IRCC: New Selection Categories for Express Entry Candidates
Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Sean Fraser, has announced the introduction of selection draws based on specific categories for candidates in the Express Entry system.
The Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will prioritise Express Entry candidates who possess strong proficiency in the French language or have work experience in the following sectors:
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) professions
- Trades, including carpentry, plumbing, and contracting
- Agriculture and agri-food
To determine your eligibility for category-based draws, please find more information on the official website.
According to the minister, the invitation of skilled workers from these targeted professions will support Canada’s commitment to welcoming high-demand professionals into communities nationwide.
A comprehensive list of eligible occupations falling under the new categories can be found here.
The draws for the new categories are expected to commence later this summer.
Why are there new Express Entry categories?
These new categories aim to fill vacant positions across Canada. Immigration plays a crucial role in alleviating labour shortages and promoting the prominence of the French language in French minority communities outside of Quebec.
“Everywhere I go, I’ve heard loud and clear from employers across the country who are experiencing chronic labour shortages” says Fraser. “These changes to the Express Entry system will ensure that they have the skilled workers they need to grow and succeed. We can also grow our economy and help businesses with labour shortages while also increasing the number of French-proficient candidates to help ensure the vitality of French-speaking communities. Put simply, Canada’s immigration system has never been more responsive to the country’s social or economic needs.”
The implementation of category-based draws was expected this year following changes made to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in June 2022. These changes grant the minister the authority to select immigrants based on attributes that align with Canada’s economic priorities.
How were the categories selected?
The categories were chosen in accordance with legislative requirements, which stipulated that the minister engage in public consultations with provinces, territories, industry representatives, unions, employers, workers, worker advocacy groups, settlement provider organisations, and immigration researchers and practitioners.
Each year, IRCC will report to Parliament on:
- The categories selected in the previous year
- The rationale and process behind their selection
- Instructions for establishing a category
- The number of invitations issued for each category
What is Express Entry?
Established in 2015, Express Entry was designed to address Canada’s evolving economic and labor market needs. It functions as an application management system overseeing three economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Workers Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class.
These programs utilize the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to assign scores to candidates based on factors such as work experience, language proficiency, occupation, education, and more. Candidates with the highest CRS scores are most likely to receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence.