CIC has drawn from the express entry pool for the first time, and the required score is a staggering 886 points. Effectively, this ITA draw round is limited to only those who have a provincial nominee certificate or an LMIA backed job offer: you cannot score higher than 600 without either of these qualifications. Only 779 invitations to apply were sent out.
If you're unsure of your Express Entry CRS score, use our CRS calculator to see how you would rank against the 886 points required for the first round invitation to apply.
This high score required for the first invitation to apply is extremely restrictive. I believe that the high score requirement will likely go down as it is hard to imagine what the Canadian immigration landscape would look like if the score becomes a new benchmark for access to permanent residency. A quick glance at user submitted CRS scores averaged around 360. This is even more shocking as these applicants would have been eligible for permanent residence under the old program through CEC, FSW, or FST.
I speculate that CIC may have chosen such a restrictive score to create a manageable number of applications to "test out" the new ITA system.
Of course, this is mere speculation. More certainty will arrive once the second round of draws is completed.
Correction: an earlier version of this blog post incorrectly stated the required number of CRS points. It has now been corrected to 886. (Updated again: thanks Sherry).