IRCC invites Express Entry candidates in fourth draw of the week

Edana Robitaille
Published: December 18, 2023

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has issued invitations to apply (ITAs) in the fourth Express Entry draw of the week. 

The department invited 400 candidates to apply in category-based selection draw for candidates in agriculture and agri-food occupations.

Candidates needed a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 386 to be eligible for an ITA.

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This draw follows three others this week on December 18, 19 and 20. The December 18 draw was all-program and invited 1,325 candidates with a minimum CRS of 542. 

On December 19, IRCC invited 1,000 candidates in the second category-based draw for trades occupations this year. Candidates required a minimum CRS score of 425. The first such draw took place on August 3 and invited 1,500 candidates. 

Finally, on December 20, IRCC issued invitations to 670 candidates in a category-based selection draw for transport occupations. Candidates needed a CRS score of at least 435. 

IRCC also invited candidates in three draws last week. On December 8, 5,900 candidates  with a minimum CRS of 481 received invitations in a category-based selection draw for candidates in STEM occupations. December 7th additionally saw a category-based draw for individuals with French language proficiency, inviting 1,000 candidates from the Express Entry pool with a minimum CRS of 470.

There was also an all-program draw on December 6 for candidates with a minimum CRS of 561. It was the first draw to take place in over a month. Before that, the most recent draw was a category-based selection draw for candidates in healthcare occupations on October 26.

IRCC did not confirm a cause for the temporary pause in draws although on November 14 the department tweeted that there was an IT issue with the Express Entry profile builder for candidates who had received an ITA and were trying to upload their final application to IRCC’s website.

Two days later on November 16, the department reported that the glitch had been fixed but draws did not immediately resume as was widely expected.

There are many possible reasons IRCC may delay an Express Entry draw, such as if they are already on track to meet targets for Express Entry candidates set out in the Immigration Levels Plan, IT issues, staffing changes, or updates to the Comprehensive Ranking System.

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 Express Entry?

Express Entry is an application management system that oversees three prominent economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).

Express Entry uses the Comprehensive Ranking System to evaluate candidates based on their human capital factors and then assigns a score. Human capital factors could include work experience, language ability, education, age and occupation.

Those with the highest CRS score are the most likely to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence in an upcoming Express Entry draw.

Once a candidate receives an ITA, they can then submit their application to IRCC. The department has a service standard of six months for processing Express Entry applications and issuing a final decision.

What is category-based selection?

Last May IRCC announced that it was introducing category-based selection rounds of invitations for Express Entry candidates.

Through these new rounds, IRCC targets candidates who have a specific, in-demand attribute that the immigration minister believes will help strengthen Canada’s workforce and economy. Among the six categories, one targets Express Entry candidates who demonstrate French language proficiency. The remaining five are for candidates who have work experience in a sector that is currently experiencing a labour shortage in Canada including:

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

ITAs issued in category-based selection rounds will count toward the targets for Federal High Skilled (Express Entry) workers in the Immigration Levels Plan. Over the next three years, Canada will admit up to 114,000 new permanent residents each year through Express Entry by the end of 2025.

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