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IRCC Plan Targets For Category-Based Express Entry Invitations

Express Entry Invitations

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A recent report from the Globe and Mail has provided further insights into Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) plans for the Express Entry category-based selection targets in 2023. 

The IRCC introduced category-based Express Entry draws in late June, encompassing six categories strategically chosen to fulfill distinct economic objectives.

Based on data obtained from the IRCC, the Globe and Mail reveals that the emphasis on recruiting professionals in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) will be significantly heightened. 

Notably, it is anticipated that a substantial portion, ranging from 28 percent to 31 percent, of the invitations issued through the Express Entry system this year will be extended to individuals with recent experience in specific STEM roles, such as software developers and data scientists.

Up to now, only one round of invitations targeting STEM professionals has taken place, with 500 applicants being selected.

The target set for STEM occupations is notably higher than the other occupational categories. The target range for candidates possessing French language proficiency is between 11 percent and 15 percent. 

Within the healthcare sector, the target is set at nine percent to 12 percent for specific occupations, while trades are allocated a range of three percent to four percent. Transportation and agriculture occupations are assigned lower targets, with one percent to two percent each.

What is Category-Based Express Entry Selection?

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has recently initiated a series of selection draws for Express Entry candidates based on different categories. 

The focus of these draws is directed towards Express Entry candidates who exhibit a strong command of the French language or possess work experience in the subsequent fields:

  1. Healthcare
  2. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions
  3. Trades encompassing roles such as carpenters, plumbers, and contractors
  4. Transportation
  5. Agriculture and agri-food

These categories were selected after a comprehensive public consultation process that garnered 289 responses from diverse stakeholders nationwide. The decision was also informed by labor market projections and input provided by IRCC partners, provinces, and territories.

Since the introduction of these category-based draws, three draws targeting candidates with proficiency in the French language have been conducted. 

These draws have resulted in the invitation of 6,900 applicants to apply for permanent residence. Additionally, two draws focusing on healthcare occupations have invited 2,000 applicants, while a single draw targeting trades occupations has invited 1,500 applicants to apply for permanent residence.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is the system employed by IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada) to oversee the applications of skilled workers aspiring to attain permanent residency in Canada. 

This system manages three distinct programs:

  • The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  • The Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  • The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

Upon submission of a candidate’s profile through Express Entry, individuals are ranked according to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The CRS functions as a points-based framework, evaluating candidates based on age, education, language proficiency, work history, etc. 

From the pool of Express Entry candidates, the Canadian government selects those with the highest CRS scores and extends Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for permanent residency.

Express Entry encompasses three types of selection draws:

  1. General rounds of invitation: IRCC extends invitations to individuals with the most competitive CRS scores, inviting them to apply for permanent residency.
  2. Program-specific rounds of invitation: IRCC invites individuals with the highest CRS scores eligible for a particular Express Entry program, aligning with the specific program’s criteria.
  3. Category-based rounds of invitation: IRCC invites individuals with the highest CRS scores who meet the eligibility requirements for specific categories established by IRCC. These categories are designed to advance specific economic objectives.

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