BREAKING: IRCC holds fourth Express Entry draw this week

Canada has held an Express Entry draw for the fourth day in a row this week. IRCC has held its first-ever French category-based Express Entry draw, inviting 2,300 candidates with strong French-speaking abilities. Candidates required a minimum CRS score of 439, which is the lowest CRS score of 2023. This  is the sixth round of invitations issued in two weeks and brings the total number of candidates invited through Express Entry over this period to 9,800.

The majority of invitations were issued this week. The most recent round took place yesterday, July 6, and invited 1,500 candidates with work experience in healthcare professions. This draw was expected to occur following an announcement alongside the first-ever Express Entry invitations for 500 healthcare professionals on June 27.

The July 5 round of invitations was the first-ever for candidates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professions. There were 500 candidates invited with a minimum CRS score of 486.

Finally, the July 4 round of invitations was an unexpected all-program draw in which 700 candidates were considered in an all-program draw. These candidates required a CRS of 511, the highest of any all-program draw in 2023.

Invitations for French-speakers

Strong French-speaking abilities are the only category-based selection criteria that does not use work experience as the key attribute for the six new selection categories.

Canada’s immigration minister has a mandate to promote the French language outside of Quebec. In a release announcing the draw for French-speaking Express Entry candidates IRCC said by prioritizing the invitation of French-speaking newcomers, Canada aims to support economic growth through Francophone immigration outside Quebec while recognizing how it enriches and strengthens these communities. 

Category-based selection

Sean Fraser, Canada’s immigration minister, announced the new categories for category-based selection on May 31.  New categories were expected following a law passed last June that gives Canada’s immigration minister the authority to invite economic immigration candidates based on a specific attribute rather than their overall CRS score. This can include work-experience, language ability, education or more.

The categories for 2023 were chosen following discussions with provincial and territorial governments as well as IRCC partners and stakeholders, They are as follows:

  • Healthcare
  • Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions
  • Trades, such as carpenters, plumbers, and contractors
  • Transport
  • Agriculture and agri-food
  • Strong French-language proficiency

These categories will be reviewed each year in IRCC’s presentation to parliament and may change in 2024.

According to the Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025 Canada hopes to admit up to 82,880 newcomers through Express Entry by the end of 2023. This target rises as high as 114,000 by the end of 2025.  Category-based selection may help Canada meet these targets while also closing urgent skills and labour gaps in Canada’s workforce.


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