By CIC News |

The first half of 2020 has been unlike any other period in the history of Express Entry. Canada saw both the largest and smallest Express Entry draws ever as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) held the biggest Express Entry draw ever on February 19, inviting 4,900 candidates in a single draw.

A few weeks later, on March 12, the new immigration minister, Marco Mendicino, announced that Canada would welcome over one million immigrants by 2022, many of whom would arrive through Express Entry.

Just a few days later, March 18 would change many things for hopeful Canadian immigrants. Coronavirus was becoming a bigger threat within Canada, and so the federal government closed the border to most foreign travel. The future of Express Entry was up in the air.

More Express Entry draws during pandemic

It was quickly established that Canada would continue to hold Express Entry draws, and Minister Mendicino said that immigration would be key to economic recovery.

Express Entry draws changed significantly. The all-program draws, which includes candidates from the Foreign Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and Canadian Experience Class (CEC), were no longer held every two weeks. Instead, two draws would be held within days or hours of each other. One would target Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) recipients, and the other would only invite people from CEC. These draw pairings would take place roughly every two weeks.

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