Express Entry 2018 was very big, and 2019 could be bigger than

Express Entry 2018 was very big, and 2019 could be bigger than
Express Entry 2018 was very big, and 2019 could be bigger than

Express Entry: 2018 was big, and 2019 could be bigger

Higher admissions targets in 2019 and 2020 could produce another ITA record in the New Year

Canada’s Express Entry system had a banner 2018, and the coming year could be even more exceptional.

Express Entry, which manages the pool of candidates for Canada’s three Federal High Skilled immigration programs, issued a record 89,800 invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence in 2018 — the most issued in a single year since Express Entry’s introduction in January 2015.

The previous record of 86,023 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) was set in 2017 and, like this record; it appears likely that 2018’s ITA total will be surpassed once again by the end of the New Year.

Under Canada’s multi-year immigration levels plan, the admissions target through the three programs managed by the Express Entry system — the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC), Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) — is set to increase in 2019 by 6,500. It will rise again in 2020, by another 4,400.

In order to meet these increased admissions targets for the FSWC, FSTC and CEC, the number of ITAs issued will likely also rise.

2019: Bigger draws or more draws, more frequently?

If Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is to issue more ITAs in 2019 than it did in 2018, draw sizes will need to expand, or IRCC will have to hold more draws more frequently than the current interval between draws, which is typically every two weeks.

Over the past 12 months, IRCC established a pattern of increasing draw sizes that began at 2,750 ITAs at the start of the year and were then increased by increments of 250 or 500 ITAs every two to three months to a peak size of 3,900 ITAs. This size then remained largely stable between September 5 and the last draw of 2018 on December 19.

The December 19 draw took place only one week after the previous Express Entry draw on December 12, which had the effect of reducing the minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score from 445 to 439 — the lowest minimum score of 2018.

The fact two draws of 3,900 ITAs each were held within a week of each other meant the Express Entry pool of candidates had less time to replenish, forcing the minimum score down.

In order to meet its increased admissions target for 2019 and 2020, IRCC may hold draws less than two weeks apart on a more regular basis in the New Year.

PNP growth in 2018 and into 2019

Among the other key Express Entry developments in 2018 was the rising number of candidates with a provincial nomination.

Nine Canadian provinces and two territories participate in Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program, or PNP, which they use to nominate a set number of economic immigrants for Canadian permanent residence each year. Some of these allocations are assigned for ‘enhanced’ provincial programs that nominate candidates through the Express Entry system.

An ‘enhanced’ provincial nomination is the single most valuable factor within Express Entry’s CRS and results in an Express Entry candidate receiving an additional 600 points towards their overall Express Entry ranking score — effectively guaranteeing an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

IRCC says 12 per cent of the 62,500 Express Entry ITAs issued during the first eight months of 2018 went to candidates with a provincial nomination. During this same period in 2017, just over nine per cent of all ITAs issued went to provincial nominees and the end-of-year total in 2017 was 10 percent.

“Express Entry really hit its stride in 2018 and the next 12 months should see it operating at an even higher capacity,” said David Cohen, senior partner with the Campbell Cohen Canadian immigration law firm. “Combined with the growing prominence of the PNP, the new year should be a significant one for Canada’s Express Entry system.”

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How to Apply for an Ireland Tourist Visa

How to Apply for an Ireland Tourist Visa
How to Apply for an Ireland Tourist Visa

Ireland Tourist Visa or Irish Visit/Holiday Visa is issued to people who wish to visit Ireland for the purpose of tourism or pleasure trips or to visit friends and family members residing in Ireland. It is a short stay visa that is granted for the purpose of temporary visits only.

Ireland Tourist Visas are granted for a maximum period of 90 days (3 months) only.

A visitor with a tourist visa is required to leave Ireland on or before the date stamped on the passport by the Immigration officer in Ireland. Holders of tourist visa in Ireland cannot extend their stay beyond the 90 days period.

Eligibility Criteria for Ireland Tourist Visa

For temporary immigration in Ireland through an Irish tourist visa, you will be required to fulfil the following conditions:

  1. You will have to provide a current and valid passport with at least six months of validity after the date you intend to leave Ireland.
  2. You must substantiate the purpose of your visit by either a letter of reference or documentary evidence of a hotel booking which provides details of the dates when you will be in Ireland.
  3. You will be required to provide satisfactory evidence that you intend to return to your country of residence after your visit. You may provide your employment or family commitments in your country of residence to assure the officials about your intention to return.
  4. You will have to provide evidence that you are able to fully support yourself financially during the entire period of your stay in Ireland. You may be required to provide a detailed bank statement covering a six-month period immediately prior to your visa application to prove that you have sufficient funds in your account to cover the costs of your visit to Ireland.
  5. In case you are staying with family or friends in Ireland, you may submit a letter from your host that claims your full financial responsibility. Under such circumstances, your host will have to provide the necessary proof that he or she has sufficient funds to support you financially during your stay in Ireland.
  6. You must have insurance cover and provide its proof at the entry-point in Ireland.

Steps to follow to apply for Ireland Tourist Visa

If you fulfill the eligibility criteria to apply for Ireland Tourist Visa, you will be required to follow the procedure mentioned below:

Step 1: Fill the tourist visa application form

You need to fill the application form for Ireland tourist visa.  The application form is available online and you can launch it by clicking on the link Carefully fill up the form and submit it online.

