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Why is the tie-break rule applied in Express Entry draws?

Canada Express Entry Draw

A tie-break rule is often applied in the federal Express Entry draws held by the Government of Canada. The rule is used for the purposes of ranking candidates that might have the same Comprehensive Ranking System [CRS] score. Through the tie-break rule, the profiles in the Express Entry pool are ranked based on the time and date that their profile was added to the pool.

Simply put, the tie-break rule prioritizes those Express Entry profiles that have been in the pool longer. Short-listing from profiles with the same CRS cut-off, as per the requirement of the specific draw, is done through the tie-break rule as applicable.

Similar to the varying CRS requirement, the tie-break also differs from draw to draw.

Let us see the latest Express Entry Draw #154 held on June 25, 2020. Inviting 3,508 candidates that met the minimum CRS requirement of 431, the draw had a tie-break rule – of date and time April 3, 2020 at 12:56:32 UTC – applied. Based on this tie-break rule, all Express Entry candidates that had submitted their profiles prior to the specified date and time were invited, provided that they had a CRS of 431 and above.

Usually, when a tie-break rule is applied in an Express Entry draw, it will be applicable only to candidates that have the same CRS as the draw’s cut-off. That is, in the June 25 draw, the tie-break rule would apply to only those candidates with a CRS score of exactly 431.

It is the CRS score of an Express Entry candidate that is the primary consideration at the time of selection of candidates for issuing Invitations to Apply [ITAs] for Canada permanent residence.

Do note that even if a candidate later updates or makes changes to their Express Entry profile, the timestamp would still remain of when the profile had first been submitted to the Express Entry pool.

That is, if a candidate had submitted their profile in the Express Entry pool in March and later made changes to that profile sometime in June that resulted in increasing their CRS to 431, they would, as per the tie-break rule, still have received an ITA in the June 25 draw.

Nevertheless, if the candidate deletes the profile that they had initially submitted and resubmits a profile after April 3 at 12:56:32 UTC, they would not have been issued an invitation in the June 25 draw.

Similarly, those Express Entry profiles that had CRS 431 but had been submitted after April 3 at 12:56:32 UTC would still remain in the pool.

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