January 30, 2023

A Look Back at 2022: The Year of Express Entry Canada

The past year has been unique for Canada’s Express Entry application management system. The resumption of all-program draws, after an 18-month pause that began in December 2020, has allowed Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to work towards pre-pandemic targets of Express Entry invitations. This blog post will take a detailed look at the key trends and changes that define the Express Entry period in 2022.


Number of ITAs

One of the most notable trends in 2022 was the number of Invitations To Apply (ITA) issued to Express Entry candidates. Over the 23 draws in 2022, there were 46,538 ITAs issued to Express Entry candidates. This number includes draws between January and July, which were exclusively for candidates in Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). The total ITAs for just all-program draws, which began in July and spanned the rest of the year, was 35,750.


CRS Scores

Another key trend in 2022 was the decline in the minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score required to receive an ITA. The most recent Express Entry draw saw the lowest minimum CRS score at 491. Since draws started again, there has been a decline of 66 points over ten draws. The CRS score for the first draw in July was 557.


Transition to NOC 2021

On November 16, IRCC officially made the transition from NOC 2016 to NOC 2021. Under NOC 2016, Express Entry candidates required work experience classified under NOC skill types 0, A, or B. IRCC’s shift to NOC 2021 has shifted to the Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities (TEER) system. The intent of the new system is to help better understand a candidate’s qualifications and experience in an occupation to ensure they can integrate more easily into Canada’s labor force. Also, under the TEER system, there are 16 occupations newly eligible for Express Entry programs.


Targeted Draws

Last June, Bill C-19 received Royal Assent in Canada’s Parliament. Under the Bill, the immigration minister now has the authority to invite Express Entry candidates based on an economic need instead of their CRS score as the main criteria. IRCC is expected to begin holding draws targeted toward specific occupations in spring 2023.

In 2022, the Express Entry program saw a decline in the minimum CRS scores required to receive an ITA, and the transition to the NOC 2021 system, which aimed to better understand candidates' qualifications and experience. Additionally, the year saw the introduction of targeted draws, which will allow the immigration minister to invite Express Entry candidates based on economic need instead of CRS scores. These changes are expected to shape the Express Entry program in the coming years, making it more responsive to the changing needs of Canada's economy.


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