BREAKING: IRCC invites 2,985 Express Entry candidates after month-long pause

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has issued invitations to apply (ITAs) in Canada’s most recent Express Entry draw.

The department issued 2,985 ITAs in a program-specific draw for candidates in the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

Candidates required a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 676 to be considered.

This was the first program-specific Express Entry draw since the introduction of category-based selection draws in June 2023. Program-specific draws consider only candidates from the Express Entry pool who have applied through a specific permanent residency program rather than inviting applicants from all programs, such as occurs in a general draw.

Today’s draw is also is the first since April 24 and follows a month-long pause in draws.

IRCC has not confirmed a reason for the pause. However, in a recent Access to Information Request, the department said all draws this year will occur on a predetermined schedule. IRCC has not made that schedule public. It also said draw size and frequency will be determined based on admissions targets in 2024 and 2025. Processing capacity may also influence draw frequency.

Before the pause, there were four draws throughout April. The first April draw invited 1,280 candidates in a general draw on April 10. The following day the department issued 4,500 ITAs to Express Entry candidates in a category-based selection draw for STEM occupations.

The remaining two draws took place on April 23 and 24. On the 23rd, IRCC invited 2,095 candidates in a general draw and 1,400 candidates in a French proficiency category-based selection draw on the 24th.

According to a recent Access to Information Request, French proficiency is expected to lead category-based selection draws in 2024. IRCC says this is due to the high rate of employment for bilingual candidates. The department also said French proficiency generally means these candidates have a higher CRS score and therefore a better chance of overall successful economic integration.

STEM occupations will have the second highest number of ITAs at 25%, healthcare occupations at 15%. Transport, trades and agriculture and agri-food categories will account for 5% or less of all ITAs issued in category-based draws this year.

The remaining 21.5% of ITAs was slated to be issued in general draws. Notably, no mention was made of program-specific draws.

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