Canada invites candidates in the first Express Entry draw of 2024

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has issued invitations in the first Express Entry draw of the year.

The department invited 1,510 candidates to apply in a general draw.

They required a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 546.

A general draw considers candidates from all Express Entry managed programs including the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). No occupations or other human capital attributes are targeted.

The four most recent draws took place from from December 18-21. The all-program draw on December 18 invited 1,325 candidates with a minimum CRS of 524.

The remaining three draws were for candidates who fit the criteria for category-based selection in one of the six possible categories. The December 19 draw invited 1,000 candidates in a category-based draw for trades occupations with a minimum CRS of 425 and the December 20 invited 670 candidates in transport occupations. Candidates needed a CRS score of at least 435.

On December 21, 400 candidates in agriculture and agri-food occupations received ITAs. They required a minimum CRS score of 386.

IRCC also held three draws between December 6-8. The December 6 draw was all-program, December 7 was for candidates who were eligible under the category for French-language proficiency and the December 8 draw invited candidates in STEM occupations.

In total, there were seven Express Entry draws in December. This is the most Express Entry draws in one month for all of 2023. It followed a six-week pause that lasted from October 26 until the December 6 draw. IRCC did not confirm a reason for the pause.

What will Express Entry look like in 2024?

The Immigration Levels Plan 2024-2026, shows that Canada will admit 110,000 new permanent residents through Express Entry in 2024.

This is a jump from the 82,880 Express Entry candidates IRCC targeted in 2023. Still, the high target does not necessarily mean that all the candidates invited in 2024 will be admitted before the year’s end. Some, especially those invited later in the year, will arrive in 2025. This is because IRCC has a service standard of six months to issue a final decision on Express Entry applications for permanent residency.

IRCC issued more than 100,000 ITAs to Express Entry candidates in 2023.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is an application management system that oversees the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Canadian Experience Class and the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

These three economic immigration programs use the Comprehensive Ranking System to assign a score to candidates based on their human capital attributes. This includes factors such as language ability, education, work experience, occupation, and age. Each attribute is assigned a score and candidates are ranked against each other.

Express Entry candidates in any of the three programs may also receive ITAs in a category-based selection draw that targets a specific attribute. This type of draw was introduced in May 2023 and features six categories:

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

Regardless of the program or the type of draw, those with the highest CRS score are the most likely to receive an ITA in an upcoming Express Entry draw.

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