Step 2: Print the declaration

After you submit the online application form, a declaration/summary will be generated. Print the declaration/summary and put your signature on it. You must make sure that you are able to print from the computer on which you are filling the application form online.

Step 3: Gather your necessary documents and fees

After submitting your online application, gather all the documents needed for supporting your visa application, your passport, the required photographs and the visa application fees.

Step 4: Submit a signed summary of your online application

You will be required to submit a signed summary of your application form, original passport, passport-sized colour photograph, the relevant application fees for the visa and all supporting documents to the relevant Irish Embassy / Consulate / Visa Office.

You will be able to get information about the details of the appropriate office, the fee payable and the method of payment from the website shown on the printed summary of your application form. Note that applications without all relevant documents will not be accepted.

Also remember that submitting the online application form is only the first step in your visa application process.

Your application for visa will be processed only when the online application form is completed and the relevant supporting documents, passport-sized photograph and appropriate fee are received by the relevant office, as indicated by the online system.

Tracking your tourist visa application

You will be able to track your visa application by contacting the embassy or consulate-general to which you had submitted it. You will have to quote the reference number from your application for this purpose.

Required Fees for Ireland Tourist Visa

Visa Fees for Single Entry Visa Type – EUR 60 (INR 4,670.7) Visa Fees for Multiple Entry Visa Type – EUR 100 (INR 7,784.51) Note:

  • Your application fee will not be refunded if your visa application is refused.
  • The conversion into Indian currency is based on current conversion rates which may change.

Applying for a re-entry Ireland Tourist visa

If you leave Ireland before the completion of your visa and wish to return, you will require a re-entry visa to enter Ireland again. Note the following things about a re-entry visa:

  1. Ireland tourist visa is issued for a single entry to the State.
  2. In case you have a valid reason to leave Ireland for a short period of time before the completion of your visa, you must apply, in advance of making any travel arrangements, for a re-entry visa.
  3. Before a re-entry visa can be issued, you will have to register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau.

Ireland Tourist Visa Waiver Program

You will be exempted from the requirement of having a tourist visa to enter Ireland if you are a citizen of one of the countries listed below. This list includes the EEA member states along with Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

Dos and Don’ts for Ireland Tourist Visa Application

Remember the following dos and don’ts while applying for Ireland tourist visa.


  • Fill your online application form with correct information.
  • Keep all relevant and supporting documents ready for verification by visa officials.
  • Keep copies of all documents submitted with your visa application. Original documents like your birth certificates and marriage documents will be returned to you.
  • If there are any specific documents that you want to be returned to you, you will have to submit a list of these documents along with your application.
  • You can keep a tab on the progress of your visa application by checking online at Visa Decisions to see if your visa has been processed. You will require your Visa Application Number to check the progress. This list is updated on a weekly basis.


  • Do not submit false documents in support of your application
  • Do not hide or misrepresent facts in your visa application
  • Do not purchase your travel tickets prior to a decision being made on your visa application. If you have to purchase tickets then book refundable tickets for your journey.
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Canada’s parents and grandparents sponsorship program will reopen in late January

Canada’s parents and grandparents sponsorship program will reopen in late January
Canada’s parents and grandparents sponsorship program will reopen in late January

IRCC will accept up to 20,000 new applications through its Parents and Grandparents Program in 2019

Canada’s parents and grandparents sponsorship program will reopen to expressions of interest in late January 2019, the Government of Canada has announced.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) provided the update in a tweet and said details of the next opening will be released “in the coming weeks.”

The Parents and Grandparents Program, known as the PGP, allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents over the age of 18 to sponsor their parents and/or grandparents for Canadian permanent residence.

In 2018, the program reopened to expressions of interest on January 2, but IRCC tweeted that this won’t be the case in the New Year.

IRCC expects to process up to 20,000 applications through the PGP in 2019. Invitations to apply will be issued to the first 20,000 eligible sponsors who submit an Interest to Sponsor form and meet the program’s requirements.

This first-come, first-served approach to accepting applications replaces the controversial randomized lottery process that IRCC introduced last year and later scrapped.

Many had criticized the randomized approach as unfair to those who had been waiting for years to sponsor their parents and/or grandparents.

IRCC said the decision to revert to a first-come, first-served approach was a result of “listening to stakeholders and clients” and would both streamline access to the program and improve client experience.

“Using this modified intake process will give the government more flexibility in the application process, ensuring that we receive as many applications as possible,” IRCC said.

Canada has a total area of 9.9 million sq. km. and touches the Pacific, Arctic, and Atlantic oceans (which is why, its motto, “from sea to sea”, is quite logical), making it the country with the longest coastline (243,791 km. long). It is composed of 10 provinces and three territories with Ottawa as its capital.  The provinces are: Alberta (capital: Edmonton) , British Columbia (Victoria), Manitoba (Winnipeg), New Brunswick (Fredericton), Newfoundland and Labrador (St. John’s), Nova Scotia (Halifax), Ontario (Toronto), Prince Edward Island (Charlottetown), Quebec (Quebec City), and Saskatchewan (Regina). The three territories are: Northwest Territories (Yellowknife), Nunavut (Iqaluit), and Yukon (Whitehorse).

Posted in Canada, Canada PNP, Express Entry, Immigration, Parent Visa, Tourist Visa, Visa and Immigration | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment