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On November 1, 2022, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced that his department plans on welcoming 500,000 new immigrants to Canada annually by 2025. The announcement comes on the heels of a record-setting year in 2021 when Canada welcomed over 405,000 newcomers. While most observers will focus on the 500,000 figure itself, it is important to also focus on the types of immigrants that the Minister is targeting.

At the beginning of this year, I wrote a blog predicting a significant drop in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points needed to receive an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence under Canada’s Express Entry system. Since then, we have seen an unprecedented drop in CRS points and, as a result, many Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates became eligible to apply for permanent residence even though they would not have scored enough CRS points to receive an ITA before the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent trends, however, show that the CRS points needed to receive an ITA may be shifting back to pre-pandemic levels.

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