BREAKING: IRCC announces new selection categories for Express Entry candidates

Canadian Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has announced the introduction of a category-based selection draw for Express Entry candidates.

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will focus on Express Entry candidates who have a strong French language proficiency or work experience in the following areas:

  • Health care
  • science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professions
  • trades, such as carpenters, plumbers, and contractors
  • transportation
  • agriculture and agri-food

The minister says allowing IRCC to invite more skilled workers into these targeted occupations will support Canada’s commitment to welcoming in-demand professionals to communities across the country.

The full list of eligible businesses under the new categories is available here.

Draws under the new categories are expected to begin later this summer.

Why are there new Express Entry categories?

The new categories aim to fill vacancies across Canada. Immigration is seen as an important factor in reducing labor shortages as well as increasing the prominence of the French language in French minority communities outside Quebec.

“Everywhere I go, I hear loud and clear from employers across the country who are facing chronic labor shortages,” Fraser says. “These changes to the Express Entry system will ensure they have the skilled workforce they need to grow and succeed. We can also grow our economy and help businesses with labor shortages, as well as the French It can also increase the number of French-proficient candidates to help ensure the vitality of French-speaking communities. Simply put, Canada’s immigration system has not been very responsive to the country’s social or economic needs.

The category-based draw was expected to begin this year following changes made to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in June 2022. The changes give the minister the authority to select immigrants based on key characteristics that support Canada’s economic priorities.

How were the categories chosen?

The categories were chosen in accordance with legislative requirements that ministers participate in public consultations with provinces and territories, industry members, unions, employers, workers, worker advocacy groups, settlement provider organizations, and immigration researchers and practitioners.

Every year, IRCC will report to the Parliament

  • Categories selected last year
  • why and how they were chosen
  • Category creation instructions
  • Number of invites issued for each category

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry was established in 2015 to meet the needs of Canada’s changing economic and labor market. It is an application management system that oversees three economic immigration programs, the Federal Skilled Workers Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class.

These programs use the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to assign scores to candidates based on human capital factors such as work experience, language ability, occupation, education and more. Candidates with the highest overall CRS scores were most likely to receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence.

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