In a surprising turn of events, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently conducted an all-program draw in the Express Entry system, inviting 700 candidates to apply for permanent residency. The surprise draw required candidates to attain a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 511. Today, IRCC is planning to invite 1,500 healthcare workers through a category-based selection process to candidates with work experience in STEM occupations.
Surprise All-Program Draw
The latest all-program draw caught many candidates off guard, as the CRS score requirement of 511 is the highest observed in any all-program draw of 2023. For comparison, the previous all-program draw held on June 27 invited 4,300 candidates with a minimum CRS score of 486. Moreover, it represents a significant increase of 35 points compared to the 476 CRS score required for the healthcare category-based draw on June 28. The higher CRS threshold indicates that IRCC is aiming to select candidates with exceptional qualifications and attributes in this particular round.
Category-Based Selection Draws
The category-based selection draws are a novel approach introduced within the Express Entry system, intended to target candidates in specific occupational fields or those possessing other in-demand attributes. The IRCC has outlined six new categories for which candidates may be eligible, including:
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Professions
- Agriculture and Agri-Food
- Strong French language proficiency
The possibility of category-based draws became feasible after amendments were made to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in June 2022. These changes granted the immigration minister the authority to invite economic immigrants based on specific attributes that align with Canada’s economic priorities or aim to promote the French language outside of Quebec.
What is Express Entry System?
The Express Entry system is a highly regarded application management process for selecting candidates seeking permanent residency in Canada. the comprehensive ranking system (CRS)score plays a major role as it helps in evaluating the human capital attributes of the applicant such as work experience, language proficiency, education, and age to name a few.
Managed within the Express Entry system are three primary programs:
Each program has distinct eligibility requirements but is evaluated using the same CRS system. The recent all-program draw, with its elevated CRS score requirement, demonstrates IRCC’s intent to select highly qualified candidates with exceptional attributes. The category-based selection draws have opened new avenues for specific occupational fields and aim to address Canada’s economic priorities. As aspiring immigrants prepare their Express Entry profiles, the competition is expected to be fierce, especially in the forthcoming healthcare and STEM draws. The Express Entry system continues to be a crucial pathway for skilled workers seeking to contribute to Canada’s diverse and thriving economy.