Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently conducted its inaugural Express Entry draw focusing on agriculture and agri-food occupations, issuing 600 Invitations to Apply (ITAs). As a prerequisite, candidates must have a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 354.
IRCC’s strategic emphasis on candidates with expertise in the agriculture and agri-food sector, encompassing roles such as agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors, and retail and wholesale butchers, aims to attract skilled professionals crucial for nationwide growth.
In 2022, Canada’s agriculture and agri-food industry demonstrated its global significance by exporting nearly $92.8 billion in agricultural and food products.
This marks the third Express Entry draw of the week. On September 27, 500 candidates with a minimum CRS of 472 were invited from the French-speaking proficiency category. Additionally, on September 26, an all-program draw saw 3,000 candidates invited, requiring a minimum CRS of 504.
What is Express Entry?
Express Entry is a Canadian immigration system that manages applications for three federal economic immigration programs:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP): This program is for individuals with the necessary skills, education, work experience, and language abilities to contribute to the Canadian economy.
- Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP): This program is for skilled workers with experience in a specific trade occupation, as defined by the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system.
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC): This program is for individuals who have gained skilled work experience in Canada and wish to become permanent residents.
Here’s how Express Entry works:
- Creation of a Profile: Individuals interested in immigrating to Canada through Express Entry create an online profile. They provide information about their skills, work experience, language proficiency, education, and other relevant details.
- Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS): Each profile is assigned a CRS score based on various factors, including age, education, work experience, language proficiency, and other additional factors. The CRS is used to rank candidates against each other.
- Invitations to Apply (ITAs): The Canadian government conducts regular draws from the Express Entry pool. Candidates with the highest CRS scores are issued Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for permanent residence. In some cases, provinces and territories can also select candidates from the Express Entry pool through their Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).
- Application for Permanent Residence: Candidates who receive an ITA can then apply for permanent residence. They have a limited time to submit a complete application, including supporting documents.
- Processing and Approval: The applications are processed by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). If the application is approved, the individual and their family members become permanent residents of Canada.
Express Entry is designed to be a fast and efficient immigration system, and its goal is to select candidates who are most likely to succeed economically in Canada. The system allows Canada to manage and respond to labor market needs by attracting skilled workers who can contribute to economic growth.
What is Category-based Selection?
In May of this year, the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada) declared its intention to conduct Express Entry draws based on specific attributes rather than solely relying on the candidates’ overall CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) score.
This shift towards introducing categories followed a modification to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) in 2022, granting the immigration minister the authority to select Express Entry candidates likely to contribute to Canada’s economic growth and promote the French language outside Quebec.
In alignment with this objective, six new categories were established to prioritize in-demand occupations and newcomers with robust French language proficiency. The five occupation-based categories encompass Healthcare, STEM professions, Trades, Transport, Agriculture, and agri-food.
Commencing with the inaugural category-based draw for healthcare workers on June 28, IRCC has conducted draws for each category except Agriculture and agri-food. Notably, the highest number of category-based Invitations to Apply (ITAs), totaling 6,900, have been issued to candidates demonstrating strong French-language abilities.
Prospective immigrants seeking entry through category-based selection must be part of the Express Entry pool and meet a minimum CRS score.
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