Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has resumed its Express Entry draws after a month-long hiatus. The latest Express Entry draw invited 3,200 candidates across all programs with a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 531.
While this pause in draws raised questions within the immigration community, the IRCC has not provided a formal explanation for the delay. However, on September 18, the IRCC confirmed its plan to resume Express Entry draws this week, reassuring candidates awaiting their chance to apply for permanent residency in Canada.
Express Entry System
Express Entry is a comprehensive application management system that governs three of Canada’s primary economic immigration pathways: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class. These pathways offer individuals with diverse backgrounds and skills the opportunity to apply for permanent residency in Canada.
Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Advantage
Express Entry candidates who have received a provincial nomination have a significant advantage. Those in the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) automatically receive an additional 600 CRS points. This additional boost places them in a favorable position during Express Entry draws, where CRS score requirements typically range from 350 to 550, depending on the program or category.
Category-Based Selection Rounds
IRCC introduced category-based selection rounds on May 31, 2023, to further diversify the selection of candidates. These categories cater to individuals with specific skills and experiences in high-demand sectors of the Canadian job market. The six categories include:
- STEM Professions
- Agriculture and Agri-food
- Strong French-speaking ability
Since their introduction, category-based selection draws have targeted candidates with experience in these sectors, allowing them to receive ITAs. Candidates in these categories must still be part of the Express Entry program, emphasizing the importance of achieving a high CRS score to remain competitive.
The Importance of Category-Based Selection
IRCC’s decision to implement category-based selection reflects its commitment to addressing urgent job vacancies in key sectors of Canada’s workforce and strengthening the nation’s economy. These categories were carefully chosen after extensive consultations with provincial governments, business associations, and other stakeholders.
Canada’s recent Express Entry draw, after a month-long pause, has brought relief and hope to aspiring immigrants. The Express Entry system continues to be a vital pathway for skilled individuals seeking to make Canada their home. Additionally, the introduction of category-based selection rounds demonstrates Canada’s adaptability in addressing labor market demands and welcoming candidates who can contribute to the nation’s prosperity.