In a recent development, Canada conducted its third draw of the year targeting candidates with French language proficiency in the Express Entry system. On August 2nd, 2023, a total of 800 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) were issued to candidates with a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 435. This score requirement was 60 points higher than the previous French-speaking draw, indicating the increasing competitiveness of the selection process.
Targeting Specific Occupations
In line with its commitment to address labor market needs, Canada introduced occupation-specific draws through the Express Entry system in June of the previous year. The Immigration, Refugee, and Protection Act underwent changes to accommodate invitations based on specific occupations and other attributes, including language ability. The objective is to make the Express Entry system more responsive to labor market demands.
Under the new draws announced in May, various occupations are being targeted in five fields: healthcare, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions, trades, transport, and agriculture and agri-food. Candidates must have at least six months of continuous work experience in one of these targeted occupations within the past three years to be eligible for the draws.
The Significance of French-Language Proficiency
Beyond its occupation-specific draws, Canada also emphasizes supporting French-speaking communities across the country, outside of Quebec. The aim is to promote linguistic diversity and integration while meeting the needs of different regions within Canada.
Express Entry Draws in 2023
With the August 2nd draw, Canada has now issued a total of 72,649 ITAs in 2023. This figure signifies the country’s commitment to fulfilling its record immigration target of 465,000 for the year. The number of ITAs issued has been on the rise, indicating the government’s efforts to address labor shortages and attract skilled immigrants.
Advice for Employers and Candidates
Canadian employers who are planning to hire foreign workers must secure a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or file a nomination under a PNP. These options will facilitate the retention of skilled workers to fulfill the labour gap in the country.
For candidates in the Express Entry pool, achieving a high CRS score remains crucial to increasing their chances of receiving an ITA. Securing an approved offer of employment can significantly enhance a candidate’s CRS score and improve their prospects in subsequent rounds of invitations.
Canada’s Express Entry system continues to play a crucial role in attracting skilled immigrants and addressing labor market needs. The recent draw targeting French-speaking candidates demonstrates the country’s commitment to linguistic diversity and integration. As the immigration landscape evolves, candidates and employers should remain informed about the latest developments to maximize their opportunities for successful immigration to Canada.