The Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently conducted the thirteenth Express Entry draw of 2023, extending invitations to eligible candidates. A total of 4,800 candidates were selected through an all-program draw, which encompasses the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).
To qualify for consideration, candidates needed to achieve a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System score of 488. Notably, this draw marked the first all-program selection since April 26, signifying a significant opportunity for candidates across various immigration programs to pursue their Canadian immigration goals.
By employing a comprehensive approach, the IRCC aims to attract skilled individuals from diverse backgrounds and professional experiences, contributing to the Canadian labor market and fostering economic growth.
In the most recent draw on May 10, a total of 589 candidates received Invitations to Apply (ITAs) through a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) specific draw. Candidates considered in this draw must be part of the Express Entry pool and have obtained a nomination from a Canadian province. This selection process exclusively targets individuals who have received endorsements from specific provinces, ensuring a close alignment between their skills and the economic needs of the respective regions.
Express Entry in 2023
In 2023, the Express Entry system has yet to demonstrate a consistent pattern regarding the frequency, quantity, or type of draws conducted.
During the month of January, draws maintained a familiar pre-pandemic pattern, occurring approximately every two weeks and extending invitations to candidates from all programs. However, the landscape shifted in February, as the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) organized four program-specific draws between February 1 and March 1. Notably, February witnessed the inaugural program-specific draw exclusively targeting candidates in the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP).
This evolution in the conduct of draws highlights the flexibility and adaptability of the Express Entry system, as it adjusts to the evolving needs and priorities of the Canadian immigration landscape. The IRCC continues to explore different approaches to selecting candidates, ensuring that the system remains responsive to the ever-changing dynamics of immigration requirements and program-specific demands.
In February, there were three draws conducted, followed by one draw per week throughout March. The month of March witnessed the invitation of over 21,000 candidates, marking the second-highest number of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) issued in a single month in the history of Express Entry.
April saw a return to the familiar pre-pandemic pattern, with one all-program draw taking place every two weeks.
Looking ahead, it is anticipated that the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will introduce draws targeting specific attributes of Express Entry candidates, rather than solely relying on high Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores. This shift became possible with the enactment of Bill C-19, which received Royal Assent in June 2022. This legislative change paves the way for a more nuanced selection process that considers various factors beyond CRS scores, allowing for a more comprehensive and inclusive approach to candidate invitations.
The Bill grants the immigration minister of Canada the power to invite candidates who can effectively contribute to the country's economic objectives by alleviating labor shortages in specific sectors.
Express Entry draws are entirely discretionary and fall within the purview of the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the immigration minister. As per the provisions outlined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, there are no specific regulations dictating the timing, program selection, number of candidates, or minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) cut-off scores for draws. In other words, IRCC is not obligated to adhere to any predetermined pattern or even conduct draws if the minister deems it unnecessary.
This flexibility allows the IRCC to respond dynamically to the evolving needs of the Canadian labor market and make strategic decisions in selecting candidates who align with the country's economic priorities. By exercising discretion, the immigration minister can prioritize sectors experiencing chronic labor shortages and invite candidates who possess the skills and qualifications to address those specific needs effectively.
What is Express Entry?
The Express Entry application management system plays a crucial role in overseeing three prominent Canadian economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class.
To evaluate candidates in these programs, the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is employed. The CRS utilizes various human capital factors such as language proficiency, educational background, work experience, occupation, and age to assign scores to candidates. Those with the highest scores have a greater likelihood of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residency in Canada.
In alignment with the Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025, the Canadian government aims to welcome over 82,000 new permanent residents through the Federal High Skilled immigration program (Express Entry) by the conclusion of 2023. This commitment reflects Canada's ongoing efforts to attract and integrate skilled individuals who can contribute to the country's economic growth and long-term prosperity.