The Express Entry program is a special program by the Canadian government that serves to help skilled workers immigrate to Canada. The Express Entry draw is held biweekly and it goes through the pool of candidates to choose the best-skilled tradespeople and workers and offer them a chance to get a permanent resident status. Express Entry is immensely popular – some 300,000 people get to Canada every year through this program alone. 

In fact, this is the fastest immigration process and the fastest way to the Canadian permanent residence or citizenship in Canada. Federal skilled workers and tradespeople are tested in the areas of education, work experience, and language ability. Having an existing job offer or a PNP status can help you score better, but they do not guarantee that you will be chosen to receive the Invitation to Apply. So what will? Let’s consider what Express Entry is, its different immigration pathways, and how the point-based system can be used to help you get elected. 

What Is Express Entry in Canada?

So, the Express Entry program is a special program that has been established by the Federal Government of Canada which seeks to help more people enter this country by leveraging their skills, education, work experience, language knowledge, and other major factors, such as skills transferability against all other candidates. As it would be difficult to say how a medical doctor is better than an engineer or vice versa, the program gives each candidate a certain CRS score (CRS = Comprehensive Ranking System). 

Then, all the candidates are compared twice a month: according to the bi-weekly schedule. Express Entry is not a single program, but rather a platform that allows access to many other programs. By allowing all candidates to apply for the program they meet the minimum score or minimum eligibility requirements, the program also allows a large number of participants to be drawn at the same time, and for different programs – pulling over 10,000 candidates in a single draw is a commonplace occurrence. 

If you have not been drawn, you get a chance to be so in each successive draw cycle for the rest of the year – as this is how long foreign workers’ applications stay in the system. Once your human capital factors and skills transferability match the minimum score cut-off, you will be drawn as well. In this case, you receive an ITA – Invitation to Apply. In this case, you proceed with the next step in Canada immigration – submitting all the supporting documents. 

For this, you are given 60 days. Once all the documents are in the system, you will have to wait up to 6 months – as this is how long it takes to handle all the applicants in a single draw for immigration. This form of economic immigration is very popular – as it is one of the fastest Canadian immigration options today. The only programs that can process your requests are those made by international students – around 20 days of processing time. 

canada ee draw

Types of Express Entry Draws

Of course, Express Entry is not a single program. It consists of three basic immigration pathways, each of which has its own draws for immigration, and each of which is aimed at a separate group of economic immigration candidates. The Express Entry immigration policy allows many to join these economic immigration programs, but this does not mean that just about anyone is accepted: there are always prerequisites when it comes to being eligible in the first place. 

The concerned immigration authority revised all the details of each application and immigration aspirants are thus screened. The immigration invitation is then sent only to those who replied truthfully to all the application questions and have enough documents to prove what they said. Under the current immigration strategy, not being truthful during any part of the application will easily deem you inadmissible for a period of up to 5 years. Now, let’s consider the immigration journey pathways in more detail. 

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Draws

The Provincial Nominee programs (PNPs) are a special type of program present under the Express Entry. When it comes to these programs, they are not uniform, as each province that has its own PNP has its own specific needs and eligibility criteria. However, joining Express Entry also means that you are eligible to be considered for all of these programs, and your chances of getting drawn increase drastically. These programs also draw from the same pool of candidates as other immigration pathways. 

Federal Skilled Trade Worker (FST) Draws

The Federal skilled trade program draws are also organized periodically. It is difficult to estimate how and when, as the Express Entry immigration system draws from all the available candidates but only for those programs that need to meet their immigration levels targets. When it comes to this program, this is not a fast-track immigration program, but it is rather a program with a normal processing time. Only PNPs offer faster processing time. 

