The Express Entry system continues to draw relatively small numbers of qualified applicants from the pool, which means that the Comprehensive Ranking System ("CRS") points needed to be invited is very high. So far, there has been one draw in February with 3500 invitations issued and a minimum CRS score of 472.
On February 13, 2020, the The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program ("OINP") issued 486 targeted Notifications of Interest ("NOI") under its Human Capital Priorities Stream to candidates in the Express Entry pool with CRS Points of between 467 and 471, with experience in 10 occupations, including senior managers and executives in business, advertising, and corporate sales as well as professionals in the financial sectors and registered nurses.
Of note is the fact that successful OINP candidates would also have CRS Points that would result in an invitation without a Provincial Nomination and the associated 600 CRS Points.
Out-of-Status Construction Workers in GTA
The Canadian Labour Congress ("CLC") is working with IRCC to implement a temporary initiative for 500 eligible 'out of status' applicants employed in the construction industry in the GTA to apply for permanent residence. The initiative is open and will accept application until January 1, 2022, or until 500 principal applicants (plus family members) have been granted permanent residence status.
British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program
The BCPNP has issued two rounds of invitations in February. On February 4, 104 qualified candidates in the BC PNP Tech Pilot and the Base and Regional Entrepreneur programs were invited to apply. On February 11, 2020 83 candidates under the Skilled Immigrant and Express Entry streams were invited to apply.
Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
Vernon, BC has recently launched the program and will accept 100 applicants annually under this pilot. North Bay, ON is expected to open the application process in the next 2-3 months. The pilot program offers an LMIA exempt work permit and a pathway to permanent residence for eligible applicants, and includes mid and lower skilled workers.
Global Entry policy impacts New Yorkers
On February 6, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security temporarily barred New Yorkers from enrolling in Global Entry programs (including Nexus). This announcement follows changes in the New York state law to limit sharing of information about undocumented drivers to immigration enforcement agencies. The change is being challenged in court by the State of New York.