July 2, 2021

Canada reduces Express Entry application period to 60 days

The COVID measure allowing Express Entry applicants to apply in 90 days has been reverted back to 60.

Express Entry candidates will once again have 60 days from the date they receive their invitation to submit their application.

As of June 29, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is rolling back the COVID-19 measure to allow Express Entry candidates to have 90 days to apply for permanent residence. The immigration department reported the change in a media release.

In March 2020, IRCC extended the application period as part of a slew of new coronavirus-related measures. It was meant to allow immigration applicants to have more time to prepare their documents. At the time, the pandemic had just swept the world, causing service disruptions and grounding flights.

IRCC says the return to the 60-day timeframe will allow the department to process higher volumes of applications.

There will still be some special measures for applicants who are affected by coronavirus-related public health restrictions. IRCC offers a complete list on its government webpage. Generally speaking, they pertain to people who have not yet applied for Canadian immigration, applicants who are still in processing, Confirmation of Permanent Residency (COPR) holders, and others.

Express Entry candidates who were invited to apply before June 29, 2021 will still have 90 days to submit their application for permanent residence. So, those invited in the previous Express Entry draw are not affected. The new measure applies to Express Entry candidates who will be invited in the weeks to come.

The 60-day application period has been in place since 2018. Back then, IRCC reduced it from 90 days after finding that 57 per cent of applicants applied within two months.

This rolling back of coronavirus measures comes a little over a week from when Canada opened its border to COPR holders, allowed fully vaccinated travellers to skip quarantine, and reopened direct flights with Pakistan.

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