To be eligible for this program, you will need to have at least 2 years of work experience. The work experience needs to be full-time, with a contract, and paid work experience. It all needs to have been realized in the 5 years preceding the application. You need to have met all the job requirements as well, as you will be joining the Canadian labour market. The NOC system allows all with the following job occupations to join the FST program: 

  • Major Group 72 – technical trades
  • Major Group 73 – general trades
  • Major Group 82 – supervisors in agriculture, natural resources, and production related to these fields 
  • Major Group 83, occupations in agriculture and natural resources and production related to these fields 
  • Major Group 92, supervisors, operators, and controllers in processing, manufacturing, and utilities 
  • Major Group 93 – operators in central control units
  • Minor Group 6320 – cooks, butchers, and backers 
  • Unit Group 62200 – chefs

Canadian Experience Class (CEC) Draws

When it comes to the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), you will need to have at least 1 year of skilled work experience in Canada in the 3 years preceding your application date. You will also need to be looking for a job in the TEER 0, 1, 2, or 3 under the NOC system. All the work experience in Canada has to be paid for, and you will need to have gotten it in a legal workplace while working under contract and with a legal status – temporary resident. 

Federal Skilled Workers (FSW) Draws

The FSW program is aimed at highly educated individuals who have considerable experience in their respective fields and who would like to immigrate to Canada permanently. This group of immigrants needs the highest language abilities (CLB band score of 7 for all four skills) and the FSW-only draws are fairly uncommon. 

All Program Draws

Occasionally, Canadian immigration programs will make all-program draws and will issue thousands of ITAs in a single day. This is to boost the immigration level plans and to meet the quota. These draws happen occasionally, and they are perfect for just about anybody. Remember, when you join an immigration program, you have no say in draws – and you cannot choose them. Rather, from the moment you submit your profile, it is in the game for a full year. As many want to boost their CRS score or simply find it difficult to navigate all the paperwork needed, they hire Canadian immigration consultant firms to help them out. 

Express Entry Draws in 2023

The Express Entry draws in 2023 show that the general trend does not continue. So far (till October 2023), there have been over 86,000 ITAs issued and the average CRS cut-off score has dropped to 515.9. This is much lower than in 2022, and a part of the reason is a higher number of PNP draws and all-programs draws. The lowest CRS cut-off was 388 (trade occupations), while the highest was 791. 

Draw NumberDateInvitations to Apply IssuedCRS Score Cut-OffProgram
267September 28, 2023600600Agriculture and Agri-food
266September 27, 2023500500French language proficiency
265September 26, 20233,000504All-Program Draws
264September 20, 20231,000435Transport occupations
263September 19, 20233,200531All-Program Draws
262August 15, 20234,300496All-Program Draws
261August 3, 20231,500388Trade occupations
260August 2, 2023800435French language proficiency
259August 1, 20232,000517All-Program Draws
258July 12, 20233,800375French language proficiency
257July 11, 2023800505All-Program Draws
256July 7, 20232,300439French language proficiency
255July 6, 20231,500463Healthcare occupations
254July 5, 2023500486STEM occupations
253July 4, 2023700511All-Program Draws
252June 28, 2023500476Healthcare occupations
251June 27, 20234,300486All-Program Draws
250June 8, 20234,800486All-Program Draws
249May 24, 20234,800488All-Program Draws
248May 10, 2023589691Provincial Nominee Programs
247April 26, 20233,500483All-Program Draws
246April 12, 20233,500486All-Program Draws
245March 29, 20237,000481All-Program Draws
244March 23, 20237,000484All-Program Draws
243March 15, 20237,000490All-Program Draws
242March 1, 2023667748Provincial Nominee Programs
241February 15, 2023699791Provincial Nominee Programs
240February 2, 20233,300489Federal Skilled Workers
239February 1, 2023893733Provincial Nominee Programs
238January 18, 20235,500490All-Program Draws
237January 11, 20235,500507All-Program Draws

Latest Express Entry Draw in 2022

In 2022, there were a total of 24 draws during the entire year. The total number of invitations to apply that have been issued was 46,538. When it comes to the average CRS score, it was 645, as the quality of the prospective candidates was high. Still, the lowest draw points were 491, while the highest CRS cut-off was as high as 808, at the very beginning of the year, on January 5th. The year saw draws from 213 – 236, and most of the draws were for the PNP programs. 

