Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has once again extended invitations to potential candidates in its third Express Entry draw. This time, the focus is on professionals with expertise in STEM-related occupations, and 5,900 invitations to apply (ITAs) have been issued.
For candidates to be considered, a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 481 was required. This draw follows two others earlier in the week, showcasing the IRCC’s commitment to diversity and targeted skill acquisition. On December 7th, 1,000 candidates proficient in French received invitations with a CRS of 470. The day before, December 6th, witnessed 4,750 candidates receiving ITAs with a higher CRS score of 561 in an all-program draw.
This draw marks a significant return to activity after a hiatus of more than a month. The last draw before this series occurred on October 26th, inviting 3,600 candidates with a CRS score of 431, emphasizing healthcare occupations.
Addressing Challenges and Ensuring Fairness
However, an unexpected hurdle arose in mid-November when candidates who had received ITAs encountered difficulties uploading their final applications to the Express Entry profile builder. Although the issue was eventually resolved, the cause behind the prolonged pause remains undisclosed.
A glance at the Express Entry draws since June 2023 provides a comprehensive overview of IRCC’s strategic selections:
- Dec 8: STEM Occupations – 5,900 ITAs, Minimum CRS 481
- Dec 7: French Language Proficiency – 1,000 ITAs, Minimum CRS 470
- Dec 6: All-Program – 4,750 ITAs, Minimum CRS 561
- Oct 26: Healthcare Occupations – 3,600 ITAs, Minimum CRS 431
- Oct 25: French Language Proficiency – 300 ITAs, Minimum CRS 486
- Oct 24: PNP-Only – 1,548 ITAs, Minimum CRS 776
- Oct 10: All-Program – 3,725 ITAs, Minimum CRS 500
These diverse draws reflect IRCC’s commitment to addressing specific needs, targeting candidates proficient in French, and catering to various occupations, including healthcare, STEM, trades, transport, and agriculture.
The Evolution of Category-Based Selection
A noteworthy development in May saw IRCC introducing category-based selection Express Entry rounds. These draws focus on candidates meeting specific criteria, such as language proficiency or experience in one of five high-demand occupations. These occupations include healthcare, STEM professions, trades, transport, agriculture, and agri-food.
Canada’s Immigration Minister, Marc Miller, emphasizes the importance of admitting more skilled workers to alleviate these shortages, especially with an anticipated nine million Canadians expected to retire by 2030.
Navigating Challenges and Anticipating Future Draws
Despite high immigration targets, a recent meeting of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration highlighted a slowdown in Express Entry draws since Minister Miller assumed office. Deputy Immigration Minister Christiane Fox attributed this slowdown to an initial IT glitch that prompted a reduction in draw numbers. However, she assured that the department plans to catch up in subsequent draws.
Moreover, a category-based draw for skilled trades professionals is anticipated by the end of December, adding a layer of anticipation and opportunity for individuals in this sector.
Since the inception of category-based draws in June, Canada has invited candidates 12 times through this method, totaling over 11,000 ITAs. Notably, all these candidates were already part of the Express Entry pool, emphasizing the strategic and targeted nature of these selections.
Understanding Express Entry: A Pathway to Permanent Residency
Express Entry itself is a pivotal application management system processing permanent residence applications for candidates in various programs. The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) evaluates candidates based on factors like work experience, language ability, occupation, education, and age. The highest-scoring candidates receive invitations to apply, and IRCC aims to process all Express Entry applications within six months.
IRCC’s recent Express Entry draws signify a dynamic and strategic approach to address skill shortages in specific sectors. The diversity in draws reflects a commitment to meeting Canada’s economic needs while ensuring a fair and inclusive immigration system. As the year concludes, the anticipation of future draws and opportunities for skilled professionals remains high.