In an email to CIC News, an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) spokesperson has confirmed that there have been IT issues in the Express Entry system following the implementation of National Occupation Classification (NOC) 2021. This includes Express Entry candidates who are in the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP).
While IRCC says the department is closely examining these issues and working to resolve them, no timeline has been given for such resolutions.
IRCC says they will update candidates as more information becomes available.
IRCC says they are aware that clients are being informed by the system that they meet the Minimum Entry Criteria (MEC) of the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) even if, in some instances, they do not have sufficient Canadian work experience.
Due to this error, a number of ITAs were incorrectly issued to candidates, including some PNP candidates, during the November 23rd round of invitations.
The system error has also had an impact on PNP candidates who are attempting to update their Express Entry profile to reflect the move to NOC 2021.
Synthetic code 93888 is rendering some Express Entry profiles ineligible to receive ITAs. This synthetic code was generated by IRCC as a workaround to ensure these applicants could continue to be assessed under NOC 2016.
It is unknown whether these IT issues were related to the missed Express Entry draw last week on December 7.
CIC News has reached out to IRCC to discover what the system error could mean for candidates going forward and when Express Entry draws are expected to resume.
Following an 18 month pause from December 2020, all-program Express Entry draws resumed in July this year. Since draws started again, IRCC has been inviting candidates every two weeks on Wednesdays.
The expected draw on December 7 did not take place and was accompanied by potential candidates voicing frustration on social media.
IRCC ministerial instructions state that draws will occur “about every two weeks.” However, while to date they have taken place regularly on Wednesdays, there is no law that outlines how frequently draws will occur or on which day. It is entirely up to the discretion of IRCC.
Canada has invited more candidates with each draw. There have been eleven draws since July. The two most recent draws on November 9 and November 23 invited 4,750 candidates.
The first draw on July 6 invited 1500 candidates with CRS scores of 557. Since then, the CRS scores have declined with each draw to the most recent of 491 on November 23.
On November 16, 2022, IRCC officially made the transition from NOC 2016 to NOC 2021.
Under NOC 2016, Express Entry candidates required work experience classified under NOC skill types 0, A or B. IRCC’s shift to NOC 2021 has shifted to the Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) system.
This change was intended to update the old NOC system with a new NOC and Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) system that will aid Canada in the following four objectives: gaining a better understanding of Canada’s labour market; improving its occupational forecasting; performing better analysis of national labour supply and demand and providing Canadians and foreign nationals alike with more targeted and specialized job training/skill development.
Candidates who have a profile already submitted to the IRCC Express Entry pool were invited to switch their NOCs to the new NOC 2021 independently. Such update must be done for each position (job) included in the IRCC profile. Failure to do so will disqualify candidates from receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA).
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