As the CRS cut-off was pretty high, it is useful to note that there were many PNP draws, and getting a PNP status adds some 600 points to your application. Without them, there were 11 All-Program Draws, with an average CRS cut-off of 515.36, with the lowest CRS cut-off of 491 and the highest of 557. This is much better and this is the perfect solution for most with little Canadian work experience and with reasonable eligibility criteria in other categories. 

Draw NumberDateInvitations to Apply IssuedCRS Score Cut-OffProgram
236November 23, 20224,750491All-Program Draws
235November 9, 20224,750494All-Program Draws
234October 26, 20224,750496All-Program Draws
233October 12, 20224,250500All-Program Draws
232September 28, 20223,750504All-Program Draws
231September 14, 20223,250511All-Program Draws
230August 31, 20222,750516All-Program Draws
229August 17, 20222,250525All-Program Draws
228August 3, 20222,000533All-Program Draws
227July 20, 20221,750542All-Program Draws
226July 6, 20221,500557All-Program Draws
225June 22, 2022636752Provincial Nominee Program Draws
224June 8, 2022932796Provincial Nominee Program Draws
223May 25, 2022589741Provincial Nominee Program Draws
222May 11, 2022545753Provincial Nominee Program Draws
221April 27, 2022829772Provincial Nominee Program Draws
220April 13, 2022787782Provincial Nominee Program Draws
219March 30, 2022919785Provincial Nominee Program Draws
218March 16, 2022924754Provincial Nominee Program Draws
217March 2, 20221,047761Provincial Nominee Program Draws
216February 16, 20221,082710Provincial Nominee Program Draws
215February 2, 20221,070674Provincial Nominee Program Draws
214January 19, 20221,036745Provincial Nominee Program Draws
213January 5, 2022392808Provincial Nominee Program Draws

2021 Express Entry Draws

The year of 2021 gives a bit of a different picture. There was a total of 47 draws mostly for the PNO and CEC programs. Under these, the lowest CRS cut-off was 75 (when all candidates in the CEC were issued an ITA), and the highest was 813 – unusually high. The lowest yielding draw cycle was on March 17th, with only 183 ITAs that were issued, while the most productive was the February 13th – just a month before, with 27,332 applicants that got their ITA.

The entire year saw 138,931 ITAs sent, and the average CRS cut-off was as low as 581. Here is a breakdown of all 47 draws: 

212December 22, 2021746720Provincial Nominee Program
211December 10, 20211,032698Provincial Nominee Program
210November 24, 2021613737Provincial Nominee Program
209November 10, 2021775685Provincial Nominee Program
208October 27, 2021888744Provincial Nominee Program
207October 13, 2021681721Provincial Nominee Program
206September 29, 2021761742Provincial Nominee Program
205September 15, 2021521732Provincial Nominee Program
204September 14, 20212,000462Canadian Experience Class
203September 1, 2021635764Provincial Nominee Program
202August 19th, 20213,000403Canadian Experience Class
201August 18th, 2021463751Provincial Nominee Program
200August 5th, 20213,000404Canadian Experience Class
199August 4th, 2021512760Provincial Nominee Program
198July 22nd, 20214,500357Canadian Experience Class
197July 21st, 2021462734Provincial Nominee Program
196July 8th, 20214,500369Canadian Experience Class
195July 7th, 2021627760Provincial Nominee Program
194June 24, 20216,000357Canadian Experience Class
193June 23, 20211,002742Provincial Nominee Program
192June 10, 20216,000368Canadian Experience Class
191June 9, 2021940711Provincial Nominee Program
190May 31, 20215,956380Canadian Experience Class
189May 26, 2021500713Provincial Nominee Program
188May 20, 20211,842397Canadian Experience Class
187May 13, 20214,147401Canadian Experience Class
186May 12, 2021557752Provincial Nominee Program
185April 29, 20216,000400Canadian Experience Class
184April 28, 2021381717Provincial Nominee Program
183April 16, 20216,000417Canadian Experience Class
182April 14, 2021266753Provincial Nominee Program
181April 1, 20215,000432Canadian Experience Class
180March 31, 2021284778Provincial Nominee Program
179March 18, 20215,000449Canadian Experience Class
178March 17, 2021183682Provincial Nominee Program
177March 8, 2021671739Provincial Nominee Program
176February 13, 202127,33275Canadian Experience Class
175February 10, 2021654720Provincial Nominee Program
174January 21, 20214626454Canadian Experience Class
173January 20, 2021374741Provincial Nominee Program
172January 7, 20214750461Canadian Experience Class
171January 6, 2021250813Provincial Nominee Program
170December 23, 20205000468N/A
169December 9, 20205000469N/A
168November 25, 20205000469N/A
167November 18, 20205000472N/A
166November 05, 20204500478N/A

Who Are Eligible for Express Entry?

When applying for Express Entry, it is important to note that the Canadian immigration department changes the minimum CRS (CRS cut-off) with every draw cycle. This is because foreign work experience changes over time as does the quality of the candidates in the Express Entry pool. These changes are reflected in the cutoff score, and this is the reason why you should always apply and then try to boost your CRS. The low CRS cutoff of 75 is a cut-off score all-time record and no applicant with this score would ever have hoped to get an ITA based on the previous experience. 

Anyone is eligible to enter the Express entry. Candidates with scores that would match college or university level- education have the best chance and so do those with experience and relatives in Canada, but as the previous draw tables show, this is not always the case. Sometimes, experience in Agriculture will help a lot, and sometimes those who have had a Canada working holiday visa may be given priority through the CEC. In any case, applying is always worth it, because you never know whether you could get drawn or not. 

New Eligible Occupations

ircc draw

When it comes to the eligibility criteria, having even months of experience is better than having none. The current eligible occupations usually reflect the needs of the labour market, and as they change, it is clear that there are many changes to be expected in the future of immigration levels and educational profiles. Here are some new occupations that have been added to the NOC list: 

  • aircraft assembly inspectors
  • aircraft assemblers
  • bailiffs
  • by drivers
  • by-law enforcement officers
  • commercial installers and servicers
  • correctional service officers
  • dental assistants
  • dental laboratory assistants
  • electrologists
  • elementary school teacher assistants
  • estheticians
  • heavy equipment operators
  • nurse aides
  • orderlies
  • patient service associates
  • payroll administrators
  • pest controllers
  • pharmacy assistants
  • pharmacy technical assistants
  • regulatory officers
  • repairers and servicers in general
  • residential installers and servicers
  • secondary school teacher assistants
  • sheriffs
  • subway operators
  • transport truck drivers

How Frequently Are Express Entry Draws Held?

Candidates in Categories belonging to the Express Entry pathways cannot hope for a set schedule when it comes to the Express Entry draws. In fact, application forms do not all arrive regularly, so the draws are set to periodic, but not bi-weekly, as we usually say. However, as you can expect them to be pretty much bi-weekly, this is how we like to see them. In any case, the draws themselves should not concern you – once you have sent your application and have enough money to pay the application fees, simply keep checking your email for any updates. 

Number of Profiles Selected

There is no set amount of profiles that can be selected during any draw cycle. As we could see in the 2021 example, tens of thousands of profiles can be selected based on their education level, and their work experience. However, sometimes only over 100 profiles pass, saying that the number of profiles drawn fluctuates year in and out, as the Canadian labour market needs to change. The best bet that you can make is to work on your Express Entry profile: strong career profiles in trade occupations that are in-demand occupations are usually the deciding factor. 

Lowest CRS Score Accepted

In our sample, the lowest score ever accepted for the IRCC Express Entry was 75. This draw cycle saw all candidates queueing in the CEC pathway category get an ITA. This should mean that anyone can apply and hope for the best. The time spent waiting for your English and French language abilities and your work experience to be screened is the time to work on yourself and your skillset and to improve the likelihood of getting drawn. 

Next Express Entry Draw: When Will It Take Place?

The Express Entry draw schedule is kept a secret. This being said nobody knows when the next draw cycle will be conducted. However, it is important to bear in mind that the draws take place approximately every two weeks. This means that the gaps between draws can be longer or shorter, and historical data shows that a single week can even see multiple draws, with a month with no draws at all. 

What Is Express Entry CRS?

The Express Entry CRS stands for the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System. Under this system, the chance of success of each candidate is put into their hands – those with more experience, higher education levels, and Canadian experience also have good chances to succeed and be drawn for a chance for citizenship or permanent residence. Candidates with employers are also given an additional 200 points, showcasing that the ability to find your own job and being proactive are also valued. 

But, how to check CRS score? There are many online CRS calculators and most of them will do a fairly good job. One thing that has been noticed though is that candidates’ scores increase when they also apply for ECA Canada (Educational Credential Assessment). This is a great way to boost your score in little time and with virtually zero effort. 

How To Improve CRS Score?

As all the online CRS score calculators will give their estimates, it is useful to know that nothing is set in stone. In fact, there are many ways that you can improve your CRS score and also many ways to work on your skills and be a better and more competitive worker once you land in Canada. You can improve your CRS score by improving your work experience, getting a job offer, improving your language skills or getting some French ability. Working on your education, the level of study you have finished, getting married, or even getting a PNP nomination or help from your relatives can be of huge importance in improving your CRS score. 


When it comes to your work experience, having more than six years of experience in a single field is of utmost importance. You should note that this way, you can receive the most points and that keeping your workplace working while waiting for the Express Entry draw to take place is really important. Also, make sure that your work is eligible – only full-time work contracts are accepted, and only paid work, so volunteering is not an option. 

Job Offer

Even while still in your country, you can start looking for a job. JobBank Canada and LinkedIn are both very useful platforms that can help you job-hunt and even network. As getting a job offer can bring in an additional 200 points, this is an important part of the application process. Even if you did not have a job offer when you applied for the immigration pathway, when you get one, you can update the application and you will be able to receive additional points. 


Your language skills are also very important. When seeking ways to improve these, your local University may have language courses suited for foreign workers or those preparing to immigrate. Alternatively, you can hire a language tutor, join a private language school, or even be self-taught. After six months, you can retake your language test. Always remember that language is an important skill and that, even if you score a high level in one language, Canada has two: English and French. 


When speaking of education, this is a different notion to the study category. Under education, you can list all certificates that you have and other education categories. For this reason, you should ask your employer, or even local educational institutions, whether you could undergo additional training that would be of importance once you make your application. More often than not, this will help boost your CRS score. 


When it comes to the study part, it is important to note that higher education profiles tend to score higher points, but this is not so important at all times. In fact, draw cycles with very low CRS cut-offs usually mean lower education levels among the candidates, so that education is not all. However, you should also bear in mind that education is important and that the higher your education level, the higher the TEER category that you will be able to join. You can keep working on your education even while in the application process – but you should always submit the details truthfully at the moment of application – if you are enrolled in an MA program, put BA as your education level and then update the profile once you get your MA degree.


Although you can make an application yourself, if you have a spouse that you would immigrate with, you could also include them on your application. In this case, you may receive more CRS points, based on their education levels and work experience, but not always. You should pay attention that Canada supports same-sex marriages but that it does not recognize marriages where both partners are not physically present during the ceremony, so no telephone or video marriages. 

Provincial Nominee Programs

Provincial Nominee Programs can also help you score more points. 600 of them to be exact. So, if you have skills or knowledge that you have verified online a specific province needs, it may be the time to apply. Even if you do not get drawn into CEC< FST, or FSW programs, a local provincial government can still find your profile good enough for them. Getting a PNP status is an almost fail-proof way to score more CRS points. 

Help from Others

When it comes to getting help from others, you should first understand what ‘others’ mean. Others can be immigration consultants or immigration specialists who will help you better understand how you rank among other candidates, what exact steps to take when trying to increase your CRS score, and how to best use the documents and qualifications you already have. The only downside is that most of these consultants charge for their services. However, the help they offer is invaluable and you should be able to increase your chances of getting Canada permanent residence with them, which is a priceless asset to have. 

Alternatives to Express Entry

Your application to Express Entry is not the only way to go to Canada. In fact, study permits, LMIA-exempt and LMIA work contrast, as well as Express Entry, lets many people into Canada each year. All of these exclude Express Entry as the only way to immigrate. Here, we will try to figure out what other ways there are to immigrate to Canada, especially if you have tried with the Express Entry and you did not like the program and its eligibility criteria. 

