IRCC starts 2018 with record low cut-off score

IRCC starts 2018 with record low cut-off score for a first draw of the year

IRCC starts 2018 with record low cut-off score for a first draw of the year

IRCC starts 2018 with record low cut-off score for a first draw of the year

Cut-off CRS score of 446 is 22 points lower than first Express Entry draw of 2017

Canada has invited 2,750 Express Entry candidates to apply for Canadian permanent residence in a draw that took place January 10, 2018. The cut-off Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score for this draw was 446.

Today’s score of 446 is the same cut-off CRS score as the previous draw that took place on December 20. It represents the lowest CRS cut-off for a first draw of the year since the Express Entry system came into effect in January 2015.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) again made use of the tie-break rule in this draw. The tie-break time and date was November 18, 2017, at 6:30:42 UTC.

The draw was the first of what is expected to be a busy opening half of 2018 for Canada’s Express Entry system. That same period in 2017 saw 16 draws and CRS cut-off scores that dropped from 468 in the first draw of the year all the way down to an unprecedented 413 in May.

Given Canada’s larger Express Entry targets for 2018 — not to mention its expanded Family Class and Provincial Nominee Program targets — it’s expected to be a busy year for Canadian immigration. In the three Express Entry economic immigration categories alone, Canada has increased its target admissions by 3,200 over 2017, which saw a number of Express Entry records set.

Not only did it post the lowest cut-off CRS scores to date,  but 2017 saw 30 draws take place and a record total of 86,023 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) issued. That number represents 56 percent of the 153,618 ITAs issued since Canada’s Express Entry system came into effect in January 2015.

With IRCC’s higher ITA targets for 2018, it’s expected that this will translate into larger or more frequent draws from Express Entry pool in the coming year, or possibly even both. That could mean even lower cut-off CRS scores in the weeks and months to come.

Here are some examples of fictional candidates who would have met the CRS cut-off threshold in this latest draw:

Anika and Arjun are married. They are both 30 years old with bachelor’s degrees and are working as web programmers. They have also each written the IELTS and scored an 8 in each category. While neither Anika nor Arjun have worked or studied in Canada, Anika has a brother who is a permanent resident residing in the Canadian province of Ontario. Their CRS scores of 450 would have been sufficient to obtain an ITA during the most recent draw.

Haider is 32 years old and has been working as an accountant for three years. He has Initial Advanced English language proficiency and has completed a bachelor’s degree as well as an additional one-year post-secondary certificate. Though Haider has never worked or studied in Canada, his CRS score of 446 would have been sufficient to obtain an ITA in the January 10 draw.

“The previous year started with a CRS cut-off score of 468 and scores went down to a record low of 413 at one point. This year is starting nearly 22 points lower than that first draw of 2017, which could mean even lower CRS records in 2018,” said Attorney David Cohen, senior partner with the Canadian immigration law firm Campbell, Cohen.

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Canada adds 79,000 jobs in December, pushing jobless rate to lowest level

Canada adds 79,000 jobs in December, pushing jobless rate to lowest level since 1976

Canada adds 79,000 jobs in December, pushing jobless rate to lowest level

Canada adds 79,000 jobs in December, pushing jobless rate to lowest level

Canada added 79,000 jobs last month, blowing past expectations and pushing the jobless rate to its lowest level since 1976.

The jobless rate was pushed down two-tenths of a percentage point to 5.7 percent, Statistics Canada reported Friday.

That’s the lowest on record since comparable data became available 42 years ago.

Economists polled by Bloomberg were expecting a flat showing, with about 2,000 jobs added. Every province added jobs during the month, but more than half of the new jobs came in Alberta and Quebec, with each adding more than 26,000 jobs.

“Quebec was probably the most compelling story throughout the year, with job growth running strong and the unemployment rate plunging to a record low [of 4.9 percent],” Bank of Montreal economist Robert Kavcic noted in a report to clients.

The loonie jumped on Friday’s news, gaining almost three-quarters of a cent to change hands at 80.74 cents US shortly after the numbers came out at 8:30 a.m. eastern time. The strength of the report also prompted investors to peg the odds of a rate hike from the Bank of Canada this month at about 70 percent. Before the jobs report, a hike was being given less than 50/50 odds.

