Canada has issued 250 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates in its first Express Entry draw of 2021.

The January 6 draw required a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 813 points. It was the first draw aimed exclusively at PNP candidates since August 19, 2020.

When the coronavirus crisis began in Canada in March 2020, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) switched to draws focused on PNP and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates, given they were more likely to already be in the country.

However, since August 2020, IRCC had resumed regular all-program draws, setting a new record of 5,000 invites for an individual draw in November.

The return to a PNP in the first draw of January will have stakeholders looking out for a CEC draw later this week, possibly on Thursday.

Canada set a new record for total ITAs in 2020 at 107,350, despite the year being marred by coronavirus. The previous record for ITAs in a calendar year was the 89,800 issued in 2018.

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