According to data obtained by CIC News from the IRCC, significant progress is being made in reducing Express Entry backlogs. According to IRCC’s current application processing pace, the Express Entry backlog might be cut in half by May. This does not guarantee that Express Entry invitations to FSWP and CEC candidates would restart by then, but it would be a significant milestone for IRCC to reach in order to seriously consider resuming FSWP and CEC invitations.
Throughout the last 2.5 months, IRCC has handled more FSWP applications than it did in the entire year of 2021. It processed the FSWP applications of almost 4,300 people in February, compared to the about 600 persons it processed monthly for the first half of 2021. The FSWP inventory has roughly 41,300 persons as of March 15, 2022, a decline of 4,000 people over the previous two weeks. To put this amount in context, IRCC has accomplished in the last two weeks what took it seven months to do in 2021. (i.e., process 4,000 people in the FSWP backlog).
With its present processing rate, it should be able to clear the existing FSWP backlog by the end of 2021, if not sooner.
By this spring, the CEC backlog might be zero:
Meanwhile, the CEC backlog stands at a little over 10,000 people. Over the last two weeks, IRCC has processed 2,000 persons in the CEC backlog. IRCC could clear the CEC backlog by the spring if it continues at its current pace.
Express Entry draws will restart in the “near term,” according to Minister Sean Fraser:
While the latest IRCC statement is vague about when Express Entry would resume, there are some encouraging indicators for FSWP and CEC applicants. IRCC intends to resume sending out invitations this year, is processing FSWP applications more quickly, and Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has stated on the record that the draws will resume in the “near term.” Meanwhile, Express Entry invitations to PNP applicants are still being sent out biweekly. IRCC invited 924 PNP candidates to apply for immigration via Express Entry yesterday.