December’s numbers bring a close to the data for 2017 as a whole, which ended up being Canada’s best year for jobs since 2002, with 423,000 jobs added.

Most of the jobs added in December were part time, but for the year as a whole, the vast majority — 394,000 — were full time.

Scotiabank economist Derek Holt called the numbers “another ridiculously strong employment report that is marked by over 150,000 new jobs in two months,” singling out strength in both full-time work and also private sector jobs.

“The job market is absolutely booming north of the border,” Holt told his American readers.

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The basic structure of Swedish higher education.

Swedish universities offer bachelors, masters and Ph.D. degrees in accordance with the European standard.

Degree programmers in Sweden

Swedish universities offer degree programmers according to the European standard. This includes bachelor’s, masters and PhD programmers.

Bachelor’s programmers, also known as undergraduate programmers, take place after upper secondary school (high school) and are usually three years long (180 ECTS credits).

Master’s programmers, also known as graduate programmers, build upon the knowledge developed during bachelors-level studies and can be one or two years long (60 or 120 ECTS credits).

Ph.D. programmers, also known as doctoral programmers, are research degrees involving several years of work toward a dissertation. The duration and setup of Ph.D. programmers in Sweden vary between universities; see Ph.D. programmers for more details.

Programmers and courses: what’s the difference?

A degree programmer at a Swedish university is made up of a number of courses in a particular field of study leading to a specific degree. Courses, sometimes known as modules in other countries, are the building blocks of each programmer. Each semester, programmer students follow one large course or several smaller courses.

Instead of applying for a full degree programmer, it’s also possible to apply for admission to some courses directly. When you apply for and enroll on a course rather than a programmer, you are only registered for that specific course. When you apply for and enroll on a programmer, you will then register for many courses over the duration of your programmer.


  • You enroll on a two-year master’s programmer made up of four semesters of study. During each semester, you take four courses for 7.5 ECTS credits each, for a total of 120 ECTS credits for the programmer.
  • You enroll on a one-year master’s programmer made up of two semesters of study. During each semester, you take one course for 30 ECTS credits, for a total of 60 ECTS credits for the programmed.
  • You enroll in a 30-credit course in a subject you’re interested in. You take only that specific course and must turn in a new application if you wish to take additional courses.

Degree programmers usually contain a mix of compulsory, recommended and optional courses.

Academic calendar

The Swedish academic year is divided into two semesters:

  • Autumn semester begins at the end of August and lasts until mid-January, usually with a short break at the end of December.
  • Spring semester runs from mid-January to the beginning of June.

Course structure

Full-time studies in Sweden correspond approximately to a 40-hour week, though you may only have a few hours of lectures or seminars each week. The rest of your time is spent reading and working on group projects and other assignments.

You’ll often take only one course at a time for a period of several weeks, after which an examination is given directly. After the examination, a new course begins. For instance, during a 20-week semester, you might take four courses in a row for five weeks each. In some programmes, you might instead take several courses at the same time, with an examination at the end of the semester.

The structure of individual courses varies with the subject area. Technical programmers often include a high proportion of classroom and lab hours, whilst courses in the social sciences may involve fewer classroom hours and more independent and group work.

Lectures and examinations

Courses usually include various types of meetings, including lectures, seminars and laboratory sessions with varying group sizes. Seminar groups can be as small as a few students whilst lectures can be up to a few hundred. The aim is to develop critical thinking and collaborative skills, and students are expected to be active participants in all forms of meetings. Required reading and independent work is usually extensive, regardless of your field of study, and students are expected to come well-prepared to class.

Examinations usually take the form of written or oral tests, laboratory work, group work or special projects. Most programmers conclude with a degree thesis or project.

University or University College?

Two slightly different terms are used in Sweden to describe institutions of higher education: university and University College. The main difference is that universities have the right to award PhD degrees while many university colleges don’t. However, some university colleges do offer PhDs.

There is no difference in the bachelor’s or master’s degrees offered by universities and university colleges, and many university colleges are called ‘university’ in English. As an international student, your experience will be similar regardless of whether you choose to study at a university or university college.

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