Express Entry Draw Update: 2015 Analysis

In 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada reformed its Immigration Program through the revamping of the Express Entry system. We’ve already written about how Express Entry works in this space before (if you’re interested in reading about that, click here), so this post will be about some observations and opinions after looking at roughly a year’s worth of publicly-available data.

By the Numbers

As of February 24, 2016, there have been 27 draws, with the last one held last February 10, 2016.

CIC EE Draw Points

Here are a few observations based from the numbers above.

Highest point requirement needed for an Invitation to Apply: 886

Lowest point requirement needed for an Invitation to Apply: 450

Average point requirement needed for an Invitation to Apply: 526

Average number of invitations issued: 1,371

Total number of invitations issued: 37,017

Given that most applications fall within the 250-499 point range, it may be alarming to see that the average point requirement is a staggering 526 points. However, it should be noted that this average is pulled up by the first four draws (Jan 31, Feb 1, Feb 20, and Feb 27) as well as the ninth draw (May 22) that drew 886, 818, 808, 735 and 755 points respectively.

Taking those draws out of the equation, we’re left with the following

Highest point requirement needed for an Invitation to Apply: 489

Lowest point requirement needed for an Invitation to Apply: 450

Average point requirement needed for an Invitation to Apply: 464 

Average number of invitations issued: 1,457

Total number of invitations issued: 32,062

Why were there high point draws in the first place?

Citizenship and Immigration Canada doesn’t have an official explanation or reason for the early batch of high point draws, but from what we’ve gathered online and heard from people who (we assume) are knowledgeable about the topic, the prevailing theory is that Citizenship and Immigration Canada wanted to take care of the applicants who are already inside Canada and are already working or have a job offer.

These applicants would predictably have high Express Entry point scores, because as we know, having a job offer or being sponsored by the Canadian firm you work for will automatically add 600 points to your Express Entry point total. Add to this the probability that those who are already based in Canada will have high English (and maybe French!) proficiency, substantial Canadian work experience and even relatives in the country, one can imagine their Express Entry points being upwards of 800 at the minimum.

With these “internal” applications taken care of, the Express Entry point draws predictably went down after the initial draws to the levels we see today.

Why hasn’t the Invitation to Apply score requirement gone below 450 points?

According to an immigration lawyer based in Vancouver, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has publicly stated that the intended “sweet spot” of point requirement is at 350-450 points, with that range being the only way for Canada to fulfill its annual immigration levels. However, the draw has hit 450 points only twice (Sept 18 and Oct 2) and that was quickly followed by a sharp increase to 489 points in the next draw.

Hopefully it does hit that “sweet spot” sooner rather than later. If not, maybe it’s time to consider other options like a Provincial Nomination. For now though, we’re just waiting and praying and hoping that it doesn’t go up again.

One popular theory to explain why the draws have yet to reach that “sweet spot” is because Citizenship and Immigration Canada is making sure that the people they bring into the country will be able to quickly and fully integrate into the labor market and also have no problems adjusting to the culture and lifestyle of their new country. There is also the possibility that there are more highly qualified applicants (think people with PHDs and the like) nowadays that are bringing up the point average in the immigrant pool. We must remember that Canada has always been a highly desired country for migrants and it will no doubt attract a number of applicants that have higher than average qualifications.

What now?

With most Filipino immigrants falling within the 350-450 point range, we are all hoping for the point requirement to start coming down this 2016. Sadly, it seems that that’s not going to be the case based on the draws so far from January to February. With the way things are going, it seems that obtaining a Provincial Nomination (+600 points in Express Entry) is the best way increase your chances of getting an invitation to apply for permanent resident sooner rather than later.

There’s really nothing like the anxiety that one goes through while waiting for the next Express Entry draw. Our hearts basically break a little bit every time another draw happens with our point total not being included.Hopefully, 2016 will be good to all of us hopefuls. 🙂

As always, if there’s anything you want to ask, feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you as soon as I can! Alternatively, we’ve also set up a Twitter account @tropics2rockies, so we can also talk there. 🙂


7 thoughts on “Express Entry Draw Update: 2015 Analysis

  1. Anybody who can do and write an analysis of this quality should do well in Canada. It shouldn’t be long before the Express Entry points system result reflects that. Keep your spirits up. Good luck.


    • Hi Junjie! 🙂

      Thank you so much for your kind words. Your blog has definitely been a source of inspiration for us and we’re excited that we’ll soon get to experience the things that you did when you made the big move.

      Hopefully Express Entry warms up to us sooner rather than later. 🙂


  2. Hello, kumusta?

    Great blog! Thanks for writing your experiences.

    I’m curious to know though how your application is going now. I’m yet to file my Express Entry application with the help of a Canadian agency, but I’m already a bit worried my total score isn’t enough for me to be selected 😦

    I’ve read in a comment on another post that you’ve applied for PNP? I was hoping if you could write about this too. I might take down some pointers…hehe

    Hope you guys get that PR soon (if you still haven’t received it…otherwise, congrats! :)). God bless!



    • Hi Anne,

      Thanks for your comment. 🙂

      Like many others, our application is up in the air. It really does seem like one needs a Provincial Nomination to be able to get drawn from Express Entry since the minimum score required won’t even go below 450.

      As for our Provincial Nomination, we’ve let the agency we’re working with handle it, but there has been no positive response up to now. 😦

      It’s admittedly been a frustrating past few months (thus the lack of posts hehe). I’ve tried to write about how hard it is to just sit here and wait, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.

      There’s still time though, before the EE profile expires… so till then, nothing to do but to keep the faith I guess.

      Good luck to all of us. 🙂


      • Hope and pray we’ll get that PR soon.

        Can’t wait to read your next post, hope a positive one at that. 🙂



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