Canada Express Entry 2023
2023 has witnessed significant changes in the Canada express entry system.
During the initial half of 2023, Express Entry continued to exhibit patterns reminiscent of those established in 2022 following the resumption of draws after an 18-month pause. Draws encompassed all programs, exclusively for the Provincial Nominee Program, or, in a singular instance, solely for Federal Skilled Workers in Express Entry 2023.
Draws were typically scheduled every two weeks, although occasionally occurring more frequently. Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) extended invitations to over 21,000 Express Entry candidates across four draws in March 2023, marking the second-highest monthly invitation count ever recorded.
Category-based selection rounds of invitations
In May, six additional categories for Canada Express Entry draws were introduced by IRCC. This development was anticipated in light of a modification to the Immigrant and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) in June 2022, granting the immigration minister the discretion to issue Invitations to Apply (ITAs) based on specific attributes rather than solely relying on an overall high Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.
These novel categories are designed to focus on candidates possessing attributes that align with IRCC’s objectives of promoting French proficiency outside of Quebec and leveraging immigration to enhance Canada’s labour force and economic strength.
The newly introduced categories were:
- Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions
- Trades, such as carpenters, plumbers, and contractors
- Agriculture and agri-food
- Strong French proficiency
On June 28, the first category-based draw invited 500 healthcare professionals to submit their applications. Subsequently, IRCC has extended invitations to over 16,000 Express Entry candidates using this category-based selection process.
Express Entry Draw types
Out of the 42 express entry draws conducted in 2023, the predominant share comprised all-program draws, inclusive of candidates from the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class. Notably, no Invitations to Apply (ITAs) were extended to candidates from the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) throughout the year.
To break it down, 19 of the Express Entry draws were all-program, 5 exclusively targeted Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates, one was solely for the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP), and the remaining 17 adopted a category-based selection approach.
Recent data from IRCC reveals that a significant majority of Express Entry candidates who obtained Invitations to Apply (ITAs) between January and September 2023 fell within the CRS score range of 451-500, constituting 26,070 individuals. Additionally, 11,640 candidates had scores ranging from 501-600, while another 12,590 boasted CRS scores between 900 and 1,200, the maximum possible score. These candidates likely received a nomination through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), which contributes 600 CRS points to their existing score.
Analyzing draw types, the lowest CRS for an all-program draw occurred on March 29, with a score of 481, resulting in 7,000 candidates receiving ITAs. Conversely, the highest CRS for an all-program draw was 561 on December 6, with 4,750 candidates securing ITAs.
For draws exclusive to the Provincial Nominee Program, the highest CRS score reached 791 on February 15 in a draw for 699 candidates, while the lowest was 691 on May 10 in a draw for 589 PNP candidates.
A singular draw for Federal Skilled Workers occurred on February 2, with a minimum CRS score of 489, and it invited 3,300 candidates.
In the category-based selection rounds, the lowest score was recorded for candidates in the only draw for agriculture and agri-food occupations, registering a score of 354 on September 28. IRCC extended invitations to 600 candidates.
For category-based draws with the highest scores in 2023, two instances occurred. On July 5, 500 candidates in STEM occupations received ITAs with a minimum score of 486. Subsequently, on October 25, 300 French-language proficiency candidates secured ITAs in a draw with the same minimum score.
Frequency of draws
Between January and June, Express Entry draws were consistently held every two weeks, occasionally even weekly. The introduction of category-based selection draws added an element of unpredictability to the timing of ITA issuances by IRCC. However, ministerial instructions indicate a trend since July, where one week each month witnesses three or four distinct Express Entry draws occurring between Tuesday and Thursday.
The peak in draw frequency occurred in December, featuring seven draws spanning from December 6 to 21. The second-highest volume was observed in five draws from July 4 to 12, while September also hosted five draws over two weeks. October saw four draws, with three of them concentrated within a single week.
A gap in draws was noted between October 26 and December 6. IRCC did not officially confirm the reason behind this pause, leaving room for speculation about potential factors such as persistent IT glitches, staffing challenges, or the department having already met the Express Entry targets outlined for the year in the Immigration Levels Plan.
What to expect in 2024 Canada Express entry?
As per the recently disclosed Immigration Levels Plan for 2024-2026, Canada aims to admit 110,000 new permanent residents through Canada Express Entry in 2024.
In the preceding year, IRCC set a target of 82,880 Express Entry candidates for admission in 2023. Spanning from the first draw on January 11 to the December 21 draw, the department issued 110,266 Invitations to Apply (ITAs).
It’s important to note that the issuance of ITAs doesn’t guarantee immediate admission, as the processing of an Canada Express Entry application by IRCC can take up to six months. Consequently, several ITAs issued in 2023 may count as admissions in 2024. Additionally, the minister holds the authority to alter the existing categories for category-based selection based on the outcomes of IRCC’s annual report to Parliament and feedback from stakeholders, including provincial and territorial governments and settlement services.
These stakeholders are well-positioned to assess how Canada Express Entry candidates integrate into the local labour force and economy and whether they successfully secure employment in their respective fields. Should the minister determine that the current categories fall short of fulfilling IRCC’s mandate to invite candidates most likely to contribute to Canada’s economy, there is a possibility of creating a different set of categories.
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If you have any inquiries or concerns regarding the Canada Express entry, don’t hesitate to contact Matrixx Overseas. Stay informed about the latest express entry draws by visiting our website and exploring relevant articles. If you are ready to start your Canada immigration journey, reach out to the best immigration consultants in Kochi, and let us turn your dreams into reality.