The Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently conducted its thirteenth Express Entry draw of 2023, extending invitations to 4,800 candidates. This all-program draw marked a significant milestone in the immigration process, as it encompassed candidates from all three programs managed under the Express Entry application management system. With a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score requirement of 488, candidates had the opportunity to apply for permanent residency in Canada. Let’s delve into the details of this draw and explore the evolving trends within the Express Entry system.
The All-Program Express Entry Draw
This was the first all-program Express Entry draw since April 26. The candidates from all three programs are the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). Unlike the previous draw, which focused exclusively on Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates, this draw welcomed applicants from all walks of life who were part of the Express Entry pool.
Express Entry Projections in 2023
As the year progresses, Express Entry draws have yet to establish a clear pattern in terms of the number of candidates invited, the frequency of draws, and even the draw type. In the early months, draws followed the pre-pandemic routine, occurring every two weeks and including candidates from all programs. However, in February, IRCC introduced four program-specific draws, including the first-ever draw specifically tailored for the FSWP.
February witnessed a total of three draws, while March experienced weekly draws, resulting in over 21,000 candidates receiving invitations throughout the month. This marked the second-highest number of ITAs issued in one month in the history of Express Entry.
The month of April reverted to the pre-pandemic pattern, with a single all-program draw taking place every two weeks. This maintained the equilibrium between the different streams and programs within the Express Entry system.
Anticipated for the remainder of the year, IRCC plans to introduce draws targeting specific attributes of Express Entry candidates rather than relying solely on high CRS scores. This shift became possible when Bill C-19 received Royal Assent in June 2022. By leveraging this legislation, the immigration minister gains the authority to invite candidates who can best support Canada’s economic goals by addressing labor shortages in specific sectors.
The Discretion of IRCC
It’s important to note that the occurrence, program focus, number of candidates, and minimum CRS cut-off score of Express Entry draws lie entirely at the discretion of IRCC and the immigration minister. According to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, there are no predetermined rules governing these draws. In other words, IRCC is not obligated to follow any specific pattern or conduct draws at all if deemed unnecessary by the minister.
The latest Express Entry draw conducted by IRCC ushered in a new wave of opportunities for 4,800 candidates seeking to become permanent residents of Canada. While the patterns and characteristics of draws in 2023 remain unpredictable, the ongoing developments within the Express Entry system aim to align immigration policies with the country’s economic goals. As Canada continues to welcome skilled individuals, the Express Entry program plays a crucial role in attracting talent from around the world and ensuring the nation’s growth and prosperity.