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Permanent residency: draw for record amount of immigrants for Canada

Lorine BENOIT - 02/16/2021

Canada needs immigrants and has proved it by inviting 30 000 candidates to become permanent residents! Let us focus on this exceptional draw with Natacha Mignon, immigration attorney at Immetis.


An exceptional draw in more ways than one

On Saturday 13th February 2021, Canada invited 27 332 candidates for immigration to apply for permanent residency. This draw is exceptional for two reasons: the number of invitations is 6 times higher than on previous occasions, and the number of qualifying points required was only 75 instead of the 450 points previously needed to be selected.

Who are the candidates that have been invited?

Those invited were people who have worked for at least one year as a skilled worker in Canada, that is in one or more jobs at levels A, B or O.  All of them were signed up to the pool of candidates for the Express Entry program, which leads to permanent residency everywhere in Canada, except Quebec, when applying within 90 days of receiving an invitation.

With 75 points, the criteria of age, knowledge of French and English, or qualifications are no longer important.

“An opportunity has been given to candidates who otherwise had very little chance of being chosen”, says Natacha Mignon, “This is therefore great news.”

Natacha Mignon, Immigration Attorney at Immetis

Following this draw, the authorities issued a communiqué highlighting the immigration needs in Canada and their preference, in light of the current border closures, for candidates already in the country.

Receiving an invitation: then what?

At this stage, those invited have 90 days to submit their application for permanent residency. In particular, they must submit: letters of proof of employment, criminal record and complete the required information.

27 332 invitations do not therefore necessarily equate to the same number of permanent residents.

“To be sure, this is a unique opportunity for candidates with a low score to be invited,” says the attorney. “These people should seize it and submit an irreproachable application!”

Natacha Mignon, Immigration Attorney at Immetis

The Express entry program is also ironically called “Express entry, Express refusal”, as the slightest error in the application results in an almost automatic refusal of the permanent residency application. And errors can be frequent: wrong designation of documents, non-compliant criminal records, imprecise dates, and wrong employment categories. Candidates then have to start the Express entry process from the beginning: signing up to the pool, waiting for selection, and submitting the application.

Other losses from this record number of invitations: candidates, in the pool for several months, and who have changed their mind and no longer wish to immigrate to Canada.

What about skilled workers in Quebec?

Experience acquired by skilled workers in Quebec can be taken into account for the Express entry program – Canadian Experience category, explains the lawyer. That is, a foreign worker who has been employed in Quebec for at least one year can sign up to the pool and be selected under the Express Entry program.

This option must however only be reserved for workers in Quebec with a true, tangible and justifiable initial desire to settle in an English-speaking province.

How to ascertain eligibility for Express entry?

A candidate’s eligibility usually depends on different criteria, such as academic qualifications, knowledge of French or professional experience.

The professionals at Immetis offer candidates for immigration the possibility to evaluate their options free of charge via an online pre-evaluation, available here.


This article relates to recent events, likely to change at any time. Last updated on 16th February 2021.


This article contains general information regarding immigration, is intended to provide a general understanding of the terms and does not constitute legal advice. For complete legal advice, contact our professionals.

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