In a groundbreaking move, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has taken a significant step to bolster Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector by conducting the very first category-based Express Entry draw for professionals in this field. On 28 September, IRCC conducted a category-based Express Entry draw and invited 600 candidates with a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 354. This draw aimed at inviting skilled talent to support the growth and development of the agricultural industry in Canada.
Express Entry Draws in Recent Weeks
The agriculture and agri-food draw on September 28 was not an isolated event. In the preceding days, IRCC conducted two more Express Entry draws with varying eligibility criteria. On September 27, a draw for candidates with proficiency in French invited 500 individuals with a minimum CRS score of 472. The day prior, September 26, saw a significant all-program draw where 3,000 candidates were invited, with a minimum CRS score of 504. These draws demonstrate Canada’s multifaceted approach to immigration, accommodating candidates with diverse skills and language abilities.
A Snapshot of Recent Express Entry Draws
To provide context, let’s examine the summary of Express Entry draw results since June 2023:
- Sept 28: Agriculture and agri-food occupations – 600 ITAs, Minimum CRS: 354
- Sept 27: French language proficiency – 500 ITAs, Minimum CRS: 472
- Sept 26: All-program – 3,000 ITAs, Minimum CRS: 504
- Sept 20: Transport occupations – 1,000 ITAs, Minimum CRS: 435
- Sept 19: All-program – 3,200 ITAs, Minimum CRS: 531
- Aug 15: All-program – 4,300 ITAs, Minimum CRS: 496
- Aug 3: Trade occupations – 1,500 ITAs, Minimum CRS: 388
- Aug 2: French language proficiency – 800 ITAs, Minimum CRS: 435
- Aug 1: All-program – 2,000 ITAs, Minimum CRS: 517
- July 12: French language proficiency – 3,800 ITAs, Minimum CRS: 375
- July 11: All-program – 800 ITAs, Minimum CRS: 505
- July 7: French language proficiency – 2,300 ITAs, Minimum CRS: 439
- July 6: Healthcare occupations – 1,500 ITAs, Minimum CRS: 463
- July 5: STEM occupations – 500 ITAs, Minimum CRS: 486
- July 4: All-program – 700 ITAs, Minimum CRS: 511
- June 28: Healthcare occupations – 500 ITAs, Minimum CRS: 476
- June 27: All-program – 4,300 ITAs, Minimum CRS: 486
- June 8: All-program – 4,800 ITAs, Minimum CRS: 486
The Emergence of Category-Based Selection
IRCC introduced category-based selection as part of its evolving immigration strategy. This innovation was announced in May, and it signifies a shift towards choosing Express Entry candidates based on specific attributes rather than solely relying on their overall CRS score. This change in approach was facilitated by an amendment to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) in 2022, granting the immigration minister the authority to select candidates who align with Canada’s economic and linguistic goals.
Six new categories were established to accommodate in-demand occupations and candidates with strong French-language skills. These categories encompass:
- STEM Professions
- Agriculture and Agri-food
Since the inception of category-based draws, candidates with strong French-language abilities have received the highest number of ITAs, totaling 6,900. Candidates aspiring to immigrate through category-based selection must be part of the Express Entry pool and meet the minimum CRS score.