Canada held its second Express Entry draw of the year today.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued invitations to 5,500 candidates with a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 507. No program was specified, meaning that qualified candidates were invited from the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the federal skilled worker program. (FSWP) and the Federal Skilled Trade Program (FSTP). All are programs that operate under the Express Entry system.
IRCC developing categories for targeted Express Entry draws
Since Bill C-19 received royal assent last June, the IRCC has been working to create new draw categories for candidates in the Express Entry programmes. This is a major departure from the current practice of inviting candidates only on the basis of high scores within the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).
In its most recent move, IRCC completed a round of consultations with the public and stakeholders to better understand Canada’s most acute skilled labor shortage.
All candidates, irrespective of category, should be eligible to apply under the existing Express Entry Application Management System.
Once the categories are decided by the minister, they will be announced before the invitation is issued.
Possible categories for targeted draws
The categories will be based on the characteristics of the candidate such as their occupation, work experience, education and language abilities. The Immigration Minister says it will support Canada’s economic priorities by inviting candidates who are best positioned to fill immediate gaps in Canada’s labor force.
There may be draws to target Express Entry candidates who have specific work experience that is relevant to an in-demand sector of the workforce.
There is also the possibility that the IRCC will create categories to help international students become permanent residents in Canada through Express Entry, especially if the student has earned a degree or diploma in a sought-after field from a designated educational institution.
For similar reasons temporary residents are being treated as a category. Those who have previous temporary Canadian work experience have been found to have better labor market integration and are well equipped to transfer their skills when needed.
Skilled, French-speaking immigrants may also have an advantage in obtaining an ITA as the government seeks to strengthen Canada’s bilingual character as well as fill labor gaps in communities where speaking French is required for an occupation. .
What is Express Entry?
Express Entry is the application management system for three Canadian immigration programs: the Canadian Experience Classes (CEC), the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). Provincial Nominated Program (PNP) candidates in the Express Entry pool are already eligible for at least one of these programs.
Express Entry uses the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), a points-based system, to rank candidates’ profiles. Top scoring candidates receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) and can then apply for permanent residence.
After a candidate applies, an IRCC official reviews the application and decides whether they are approved. Once this is completed, if approved, the candidate is now a permanent resident of Canada and one step closer to becoming a Canadian citizen.
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