Canada’s Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently conducted its first Express Entry round of invitations in over a month, extending 3,200 invitations to candidates in an all-program draw. To receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA), candidates needed a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 531.
This pause in draws had left the Express Entry community in anticipation, as there had been numerous draws earlier in the summer due to the introduction of category-based selection rounds of invitations.
The hiatus followed the most recent all-program draw on August 15, in which 4,300 candidates received ITAs. IRCC had only explained this break once it confirmed on September 18 that Express Entry would resume during the current week.
In 2023, Canada has conducted a total of 15 all-program draws, four Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draws, three draws targeting French speakers, two aimed at healthcare occupations, one for STEM occupations, one for skilled trades, and one for Federal Skilled Worker candidates. This resulted in IRCC issuing a total of 80,948 ITAs in 2023, a significant increase compared to the 45,115 candidates invited in 2022.
What Is Express Entry?
Express Entry is a system designed to manage applications for three major economic immigration pathways in Canada: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class.
While each program has specific eligibility criteria, they use the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to assess and rank candidates. The CRS assigns scores based on language proficiency, age, work experience, occupation, and education. Candidates with the highest CRS scores are more likely to receive invitations to apply for permanent residency in Canada.
Express Entry candidates who have received a provincial nomination have an even higher chance of receiving an ITA because they automatically gain an additional 600 CRS points. This is advantageous as most Express Entry draws typically have CRS scores between 350 and 550, depending on the specific program or category.
One noteworthy development is the introduction of category-based selection. As of May 31, IRCC introduced six new categories eligible for category-based selection in Express Entry draws.
These categories include candidates with strong French-speaking abilities and work experience in healthcare, STEM professions, trades, transport, and agriculture/agri-food sectors.
IRCC began issuing invitations based on these categories on June 28, and eligible candidates must still be part of an Express Entry program. It remains essential for candidates to strive for higher CRS scores as IRCC continues to rank candidates against each other.
IRCC’s intention behind these new categories is to address critical job vacancies in high-demand sectors of Canada’s workforce and bolster the nation’s economy. These categories were selected from discussions with provincial governments, business associations, and other IRCC partners and stakeholders.
What Can Employers Do to Recruit Foreign Workers?
Employers are strongly encouraged to explore two key avenues for securing foreign talent and ensuring long-term retention: obtaining an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) or seeking nomination through provincial nomination programs (PNPs).
We offer Canadian employers comprehensive immigration legal services and facilitate the recruitment of foreign nationals. We aim to bring highly qualified candidates to Canada as efficiently as possible.
Our firm, recognized as a leader in Canada’s immigration industry with a robust online presence, can effectively assist employers across various sectors in meeting their recruitment and immigration needs.