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A Comprehensive Review of Express Entry in 2023

a comprehensive review

Wed, 03rd January 2024

In 2023, there were important changes to Canada's Express Entry system.

The year began with regular draws, and Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invited over 21,000 candidates in March, marking the second-highest monthly invitation number ever.

In May, new categories were introduced for Express Entry draws, focusing on specific attributes rather than just high CRS scores. These categories included Healthcare, STEM Professions, Trades, Transport, Agriculture, and French Proficiency.

The first category-based draw took place on June 28 and invited 500 healthcare professionals to apply. Since then, IRCC has invited more than 16,000 Express Entry candidates through category-based selection.

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Throughout the year, there were different types of draws, such as all-program draws, Provincial Nominee Program-only draws, and category-based selection draws. Most candidates invited had CRS scores between 451-500, with some scoring between 501-600. Some candidates with scores between 900 and 1,200 likely received nominations through the Provincial Nominee Program.

The CRS scores for all-program draws varied, with the lowest at 481 and the highest at 561. PNP-only draws had the highest CRS score at 791, while the lowest was 691. There was also one draw for Federal Skilled Workers with a minimum CRS of 489.

Category-based draws had varying scores, with the lowest at 354 for agriculture and agri-food occupations and the highest at 486 for STEM occupations and French-language proficiency.

Express Entry draws occurred regularly in the first half of the year but became less predictable after the introduction of category-based selection draws. The frequency increased in July, with a trend of multiple draws in one week each month.

In December, there were seven draws, marking the highest volume. Draws were paused between October 26 and December 6, and the reason remains unconfirmed.

Looking ahead to 2024, the Immigration Levels Plan indicates that Canada plans to admit 110,000 new permanent residents through Express Entry. In 2023, IRCC targeted 82,880 candidates, issuing 110,266 ITAs. However, not all candidates may be admitted by year-end, and changes to category-based selection could occur based on the yearly report and stakeholder feedback.

As we bid farewell to the dynamic year that was Express Entry in 2023, the evolving landscape of Canadian immigration leaves us with anticipation for what lies ahead in 2024. The introduction of category-based draws, diverse invitation criteria, and the commitment to welcoming a significant number of new residents signal a continued commitment to shaping a robust and inclusive future for Canada. Here's to new beginnings and the promise of a brighter tomorrow!

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