Express Entry: Canada has first ever draw for transport occupations

Edana Robitaille
Published: September 19, 2023

IRCC has held its first ever Express Entry draw for transport occupations.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has held its second Express Entry draw this week.

On September 20, IRCC invited 1,000 candidates in transport occupations to apply for permanent residence. The minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score required to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) was 435.

On September 19, IRCC also issued 3,200 invitations to candidates in an all-program  draw. The minimum CRS score was 531.

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First-ever Express Entry draw for transport occupations

Today’s draw was the first-ever category-based selection draw for Express Entry candidates with work-experience in a transport occupation. IRCC is targeting transport occupations due to an urgent labour shortage within this sector.

“The transportation sector is crucial to our economy, and if we want to keep things moving, we need to invest in the people that move travelers and transport our goods,” says Minister of Transport Pablo Rodriguez.  “With this new initiative, we are helping address a critical skills shortage while also attracting new, talented people to communities across Canada. Truck drivers, pilots, aviation mechanical engineers and seafarers play a critical role in our economy and Canadians’ lives. Filling vacancies in these professions will boost economic growth and create stronger and more resilient supply chains.”

There were more Express Entry draws this summer than in previous years due to the introduction of category-based selection rounds of invitations. However, until this week a draw has not taken place since August 15 in which 4,300 candidates received ITAs in an all-program draw. IRCC has not provided an explanation for the pause in draws. 

Summary of Express Entry draw results since June 2023

DateDraw TypeNumber of ITAsMinimum CRS
Dec 19Trade occupations1,000425
Dec 18All-program1,325542
Dec 8STEM occupations5,900481
Dec 7French language proficiency1,000470
Dec 6All-program4,750561
Oct 26Healthcare occupations3,600431
Oct 25French language proficiency300486
Oct 24PNP-only1,548776
Oct 10All-program3,725500
Sept 28Agriculture and agri-food occupations600354
Sept 27French language proficiency500472
Sept 26All-program3,000504
Sept 20Transport occupations1,000435
Sept 19All-program3,200531
Aug 15All-program4,300496
Aug 3Trade occupations1,500388
Aug 2French language proficiency800435
Aug 1All-program2,000517
July 12French language proficiency3,800375
July 11All-program 800505
July 7French language proficiency2,300439
July 6Healthcare occupations1500463
July 5STEM occupations500486
July 4All-program 700511
June 28Healthcare occupations500476
June 27All-program4,300486
June 8All-program4,800486

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is an application management system for three of Canada’s most prominent economic immigration pathways: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program and the Canadian Experience Class.

Each Express Entry program has different eligibility criteria, but they all use the Comprehensive Ranking System to evaluate candidates and rank them alongside each other. It does this by assigning scores for individual human capital factors such as language ability, age, work experience, occupation, and education. Those with the highest CRS scores are the most likely to receive invitations to apply for status as a permanent resident in Canada.

Express Entry candidates who have received a provincial nomination are even more likely to receive an ITA. This is because Express Entry candidates who are also in the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) automatically receive an additional 600 CRS points. This is advantageous because most Express Entry draws have a CRS score that ranges from 350-550, depending on the program or category.

Category-based selection

On May 31, IRCC introduced six new categories that may be eligible for category-based selection Express Entry draws. One is for Express Entry candidates who have strong French-speaking ability and the other five are for candidates who have work experience in one of the following sectors:

• Healthcare;
• STEM professions;
• Trades;
• Transport; and
• Agriculture and agri-food

On June 28, IRCC issued the first category-based selection invitations to candidates who had experience in a healthcare profession. Since then, there have been draws for those in STEM professions, trades and candidates with proficiency in French.

Eligible candidates for an ITA through category–based selection must still be in an Express Entry program, and it is advantageous to get as high a CRS score as possible as IRCC will still be ranking candidates against each other.

IRCC has said that the new categories will help Canada fill urgent job vacancies in in-demand sectors of Canada’s workforce and help strengthen the economy. The categories were chosen following discussions with provincial governments, business associations and other IRCC partners and stakeholders.

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