IRCC invites 5,900 candidates in third Express Entry draw of the week

Edana Robitaille
Published: December 6, 2023

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has invited candidates in the third Express Entry draw of the week. 

The department issued 5,900 invitations to apply (ITAs) in a category-based selection draw for candidates with professional experience in STEM related professions.

Candidates required a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 481 to be considered. 

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Today’s draw is the third of the week. Yesterday, December 7th, IRCC invited 1,000 candidates with a CRS of 470, in a targeted draw for individuals with proficiency in French. The day before (Dec. 6th) 4,750 candidates with a CRS score of 561 were invited in an all-program draw.  

This week's draws were the first Express Entry draws in more than a month. The earliest draw prior took place on October 26 and invited 3,600 candidates with a CRS score of 431 in a category-based selection draw for healthcare occupations.  

On November 14, IRCC tweeted that candidates who had received ITAs in recent draws were unable to upload their final application to the Express Entry profile builder. A follow-up tweet two days later said the problem had been resolved but no reason was confirmed for the longer pause. 

Summary of Express Entry draws 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 category-based selection?

In May this year, IRCC announced it would begin holding category-based selection Express Entry rounds of invitations.

These draws target Express Entry candidates who meet the criteria for a specific attribute, such as French-language proficiency or have work experience in one of five occupations:

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

These are all occupations that are experiencing a shortage of skilled workers. The shortages are placing a strain on Canada’s economy and other key sectors such as the healthcare system and the supply chain.

Canada’s Immigration Minister, Marc Miller, says admitting more skilled workers is key to eliminating these shortages, especially as up to nine million Canadians are expected to retire by 2030. The current Immigration Levels Plan for 2023-2025 shows that there will be 114,000 Federal High Skilled (Express Entry) immigrations admitted to Canada each year by the end of 2025. A new Levels Plan is expected on or by November 1st.

Despite these high targets, in a recent meeting of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, it was noted that since Minister Miller took office, there has been a slowdown in the number of Express Entry draws.

Deputy Immigration Minister Christiane Fox says that when the new categories were launched, an IT glitch forced the department to reduce the number of draws and that the department will make up the numbers as they go forward.

The Deputy Minister also said that a category-based draw for skilled trades professionals will take place by December this year.

Since the first category-based draw in June Canada has invited candidates through category-based selection draws 12 times, totaling over 11,000 ITAs. All candidates were already in the Express Entry pool.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is an application management system that processes permanent residence applications from candidates in the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Canadian Experience Class and the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

Through Express Entry, candidates are evaluated using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The system does this by assigning points to candidates based on their collective human capital attributes. This includes factors such as work experience, language ability, occupation, education, and age. Each factor is worth a specific point value.

Candidates who obtain the highest score are the most likely to receive an invitation to apply (ITA). If a candidate receives an ITA, they then have 60 days to submit their final application for permanent residency to IRCC.

IRCC aims to process all Express Entry applications within six months.

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