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Canada’s Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has concluded its fourteenth Express Entry draw for 2023. In this round, 4,800 participants were selected across all programs, requiring them to have a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 486. This draw took place in June, with the previous one happening on May 24, where the same number of candidates was picked with a CRS score threshold of 488. Compared to the April 26 draw, which mandated a minimum CRS score of 483, the score requirement has slightly increased.
As stated in a press release on May 31, IRCC has initiated six new category-based selection criteria for candidates applying through Express Entry. The updated categories aim to streamline the selection of individuals whose skills and experience contribute to Canada’s economic advancement. Five categories focus on applicants possessing professional expertise in sectors such as healthcare, science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), skilled trades like carpentry, plumbing and contracting, transportation, as well as agriculture and agri-food. The final category seeks candidates with a strong proficiency in French.
The schedule for these category-based selections remains undetermined, but the department plans to roll them out during the summer. To be eligible for an Invitation to Apply (ITA) in these targeted draws, candidates must be part of the Express Entry pool. Those fitting the category criteria will still be ranked within the Express Entry system, with the highest-scoring individuals receiving ITAs. IRCC will persist with conducting all-program draws and specific program draws as per the requirement.
Reflecting on the Express Entry activity in 2023, IRCC, excluding the current round, has extended invitations to 49,948 participants over 13 draws. This number substantially surpasses the invites sent between July-November 2022. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRCC had paused all-program draws until July 2022, during which 31,000 candidates were invited.
May witnessed two Express Entry draws, the first one being a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) exclusive draw inviting 589 nominees. These individuals were part of the Express Entry pool and had also received provincial government nominations.
Similar patterns were observed in the two April draws, with each inviting 3,500 candidates across all programs. While the April 12 draw demanded a CRS score of 346, the April 26 draw necessitated a score of 483.
The March draws were significant both in terms of quantity and capacity, with four rounds inviting a total of 21,677 candidates. Of these, three were all-program draws each inviting 7,000 candidates, and the remaining draw of 667 was exclusive to PNP. February also held four draws with each catering to a specific program, three for PNP and the fourth for Federal Skilled Worker Program. January saw two all-program rounds, each inviting 5,500 candidates.
What is Express Entry?
The Express Entry system, introduced in 2015, assists IRCC in identifying potential economic immigration candidates for permanent residence. It evaluates applicants from the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class, considering factors like work experience, occupation, language skills, education, age, and other transferable skills. The candidates with the highest CRS scores are most likely to receive an ITA for permanent residence.
In the coming times, it is anticipated that the IRCC will shift its focus from high CRS scores and concentrate more on specific attributes that align with the current demands of Canada’s economy.”
Canada’s Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is continuing to adapt its Express Entry system to meet the country’s economic needs. The latest draw in June followed a consistent pattern of selection, inviting 4,800 candidates with a minimum CRS score requirement. Going forward, the introduction of new category-based criteria will further target candidates whose skills and expertise align with key sectors in the Canadian economy. This strategic shift indicates that the IRCC’s focus may soon evolve from prioritizing high CRS scores to identifying specific attributes that can support the demands of the Canadian economy.