IRCC invites 2,850 Express Entry candidates in latest draw

IRCC invites 2,850 Express Entry candidates in latest draw,
IRCC invites 2,850 Express Entry candidates in latest draw,

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has issued invitations to candidates in the first Express Entry draw of the month.

The department issued 2,850  invitations to apply (ITAs) in a general draw.

Candidates required a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 525.

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There were six draws throughout February inviting 16,110 candidates. The month opened and closed with category-based selection draws for individuals with strong French language proficiency. The first was on February 1 and invited 7,000 candidates with a minimum CRS score of 365. The other took place on February 29 and invited 2,500 candidates with a minimum score of 336, the lowest CRS score in any draw so far this year.

The remaining four draws saw two additional category-based draws. One took place on February 14 and invited 3,500 candidates in healthcare occupations with a minimum CRS of 422. The other was on February 16 and invited 150 candidates in agriculture and agri-food occupations. They required a minimum score of 437.

Finally, IRCC held two general Express Entry draws in February. On February 13, the department invited 1,490 candidates with a minimum score of 535 and 1,470 candidates on February 28. These candidates had a minimum CRS score of 534.

What is category-based selection?

Unlike a general draw, in which candidates are considered from all Express Entry managed programs based solely on their CRS score, category-based selection draws target Express Entry candidates who have specific in-demand attributes.

This type of draw was introduced in May 2023 to help with labour shortages within critical sectors of Canada’s workforce. There are six categories through which eligible Express Entry candidates may receive an ITA:

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

These draws may act as an advantage for candidates who are already in the Express Entry application pool. So far this year, the average CRS score in category-based draws has been lower than it is for general draws.

For example, of the four category-based selection draws, the highest minimum CRS score was 437, and the lowest was 336.

In contrast, no general draw so far in 2024 has had a minimum CRS lower than 534.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is an application management system for three of Canada’s most prominent economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).

Candidates who self-evaluate that they are eligible for one of these programs can then upload a profile to the IRCC website and receive their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. The CRS assigns scores for human capital attributes such as work experience, education, occupation, language ability and age.

Candidates in the Express Entry application pool are ranked against each other according to CRS scores. Those with the highest scores are the most likely to receive an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent resident status.

Once a candidate receives an ITA, they have 60 days to submit their final application to IRCC.

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