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Canada Immigration: New Changes in Express Entry 2024 | IRCC


January 7th, 2024 at 06:00 am

Canada Immigration: New Changes in Express Entry 2024 | IRCC

In 2023, there was a major shift in Canada’s Express Entry system from immigration program-based drawings to occupation-based draws. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada authorities were allowed to target particular occupational groupings based on the new National Occupational System 2021, which was introduced a year earlier, for the first time in the history of the selection system.

This means that in addition to all program and Provincial Nominee Program drain rounds, draws were made specifically for jobs in the transportation, STEM, and healthcare industries, among other fields. The goal was to enable the flagship selection system to target particular places in Canada where shortages exist by making it more sensitive to the demands of the labor market.

Did it work?

The response is that it’s too soon to say, even though there have been a lot of changes in the quantity and kind of draws over the past year, particularly after the June 28th occupation-specific draw that targeted 500 healthcare workers.

Overview: Express Entry

The Canadian Immigration Authorities (IRCC) launched the Express Entry immigration system on January 1, 2015, to handle applications for skilled workers under federal economic programs. This covers the Canada Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs.

82 NOC codes in all, divided into five more general categories—Healthcare, STEM, Trades, Transportation, and Farming and Food—were included in the draws. Additionally, draws aimed at French speakers were added. This is not to suggest that program draws ceased in 2023; rather, they continued to account for the great majority of Invitations to Apply (ITAs), with the IRCC issuing the second-highest number of ITAs in a calendar year in the program’s history (11,266).

In comparison, just 46,538 ITAs were issued in 2022 as Canada attempted to clear a backlog of processing that had accrued during the COVID-19 epidemic. While it does not exist in the skilled worker class, there is still a backlog in some immigration categories. In terms of the total number of ITAs issued, 2023 trailed only 2021 by a little over 4,000.

Considering that 2021 saw a record-breaking individual draw with 27,332 ITAs for applicants in the Canadian Experience Class, this is all the more amazing. Officials from the IRCC postponed draws for November in 2023 despite the large amount of ITAs. The suspension was never explained in detail, and there was some conjecture as to whether there was a technological malfunction to blame.

Draws did, however, resume in December, and due to the large volume of ITAs, hundreds of them were issued in the lead-up to Christmas, including four draws in a single week at one point.

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Express Entry Draws Overview

The fact that 2023 produced three of the top ten quarters in Express Entry history is not surprising. The first quarter’s total of 37,558 invitations is the only one that approaches the 244,000+ quarters of 2021 during the IRCC’s coronavirus response. The third and fourth quarters of 2023 also rank eighth and tenth, respectively, in the top 10.

It makes sense that as long as Canada keeps raising its immigration targets, the number of ITAs will also climb. The number of draws in 2023 increased significantly as a result of the inclusion of occupation-specific draws. In the past, the Federal Skilled Trades Program and Provincial Nominee Program drawings were occasionally combined with Express Entry draws, which were nearly entirely composed of these programs.

This changed during the pandemic when the IRCC began to prioritize candidates who were already in Canada, leading to the Canadian Experience Class drawing becoming the majority category. However, Canada had nine distinct draw categories in 2023, each with a category specialized to a particular occupation. Among the nine was a first draw that was limited to applicants for the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

Before this, FSWP candidates had only received invitations as part of every program draw. The inclusion of so many distinct draw categories affected every program draw. With 76,700 ITAs issued during the year, it remained the leading category.

CRS Score Overview

With nearly all of the draws being all-program in the early part of the year, complete ranking system scores were still in the low 480s. The difference between the all-program drawings increased in June with the implementation of occupation-specific draws. Candidates who were included in occupation-specific drawings with lower minimum score scores were those who would have been chosen in all-program draws.

Consequently, there was a discernible pattern of lower CRS scores for all program draws during the year’s first half and higher CRS scores in the last six months. In contrast, there were just five PNP drawings with 4,396 chosen applicants in 2023. The minimum CRS scores varied from 691 to 791.

PNP draws typically result in greater scores for candidates since they receive an additional 600 points for their province nomination. PNP draws, in addition to their basic profile score, are probably going to decrease in frequency. Provinces are now holding their draws far more frequently as the Express Entry system develops, which lessens the requirement for PNP draws at the federal level. As occupation-specific draws gain traction, PNP draws may soon be obsolete for

Express Entry Draws 2023

The French speaker category saw the greatest draws out of all the new categories that were introduced in 2023. CRS ratings for the 8,700 invites sent out varied from 375 to 486. Given that it was the only non-occupation category added to the new draw categories, it is not surprising that Canada has a clear plan in place to boost the number of French speakers outside of Quebec.

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Healthcare Draws

5,600 invites were sent out for the healthcare drawings, with minimum scores ranging from 431 to 476. In a draw held on October 26, the IRCC invited 3,600 healthcare workers, resulting in the lowest score of 431. As healthcare draws go on, it will be crucial to observe the trend of CRS scores. The category encompasses a diverse range of professions, such as physicians, surgeons, and nurses.

STEM Draws

In 2023, there were only two STEM drawings, although 6,400 invites were sent out. On December 8, 5,900 invites were sent to STEM candidates who met the minimum score requirement of 481. With the increased need for STEM jobs in Canada, one should anticipate an increase in draws in this category over time.

Skill Trades Occupation-Specific Draws

Skill Trades: Particular to Occupation Not to be confused with drawings for the Federal Skilled Trades Program, which will be held twice in 2023 and require minimum CRS scores between 388 and 425. There are 2,500 invitations for skilled trade occupations in the drawings. Canada is in great demand for construction workers as it strives to develop enough homes to meet the country’s rising immigrant population’s housing shortage.

Transport Occupations

There is a major shortage of truck drivers in Canada, which is another type of transport occupation. With 1,670 ITAs issued, the two transport emphasis draws in 2023 each had a CRS score of 435.

Express Entry in 2024

The immigration levels plan for Canada from 2024 to 2026 calls for around 1.5 million new arrivals during the following three years. This implies that the number of invitations for Express Entry will only rise. Public opinion is a crucial factor in this, and by 2023, there are signs that it may be shifting away from accepting an excessive number of newcomers.

But it doesn’t appear like the enormous number of newbies will be decreasing very soon. With the greatest population growth of any G7 nation, Canada is usually predicted to see economic growth, a rise in invitations, and an increase in occupation-specific draws in 2024. Although it’s possible that some existing categories—like healthcare and STEM—may continue to expand, it’s more likely that new ones will be created and/or decreased.

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