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IRCC has issued invitations to 7,000 Express Entry candidates through a draw that focuses on French language proficiency

Express Entry Draw

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Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has issued invitations to apply (ITAs) in the latest Express Entry draw.

The department invited 7,000 candidates in category-based  selection draw for candidates with French language proficiency.

Candidates required a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 365. The lowest minimum CRS score of the year so far.

This marks the second draw of the week, following the January 31 draw, where 730 candidates received invitations in a general draw, requiring a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 541.

In January, there were two additional draws. The first, on January 23, invited 1,040 candidates in a general draw with a minimum CRS score of 543. The second draw, which occurred on January 10, was also a general draw and extended invitations to 1,510 candidates with a CRS score of 546.

As we navigate through 2024, it remains premature to predict the pattern of Express Entry draws for the rest of the year. In 2023, IRCC conducted 42 draws, issuing Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to over 110,000 candidates. These draws aimed to support the Immigration Levels Plan’s targets for both 2023 and 2024, highlighting the dynamic nature of Canada‘s immigration strategy.

Changes to Post Graduation Work Permits

Numerous Express Entry candidates acquire the necessary work experience for their programs through employment in Canada after completing their studies at a Canadian post-secondary institution. A prevalent avenue for recent graduates is the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).

As of January 22, IRCC has introduced modifications to the eligibility criteria for PGWPs. Starting from September 1, international students enrolled in programs at private colleges involved in curriculum licensing agreements with public colleges will no longer qualify for a PGWP.

Furthermore, graduate-level students enrolled in programs that fall short of the mandatory eight-month requirement will now be eligible for a three-year Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). Presently, graduates with programs shorter than eight months are ineligible for a PGWP, and the permit’s duration is closely linked to the length of the graduate’s academic program. For instance, a one-year program currently corresponds to a one-year permit.

This adjustment expands opportunities for more graduate-level students to accumulate significant work experience in Canada, enhancing their eligibility to apply for a spot in the Express Entry application pool.

What is Express Entry?

The Express Entry application management system oversees applications for three of Canada’s major economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).

Candidates in these programs receive a score through the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), which considers human capital attributes like work experience, education, age, occupation, and language proficiency. For instance, individuals aged 20-29 are awarded 100 CRS points, with diminishing points allocated for older age groups.

In May 2023, IRCC introduced category-based selection draws for Express Entry candidates with demonstrated work experience in in-demand occupations. These include candidates with strong French-language proficiency and those falling into five occupation-based categories:

Healthcare occupations

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions

Trades occupations, such as carpenters, plumbers, and contractors

Transport occupations

Agriculture and agri-food occupations

The Express Entry application process involves multiple steps. Firstly, applicants self-assess their eligibility for one of the Express Entry programs, each with its own specific criteria. The second step involves creating a profile in the Express Entry pool and obtaining a CRS score. Subsequently, candidates await an invitation to apply, which is extended through an Express Entry draw.

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