In 2023, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) made noteworthy changes to its Express Entry system by introducing category-based selection draws for specific occupations. This shift aims to address labor shortages in crucial sectors and promote French language proficiency outside of Quebec. The new approach offers a more targeted and inclusive way for candidates to apply for permanent residency in Canada. Let’s explore the recent draws and understand how this transformation is shaping immigration to the country.
IRCC’s Latest Express Entry Draw: August 3rd
On the 3rd of August, the IRCC took a significant step by issuing invitations to apply to 1,500 candidates in the first-ever targeted category-based Express Entry draw for trades occupations. The draw specifically targeted candidates in trades such as carpentry, plumbing, and welding. To be eligible, candidates needed a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 388. This move is part of the government’s efforts to attract skilled workers to bolster Canada’s construction sector.
The Resumption of All-Program Draw: August 1st
On August 1st, the IRCC resumed all-program Express Entry draws, inviting 2,000 candidates from the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). The minimum CRS score required for this round was 517. This marked the first all-program draw since July 11th, reflecting the IRCC’s commitment to maintaining diversity in the pool of skilled workers.
Earlier Draws and Noteworthy Results
July 11-12: French-Speaking Candidates
In early July, the IRCC conducted a category-based selection draw for French-speaking candidates, inviting 3,800 individuals to apply for permanent residency. The minimum CRS score required was 375, making it the lowest score in any Express Entry draw of the year.
July 4-7: Selection for Specialized Occupations
The first week of July witnessed a series of draws, signaling the IRCC’s dedication to addressing labor market demands in specific sectors.
On July 4, an unexpected all-program draw was conducted, inviting 700 candidates with a minimum CRS score of 511—the highest CRS score of any all-program draw in 2023 so far.
July 5 saw a category-based selection draw for candidates with work experience in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) occupations. The IRCC invited 500 candidates with a minimum CRS score of 486. This draw was significant as it was the first for STEM candidates since the new selection categories were introduced on May 31.
On July 6, the IRCC issued 1,500 invitations to healthcare professionals under a category-based selection draw with a minimum CRS score of 463.
July 7 witnessed another category-based selection draw, this time for candidates with strong French-speaking abilities. The IRCC issued 2,300 invitations with a minimum CRS score of 439. Notably, French-speaking abilities are the only category-based selection criteria not occupation-specific.
June 27-28: Dual Draws
The last week of June saw two draws, starting with an all-program draw on June 27, inviting 4,300 candidates with a minimum CRS score of 486. The following day, June 28, witnessed the first-ever category-based selection round for select healthcare occupations. The IRCC invited 500 candidates with work experience in these fields, requiring a minimum CRS score of 476.