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

We’ve mentioned PNO several times before, usually in the context of a group of programs that you can access through Express Entry. However, this is not always the case, as the PNP programs exist on their own – they can draw from their own pool of candidates, as well as those of Express Entry. However, it is important to note that applying for one will only make your application valid for that single PNP, and making separate applications for many PNPs can make it very expensive to move to Canada. However, if you already know where you would like to move to and how you would like to conduct your own affairs once in Canada, here are all the Canadian PNP programs: 

  • Alberta PNP
  • British Columbia PNP
  • Manitoba PNP
  • New Brunswick PNP
  • Newfoundland and Labrador PNP
  • Nova Scotia PNP
  • Northwest Territories PNP
  • Nunavut PNP
  • Ontario PNP
  • Prince Edward Island (PEI) PNP
  • Quebec PNP
  • Saskatchewan PNP
  • Yukon PNP

Quebec Skilled Worker

The Quebec skilled worker program aims to receive over 20,000 immigrants into this territory. In fact, this is one of the lesser-known immigration programs for one sole reason – this is a French-speaking province, and not many foreigners speak the language. However, joining the program with limited French skills and then working on your language proficiency once you are there is a great way to become a Canadian citizen in the long run. 

Atlantic Immigration Pilot

If you had a tourist visa and have visited provinces in Atlantic Canada, you may have fallen in love with the region. In fact, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador are some common territories that people like to migrate to. If this is the case, you can join the Atlantic immigration pilot program, a special program for immigrating to these provinces that enables some 6,000+ people every year to immigrate to these regions. 

Other Economic Pilots

But there is even more to immigration. In fact, Canada has proposed several new programs for those who would like to immigrate to this beautiful country. The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot, and the Caregiver Pilot Programs are all there for those who would like to immigrate and work in special skills. As these programs have an annual quota of 10,000+ people, they are smaller than most other programs but are still valuable in terms of immigration opportunities. 

Check Out New Canada PR Pathways to Move to Canada Without Job Offer or Express Entry:


How Long Does An Express Entry Take?

The express entry pathway to immigration or even permanent residency is currently the fastest way to reach Canada. When it comes to this program, most complete applications are processed within six months. This is much faster than with other programs, such as the Provincial Nominee Programs, and much faster than in some other countries. In the US, you have to wait for around 10 years before your permanent residence is actually confirmed. 

Can I Get Canada PR without a Job Offer?

Yes, you can. Around 90% of the Express Entry Program applications are made with no valid job offer. This means that many people can enter Canada without a prearranged work position, but in this case, you will have to present Proof of Funds – showcasing that you can support yourself while looking for a job with a Canadian employer. So, in short, yes, you can get a Canadian PR without a job offer. 

How Can I Get 67 Points for Canada PR?

The FSW or the Federal Skilled Worker pathway of the Express Entry Program says that you can only apply for this program and join the Express Entry pool if you have 7 or more eligibility points. The points are awarded on several basis, and here is a maximum you can get in any given category: 28 points for language skills, 25 for education, 15 for work experience, 12 for age, 10 for a valid job offer, and 10 for adaptability. 

What Are the Cut-Off Points for Canada Express Entry?

When it comes to the cut-off points for the Canada Express Entry program, they change with every draw cycle. Also known as the CRS cut-off score, this score generally fluctuates between 75 and 800, with the median value being set between 470 and 490. even if you have a lower score, you should try it out, because there are multiple draws made every month (usually 2-4) and your application stays in the system for up to a year. In the meantime, you can work on your language proficiency and become an eligible Canadian immigrant. 

Final Thoughts

Express Entry is one of the most popular immigration programs there are for Canadian immigration. When it comes to this program, the three immigration pathways it offers are best suited for most applicants and the comprehensive CRS scoring system gives all with equal footing an equal chance to immigrate to Canada. However, if this program is not suited for you, or you have a specific field that you would like to work in, you can use alternative programs for immigration. With at least 4 options to choose from, this is a great chance for all.