March 7, 2024

Streamlining Canada Immigration: A Closer Look at Category-Based Express Entry Selection

The Express Entry system, which is renowned for its efficacy and efficiency in handling skilled worker immigration applications to Canada, has developed to incorporate invitation rounds based on category.

In Canada's immigration system, category-based selections enable the nation to send Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to prospective candidates with specific qualifications, experience, or language skills. According to the IRCC, these category-based drawings, which were started in 2023, will continue in 2024 using the same classifications.

These category-focused rounds serve as a complement to the general and program-specific rounds by seeking to find and extend invitations to exceptional candidates who satisfy the economic parameters set by Canada. The selection requirements encompass educational qualifications, work experience in relevant areas, and competence in an official language.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is demonstrating a commitment to achieving specific economic goals with this kind of planned strategy. It entails narrowing the immigration process to meet Canada's economic needs by choosing qualified applicants from the Express Entry pool according to specified category requirements.

Currently Available Categories

This focused strategy focuses on six important areas, all of which are vital to supporting Canada's economic environment:

1. Proficiency in French: Promoting applicants with this language indicates Canada's dedication to bilingualism and the demand for French-speaking professionals.

2. Healthcare occupations: Encouraging the strength of Canada's healthcare system and meeting the urgent need for healthcare professionals.

3. Employment in STEM fields: Promoting expansion in these cutting-edge and dynamic fields.

4. Trade occupations: Understanding how important skilled trades are to the economy's growth.

5. Transportation Jobs: Making sure Canada's transportation system is dependable and efficient.

6. Jobs in agriculture and agri-food: These jobs promote the agricultural sector, which is essential to the nation's food security and economic stability.

Depending on what is reported to parliament, the categories may vary annually. Every year, the IRCC will provide the following information: the categories they selected from the prior year; the rationale behind their selections; the guidelines for creating new categories; and the quantity of invitations sent out for each category.

Who is qualified?

In the event of a category-based round, all prerequisites must be satisfied in order to be eligible for an invitation. Depending on the category being targeted, there are additional requirements that must be fulfilled. Eligibility for the 2023 categories comprises:

French language proficiency: A minimum score of 7 in each of the four language abilities on the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens must be obtained via a French language test.

Healthcare occupations: Possess at least six months of continuous work experience (in Canada or elsewhere) in one of the 35 targeted NOC codes, accrued during the last three years.

Careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM): possess at least six months' worth of uninterrupted job experience—whether domestic or foreign—in one of the 24 targeted NOC codes throughout the last three years.

Trade occupations: Possess at least six months of continuous work experience (in Canada or outside) in one of the ten targeted NOC codes, accrued during the last three years.

Transport occupations: Possess at least six months of continuous work experience (in Canada or outside) in one of the ten targeted NOC codes during the last three years.

Those working in agriculture and agri-food occupations must have accrued at least six months of continuous work experience (in Canada or elsewhere) in one of the three targeted NOC codes within the last three years.

On our specialized pages, you may find the individual occupations together with their National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes. The most recent information for each category's draw is updated on these pages. For further information, please refer to the list below.

Draw Date Category Number of ITAs CRS Cut Off
287 February 29, 2024 French language proficiency (2024-1) 2,500 336
286 February 28, 2024 General 1,470 534
285 February 16, 2024 Agriculture and agri-food occupations (2023-1) 150 437
284 February 14, 2024 Healthcare occupations (2023-1) 3,500 422
283 February 13, 2024 General 1,490 535

Will Express Entry still be based on the CRS?

The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of the applicant will remain relevant and play a significant role in the Express Entry lottery. The best applicants in the pool who fit the target category for that round will be invited through rounds of invites based on categories.

As their CRS score will only be compared with candidates in that particular category and not the full Express Entry pool, candidates will have a higher chance as a result.

If my line of work is not included, what should I do?

The invitation rounds based on categories will be added to the general and provincial rounds, according to the IRCC's announcement, implying that all program draws will still take place. You may still be eligible for these general drawings even if your profession is not listed on the demand list.

Moreover, the Express Entry pool will still be used by provinces and territories to find applications. Applicants who have obtained a provincial nomination will earn an ITA through the all program or provincial Express Entry drawings because they have proven they possess the knowledge, training, and professional experience necessary to support the economy of the province or territory.

Will there be other kinds of draws for Express Entry still?

It's true that Express Entry will host more than simply category-based draws all year round. There are three different kinds of rounds:

  1. General round of invitations: Candidates who rank highest in the Express Entry pool and are qualified for one of the three Express Entry programs are invited to general rounds of invitations. The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) are the three programs in question.
  2. Invitation rounds relevant to a program: The top-ranked applicants who meet the requirements for a particular Express Entry program are invited to participate in program-specific rounds. For instance, the IRCC frequently holds draws expressly for the Province Nominee Program (PNP), to which only candidates who qualify are invited.
  3. Invitation rounds based on categories: To achieve particular economic objectives across Canada, the Minister of Immigration will create particular categories. The top candidates in the pool who qualify for this category will be invited after the categories are determined.

Encouraging Category-Based Selection Will Help Achieve Immigration Goals for 2024–2026

The Canadian government has used immigration as a major tactic to assist overcome shortages in the labor market. In addition, the present immigration strategy seeks to draw in the talent needed to staff vital industries including technology, manufacturing, skilled trades, and health care. By enabling the government to focus on the jobs and sectors with the worst shortages, category-based draws will aid in addressing these shortages.

How can I apply for Express Entry and what is it?

The Canadian government uses the Express Entry system to handle applications for permanent residence in the country. The CRS, an automated scoring method, is used by Express Entry to score the profiles of candidates. Three major programs are managed by the system:

  1. Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW),
  2. Federal Skilled Trades Program (FST)
  3. Federal Experience Class (CEC),

There are two steps involved in applying for Express Entry. The first step is to send in your profile along with the necessary paperwork. The majority of the time, required documents include passports or travel documents, educational records, and language test scores.

You can submit your full application for consideration by the IRCC once you have submitted a profile and been invited to apply for permanent residence in Canada. Supporting documentation such as reference letters, extra identity documents, police clearance certificates, and the findings of a medical assessment should be included with your full application.

Elevate Your Express Entry Journey to Canada with Expert Assistance from Pelican Migration Consultants

Are you ready to make your dream of immigrating to Canada a reality? Pelican Migration is here to help you every step of the way. Here's why you should choose us for your Express Entry application:

  1. Personalized Guidance: Our experienced consultants provide tailored advice to optimize your Express Entry profile for success.
  2. Expert Support: We offer comprehensive assistance with document preparation, ensuring your application meets all requirements.
  3. Timely Updates: Stay informed throughout the process with timely updates on the status of your Express Entry application.
  4. Maximizing CRS Scores: We work to maximize your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, increasing your chances of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA).
  5. Dedicated Service: With Pelican Migration, you'll have a dedicated team committed to helping you achieve your immigration goals.

Embark on your journey to Canada with confidence – choose Pelican Migration Consultants today!

Are you curious to know more about the ways in which you can join the Express Entry pool? Fill out our free online assessment form right now!