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IRCC: New Criteria for Express Entry Draws

Published on : January 19, 2023


Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) plans to change the eligibility criteria for express entry draws. Recently, IRCC consulted the public and stakeholders with advice to revise the key factors to determine eligibility for Express Entry candidates.

The department prefers to select Express Entry candidates based on educational background, work experience, and French language ability. The Express Entry requirements are not based on a mere Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Going forward, the new requirements of Express Entry are viewed as an effective system that aids in selecting the right candidates. The revised key attributes are to meet Canada's economic needs and cover the labour shortages.

In the future, IRCC will preferably invite Express Entry candidates considering their occupational background, sectors that are suffering from labour shortages, temporary foreign workers, international students in Canada, and the French language proficiency of candidates.

Express Entry offers three immigration pathways - Federal Skilled Worker Program, Canadian Experience Class, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program. At present, Express Entry eligibility is based on the CRS score. Candidates with the highest CRS score receive the invitation to apply (ITA).

What are considerable categories of future Express Entry Draws?

1. Candidates with work experience in a specific occupation or sector

IRCC targets to collect the workforce to cover the labour shortage of a particular occupation or sector. Respondents received instructions to detect the areas of labour shortage in the long term. Based on the analysis, IRCC will contribute to Canada’s economy through immigration.

Between 2019 to 2021, the candidates from the following occupation received the invitation to apply:

  • food service supervisors
  • administrative assistants
  • financial auditors and accountants
  • retail sales supervisors
  • software engineers and designers
  • professional occupations in advertising, marketing, and public relations
  • cooks
  • computer programmers and interactive media developers
  • information systems analysts and consultants
  • user support technicians
  • restaurant and food service managers
  • administrative officers

2. International students in Canada

IRCC sees international graduates as a potential category for Express Entry selection as they would be proficient in at least one official language. Additionally, they hold Canadian educational qualifications.

In 2021, 88,000+ international graduates became permanent residents through Express Entry 2021 - which 80% increase in permanent residence since 2017.

3. Temporary foreign workers in Canada

As per stakeholders, the current immigration programs are failing to meet Canada's labour force needs. Immigrants with Canadian work experience are visibly contributing to the market with their flexible skills when needed.

In 2021, around 1,68,000 foreign workers transitioned to permanent residence, which represents 64% of the economic immigration category.

4. French and bilingual proficiency

IRCC plans to invite the Express Entry candidates based on French-speaking and bilingual ability. Canada will implement the Francophone Immigration Strategy of 2019 - the target of the strategy is to select 4.4% of new immigrants excluding Quebec with French-speaking proficiency by 2023.

Between 2017 to 2021, only 30,000 immigrants chose to settle outside Quebec. Selecting more candidates with francophone immigration can help Canada to cover the labour shortage in sectors where French speaking is mandatory.

Why is the Canadian government focusing on immigration?

Recently, the Minister issued a mandate letter underlining the government's priorities. The underlined objectives by the immigration body are:

  • Filling the chronic labour shortage in required occupations and sectors,
  • Focus on Francophone immigration and economic growth in Francophone minority communities

To fulfill these goals, Bill C-19 was issued in June 2022. The bill says the immigration minister can invite Express Entry candidates based on the revised key attributes for the betterment of Canada’s economy. It is no that IRCC will eliminate CRS for Express Entry - candidates who meet the requirements will be ranked as per CRS scores and the candidates with the highest scores will receive the invitation to apply.

Quick update on Express Entry

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Topics: Canada




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