IRCC invites 4,800 candidates in latest Express Entry draw

Edana Robitaille
Published: May 24, 2023

IRCC has invited candidates in the thirteenth Express Entry draw of 2023.

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued 4,800 invitations to apply (ITAs) to candidates in an all-program draw.

Candidates required a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System score of 488.

This was the first all-program draw since April 26. In an all-program draw, candidates are considered from all three programs managed under the Express Entry application management system:  the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), or the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).

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This draw follows the most recent draw on May 10 in which 589 candidates received ITAs in a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) specific draw. In a PNP only draw, candidates are only considered if they are in the Express Entry pool and have also been nominated by a Canadian province.

Express Entry in 2023

Express Entry throughout 2023 has not yet established a strong pattern in terms of the number of candidates invited, the frequency of draws or even the type of draw.

January draws followed the pre-pandemic pattern of being two weeks apart and inviting candidates from all programs. This changed in February when IRCC held four program-specific draws between February 1 and March 1. February also saw the very first program-specific draw for the FSWP.

There were three draws in February, and one draw each week in March. Over 21,000 candidates were invited throughout March. This was the second-highest number of ITAs issued in one month in Express Entry history.

April resumed the pre-pandemic pattern of one all-program draw every two weeks.

Later this year, it is expected that IRCC will begin holding draws that target Express Entry candidates on specific attributes rather than a high CRS score. This became possible when Bill C-19 received Royal Assent in June 2022.

The Bill will give Canada’s immigration minister the authority to invite candidates who can best support Canada in its economic goals by easing the pressure in specific sectors caused by chronic labour shortages.

Express Entry draws are totally at the discretion of IRCC and the immigration minister. According to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, there is no rule to say when draws will occur, from which program, the number of candidates or the minimum CRS cut-off score. Put another way, there is no obligation for IRCC to follow a pattern or even hold draws at all if the minister does not deem it necessary.

What is Express Entry?

The Express Entry application management system oversees three Canadian economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class.

Candidates in these programs are evaluated using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The system assigns scores to candidates based on human capital factors such as language ability, education, work experience, occupation, and age. Those who receive the highest scores are the most likely to get an invitation to apply for permanent residency.

According to the Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025, Canada will admit over 82,000 new permanent residents through a Federal High Skilled immigration program (Express Entry) by the end of 2023.

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