A new Express Entry draw system will be implemented by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in 2023. Instead of inviting candidates based on their overall CRS score, candidates will be invited based on their specific attributes.
On June 23, both houses of parliament approved Bill C-19, creating the potential for changes to Express Entry. With this legislation, the immigration minister now has the authority to invite candidates with any skill or ability that is in demand.
Last June, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said the changes to Express Entry would help Canada select immigrants who are already prepared for economic success.
Despite Express Entry giving Canada a competitive advantage, the minister said improvements are still needed.
The Express Entry system can be improved if, at present, your economy is facing particular challenges or is likely to face them in the future. Fraser explained that we cannot tailor the invitations to apply to Express Entry to match those skills and qualifications that are in high demand.
According to the IRCC, the Bill will facilitate the invitation of Express Entry candidates on a new basis, one that would support the minister’s economic goals.
Who Will be Invited?
At this point, it has not been confirmed which candidates will receive invitations to apply (ITAs) in targeted draws. The minister said he would consult with provinces, business councils, and other stakeholders to determine which candidates should be targeted.
With the new authority, the minister can now invite Express Entry candidates based on the most pressing economic needs and labour shortages.
One of the most pressing occupational categories is healthcare, which saw a 6% vacancy rate in October. The government has taken steps to fill jobs in the sector, including removing some barriers for physicians already in the country who are internationally trained. Additionally, the government recently announced the Foreign Credential Recognition Program.
Nonetheless, future Express Entry draws may target only candidates with backgrounds in healthcare professions in order to fill vacant positions more quickly.
What is the Purpose of the System Change?
Since Canada’s population is aging and its birth rate is low, there is currently a labour shortage. By 2030, nine million Canadians will reach retirement age, and not enough younger Canadians will be available to fill their positions. This will result in a large number of job vacancies. Immigration is essential for Canada’s economy and workforce to remain strong.
By 2025, the immigration levels plan 2023-2025 targets the admission of 500,000 new permanent residents a year, of which over 110,000 will be admitted through Express Entry.
Express Entry: How Does It Work?
With Express Entry, skilled workers can streamline their applications under three economic immigration programs; the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
An applicant’s CRS score is determined by several factors, including their work experience, education, or language ability, as well as their age or whether they have family in Canada already. A candidate with the highest CRS score is more likely to receive an ITA in an Express Entry draw if they have the most points across all factors.
In targeted draws, IRCC would still require candidates to meet eligibility requirements for Express Entry. However, it would not be determined by a candidate’s CRS score whether they would receive an ITA. Applicants could be targeted based on their work experience, education, or language proficiency.