Federal Skilled Workers-Only Draw

First Federal Skilled Workers-Only Draw Has Been Held Through Express Entry in the History of Canada

The Express Entry draw for 2023 was held on February 2. A minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 489. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued invitations to 3,300 candidates with a minimum score of 489. The draw was only applicable to candidates in the Federal Skilled Worker Program for the first time since Express Entry was established in 2015. Following the results of the second program-specific draw on February 1, where only candidates who already received provincial nominations received an ITA, this was the second program-specific draw of 2023.

Express Entry 2023

It is customary for Express Entry draws to take place every two weeks on Wednesdays. However, in 2023, those draws will take place on Mondays instead of Wednesdays as they had been since Express Entry was created in 2015. In the first draw of this year, which took place on January 11, there had been an unexpected pause of six weeks following the draw on November 23.

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A total of 5,500 candidates were invited to participate in the program draw on January 11, with a minimum CRS score of 507. This was the highest number of candidates at the lowest CRS score since all program draws resumed between December 2020 and July 2022 after an 18-month pandemic hiatus.

This was followed by a second draw the following week on January 18, which invited the same number of candidates but with a much lower minimum CRS score of 490, which was incredibly surprising given that IRCC does not normally issue ITAs to candidates in consecutive weeks.

IRCC Conducts Express Entry Draws for Only Candidates Who are in the PNP

It was the first draw since June 2022 to invite only Express Entry candidates who had received a provincial nomination after an expected two-week pause. The IRCC rarely holds program-specific draws, even before the pandemic. Except for the Federal Skilled Trades Program, nearly all Express Entry draws have been all-program.

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IRCC has not held an Express Entry draw focusing only on PNP candidates since the all-program draw pause during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pause, Express Entry draws were continued for candidates who had already been nominated by their province.

If a candidate is nominated by a province, they will automatically receive an additional 600 CRS points on their Express Entry application.

During the Next Few Months, Here is What You Can Expect

As a result of the royal assent of Bill C-19, the Express Entry program is likely to change this year. The new law gives the immigration minister the authority to invite candidates who meet Canada’s economic priorities and fill urgent labour market gaps. The IRCC has indicated that they intend to begin holding draws that focus on specific attributes rather than issuing ITAs based solely on CRS scores.

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Candidate attributes may include occupation, education, work experience, or language ability. New categories will be announced before the draws, according to the IRCC.

What is Express Entry?

It manages applications for the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program. At least one of these programs is available to Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates in Express Entry.

The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) ranks candidates’ profiles. The top-scoring candidates receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) and can apply for permanent residency.

A Canadian citizen becomes a permanent resident of Canada after applying to the IRCC and being approved. When approved, the candidate becomes a Canadian citizen and takes one step closer to citizenship.

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