end of the pandemic.