October 28, 2023

IRCC Focus: Transport Occupation in Express Entry Draws.

In a recent announcement by Immigration Minister Sean Fraser on May 31st, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) introduced category-based selection draws for Express Entry candidates. These draws aim to prioritize individuals with strong French language proficiency or work experience in specific sectors, one of which is transport occupations. By focusing on occupations facing labor shortages, IRCC aims to address the growing demands of the Canadian labor market. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind the selection of transport occupations as a category, the eligibility requirements, and the implications of this new approach to Express Entry draws.


Transport Occupations as a Category

The decision to include transport occupations in the category-based selection draws was based on a comprehensive analysis of labor market data and feedback from various stakeholders. According to Employment and Social Development Canada, the number of occupations facing shortages doubled between 2019 and 2021. Furthermore, a public consultation held by IRCC revealed that trades, transport, and equipment operations were perceived as the sector with the greatest needs. To address these shortages effectively, IRCC decided to focus on transport occupations to attract skilled workers who can contribute to the Canadian economy.


Eligibility Requirements for the Transport Occupations Category:

To be eligible for the transport occupations category, candidates must meet the following criteria:

Eligibility criteria of one of the Express Entry programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Canadian Experience Class
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Accumulated at least 6 months of continuous work experience in one of the listed transport occupations within the past 3 years.
  • Fulfill all other requirements specified in the instructions for the round.


Transport Occupations Included in the Category

The transport occupation category consists of ten occupations that are in high demand in the Canadian labor market. These occupations are as follows:

  • Aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors
  • Transport truck drivers
  • Railway traffic controllers and marine traffic regulators
  • Engineer officers, water transport
  • Deck officers, water transport
  • Air traffic controllers and related occupations
  • Air pilots, flight engineers, and flying instructors
  • Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors
  • Railway carmen/women
  • Managers in transportation


Selection Process and Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Scores

IRCC will conduct category-based draws separately from the general and program-specific draws in Express Entry. Invitations to apply for permanent residence will be sent to candidates who are eligible for a specific category and fulfill the following criteria:

  • Work experience in a specific TEER category of the National Occupational Classification (NOC).
  • Language ability in either English or French.
  • Education requirements.


While category-based draws provide a new approach to selection, a candidate's Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score remains crucial. The CRS score is a points-based system that ranks candidates based on various factors such as age, education, language skills, and work experience. Candidates with top-ranking CRS scores who are also eligible for the category-based draw will receive invitations to apply for permanent residency.


Benefits of Category-Based Draws

Category-based draws offer several benefits to Express Entry candidates in the transport occupations category. These benefits include:

  1. Increased chances of receiving an invitation: With the introduction of category-based draws, candidates with work experience in transport occupations have a higher likelihood of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residency.
  2. Addressing labor market shortages: By focusing on specific occupations facing shortages, IRCC aims to address the needs of the Canadian labor market effectively. This approach helps ensure a balanced distribution of skilled workers across various sectors.
  3. Faster processing times: Category-based draws enable IRCC to streamline the selection process for specific occupations. This targeted approach allows for quicker processing times, reducing waiting periods for successful candidates.


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