Canada holds first Express Entry draw since October 2023

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has invited candidates in the most recent Express Entry draw.

The department issued 4,750 invitations to apply (ITAs) in an all-program draw.

Candidates required a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 561 to be considered.

This is the first draw since October 26. On November 14 IRCC tweeted that some applicants were experiencing issues using the Express Entry Profile Builder and are unable to submit their application.

On November 16, the department followed up with a tweet saying the issue has been resolved. It’s unclear it was the reason for the extended gap in draws.

In the most recent draw, 3,600 candidates were issued ITAs on October 26 in a category-based selection draw for healthcare occupations. Candidates required a minimum CRS score of 431.

There were two additional draws the same week. On October 25, IRCC invited 300 candidates in a category-based selection draw for those who demonstrate French-speaking proficiency. They needed a minimum CRS score of 486 to be considered.

The remaining draw took place on October 24. IRCC issued invitations to 1,548 candidates in a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)-only draw. Candidates required a minimum score of 776. Express Entry candidates who are nominated through the PNP automatically receive an additional 600 CRS points, which causes the minimum CRS for this type of draw to be higher.

What is category-based selection?

In May this year, IRCC announced it would begin holding category-based selection Express Entry rounds of invitations.

These draws target Express Entry candidates who meet the criteria for a specific attribute, such as French-language proficiency or have work experience in one of five occupations:

  • Healthcare;
  • STEM professions;
  • Trades;
  • Transport;
  • Agriculture and agri-food

These are all occupations that are experiencing a shortage of skilled workers. The shortages are placing a strain on Canada’s economy and other key sectors such as the healthcare system and the supply chain.

Canada’s Immigration Minister, Marc Miller, says admitting more skilled workers is key to eliminating these shortages, especially as up to nine million Canadians are expected to retire by 2030. The current Immigration Levels Plan for 2023-2025 shows that there will be 114,000 Federal High Skilled (Express Entry) immigrations admitted to Canada each year by the end of 2025. A new Levels Plan is expected on or by November 1st.

Despite these high targets, in a recent meeting of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, it was noted that since Minister Miller took office, there has been a slowdown in the number of Express Entry draws.

Deputy Immigration Minister Christiane Fox says that when the new categories were launched, an IT glitch forced the department to reduce the number of draws and that the department will make up the numbers as they go forward.

The Deputy Minister also said that a category-based draw for skilled trades professionals will take place by December this year.

Since the first category-based draw in June Canada has invited candidates through category-based selection draws 12 times, totaling over 11,000 ITAs. All candidates were already in the Express Entry pool.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is an application management system that processes permanent residence applications from candidates in the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Canadian Experience Class and the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

Through Express Entry, candidates are evaluated using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The system does this by assigning points to candidates based on their collective human capital attributes. This includes factors such as work experience, language ability, occupation, education, and age. Each factor is worth a specific point value.

Candidates who obtain the highest score are the most likely to receive an invitation to apply (ITA). If a candidate receives an ITA, they then have 60 days to submit their final application for permanent residency to IRCC.

IRCC aims to process all Express Entry applications within six months.

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