The First Express Entry Draw of 2023 Invited 5,500 Candidates

As part of the Express Entry program, Canada held its first draw of the year today and the first since November 23. There were 5,500 candidates invited by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) whose Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores were at least 507. All of these programs operate through the Express Entry system and offer candidates the opportunity to apply from the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), or the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).

With the largest all-program Express Entry draw since the program was revived last July, this is the largest number of ITAs issued. In the November 23 draw, 750 additional invitations were issued over the November 28 draw, which invited 4,750 candidates, with the CRS score increasing to a higher level than it has been since the September 28 draw.

Overview of Express Entry in 2022

A unique year for Express Entry was last year. According to Ministerial instructions for 2022, there were 46,538 ITAs issued to Express Entry candidates over the 23 draws held. There are many draws in this number that was exclusive to candidates who applied for Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) between January and July.

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From December 2020 onwards, the Express Entry all-program draws were halted for over 18 months due to a backlog of applications caused by COVID-19-related travel restrictions. As a result of this, only candidates from the CEC or PNP were issued invitations to apply (ITAs) during this period. However, in September 2021, IRCC also halted the draws for the CEC. During just the entire year, which began in July and continued until the end of the year, 35,750 ITAs were awarded for all programs.

There was a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 491 in the last Express Entry draw, which was the lowest score to qualify.

Express Entry is Getting Ready for Changes

A change in Express Entry is expected to take place in 2023 due to the changes to be made by IRCC in the second half of 2022. The National Occupation Classification (NOC) system, which was implemented by IRCC in November 2016, is an updated version of NOC 2016. To determine an Express Entry candidate’s skill level and profession, the National Occupation Classification (NOC) system is used.

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It has been decided by IRCC to move away from categorizing skills as 0-D level to a system based on training, education, experience, and responsibilities (TEER). The updated TEER has revised NOC 2016’s skill levels 0-E and created an equivalent of five TEERS, based on the updated TEER system. The NOC 2021 will allow 16 new occupations to become eligible to apply for Express Entry-managed economic immigration programs such as the FSWP and CEC, under the NOC.

If a candidate already submitted their profile to the IRCC Express Entry pool, they were invited to update their NOCs individually to the updated NOC 2021. The update must be done individually for each position (job) included in their IRCC profile. Candidates will not be able to receive an invitation to apply (ITA) if they fail to do so.

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According to the Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025 released by Canada on November 1, the number of candidates invited to Canada as permanent residents through Express Entry programs will also increase. By the year 2023, 82,880 immigrants will become permanent residents through Express Entry. This number will increase to 109,020 in 2024 and 114,000 in 2025. This is about one-fifth of Canada’s total permanent resident admissions goal.

It is important to emphasize the importance Canada places on economic immigration in the face of an ongoing labour shortage, reflecting the fact that immigration accounts for 90% of the growth in the Canadian labour force and approximately 75% of the growth in the Canadian population.

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