Category-based selection draws for Express Entry | Check Your Eligibility

Category-based selection draws for Express Entry | Check Your Eligibility

Sanjay Yadav Sanjay Yadav
[Published 28 Dec, 2023 | 02:14 PM]
About Author - 12 min read
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On May 31, 2023, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada announced the launch of category-based selection draws for Express Entry candidates. Since June 2022, the Government of Canada has been planning category-based selection draws. This change was made to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to allow the selection of immigrants based on specific attributes that align with Canada's economic priorities.

IRCC believes that inviting more skilled workers in specific professions will help support Canada's commitment to welcoming in-demand occupations into communities across the country.

In category-based rounds of invitations, candidates are invited to apply for Canada PR visa based on criteria such as:

  • ability to communicate in a specific official language
  • work experience in a specific occupation
  • education
In this post, we provide an overview of how category-based selection draws for Express Entry work, including the priority categories for upcoming draws in 2024 - and the eligibility requirements you would need to meet to receive an invitation to apply for a Canada PR visa.

Check your eligibility for Express Entry

Categories chosen for Express Entry draws

1. French Language Proficiency

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. To be eligible under the French-Language Proficiency category, you must

  • Have French-language test results that show a minimum score of 7 in all 4 language abilities on the Niveaux De Compétence Linguistique Canadiens.
  • Meet all of the requirements in the instructions for that invitation round.
As compared to the other five newly announced selection categories, French-Language Proficiency is the only one that does not consider work experience as the key attribute to be invited to apply for Canada PR.

2. Healthcare Occupations

Canada relies a lot on immigration to fill healthcare jobs. The most recent job vacancy data from Statistics Canada shows that there were 153,000 vacant positions in health care and social assistance in April 2023. This is the highest level of vacancies across all employment sectors. To be eligible under the Healthcare Occupations category, you must:

  • Have at least 6 months of full-time, continuous work experience within the past 3 years in Canada or abroad, in one of the 35 NOCs targeted for the Healthcare Occupations Category.
  • Meet all of the requirements in the instructions for that round.

NOCs Targeted

OCCUPATION NOC CODE
Audiologists and speech-language pathologists 31112
Chiropractors 31201
Dentists 31110
Dieticians and Nutritionists 31121
Education counsellors 41320
General practitioners and family physicians31102
Instructors of persons with disabilities 42203
Kinesiologists and other professional occupations in therapy and assessment 31204
Licensed practical nurses 32101
Massage therapists 32201
Medical laboratory assistants and related technical occupations 33101
Medical laboratory technologists 32120
Medical radiation technologists 32121
Medical sonographers 32122
Nurse aides, orderlies, and patient service associates 33102
Nurse practitioners 31302
Nursing coordinators and supervisors 31300
Occupational therapists 31203
Optometrists 31111
Other assisting occupations in support of health services 33109
Other practitioners of natural healing 32209
Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating 31209
Other technical occupations in therapy and assessments 32109
Paramedical occupations 32102
Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants 33103
Physician assistants, midwives, and allied health professionals 31303
Physiotherapists 31202
Psychologists 31200
Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses 31301
Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists, and cardiopulmonary technologists 32103
Specialists in surgery 31101
Therapists in counseling and related specialized therapies 41301
Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists 32200
Veterinarians 31103

3. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Occupations

STEM professions are the backbone of Canada's evolving economy. In the fourth quarter of 2022, there were a staggering 56,915 job vacancies in the Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services category alone. Provinces like Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia are at the forefront of this demand - showcasing their progressive and innovation-driven industries. To be eligible under the Healthcare Occupations category, you must:

  • Have at least 6 months of full-time, continuous work experience within the past 3 years in Canada or abroad, in one of the 24 NOCs targeted for the STEM Occupations Category.
  • Meet all of the requirements in the instructions for that round.

NOCs Targeted

OCCUPATION NOC CODE
Architects 21200
Architecture and Science Managers 20011
Business Systems Specialists 21221
Civil Engineers 21300
Computer and Information Systems Managers 20012
Computer Engineers (Except Software Engineers and Designers)21311
Computer Systems Developers and Programmers 21230
Cybersecurity Specialists 21220
Data Scientists 21211
Database Analysts and Data Administrators 21223
Electrical and Electronics Engineers 21310
Engineering Managers 20010
Industrial and Manufacturing Engineers 21321
Information Systems Specialists 21222
Land Surveyors 21203
Landscape Architects 21201
Mathematicians, Statisticians, And Actuaries 21210
Metallurgical and Materials Engineers 21322
Natural and Applied Science Policy Researchers, Consultants, and Program Officers 41400
Software Developers and Programmers 21232
Software Engineers and Designers 21231
Urban and Land Use Planners 21202
Web Designers 21233
Web Developers and Programmers 21234

4. Trade Occupations Category

The demand for Trade Occupations in Canada remains strong as these jobs continue to play a crucial role in various industries throughout the country. Skilled trades, such as Electricians, Plumbers, and Carpenters, are essential for constructing homes, buildings, and infrastructure. The growing population and ongoing construction projects contribute to the consistent need for these trades. To be eligible under the Trade Occupations category, you must:

  • Have at least 6 months of full-time, continuous work experience within the past 3 years in Canada or abroad, in one of the 10 NOCs targeted for the Trade Occupations category.
  • Meet all of the requirements in the instructions for that round.

NOCs Targeted

OCCUPATIONNOC Code
Residential and commercial installers and servicers73200
Elevator constructors and mechanics72406
Machine fitters72405
Heating, refrigeration, and air conditioning mechanics72402
Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics72400
Carpenters72310
Plumbers72300
Electricians (except industrial and power systems)72200
Welders and related machine operators72106
Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers72014

5. Transport Occupations

Though reported projections and figures differ among sources, the overall survey indicates that from the present until 2025, Canada will need to hire over 17,000 additional truck drivers annually to keep up with the labour market shortages. To be eligible under the Transport Occupations category, you must:

  • Have at least 6 months of full-time, continuous work experience within the past 3 years in Canada or abroad, in one of the 10 NOCs targeted for the Transport Occupations Category.
  • Meet all of the requirements in the instructions for that round.

NOCs Targeted

Occupation 2021 NOC Code
2021 TEER Category
Aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors 93200 3
Transport truck drivers 73300 3
Railway traffic controllers and marine traffic regulators 72604 2
Engineer officers, water transport 72603 2
Deck officers, water transport 72602 2
Air traffic controllers and related occupations 72601
2
Air pilots, flight engineers, and flying instructors 72600 2
Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors 72404 2
Railway carmen/women 72403 2
Managers in transportation 70020 0

6. Agriculture and Agri-food occupations

By the end of 2022, the job vacancy rate in the Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting category stood at 10,535, representing 3.9%. To be eligible under the Agriculture and Agri-food Occupations Category, you must:

  • Have at least 6 months of full-time, continuous work experience within the past 3 years in Canada or abroad, in one of the 3 NOCs targeted for the Agriculture and Agri-food Occupations Category.
  • Meet all of the requirements in the instructions for that round.

NOCs Targeted

Occupation
2021 NOC Code
2021 TEER Category
Contractors and supervisors, landscaping, grounds maintenance and horticulture services 82031 2
Agricultural service contractors and farm supervisors 82030 2
Butchers- retail and wholesale 63201 3

Category-based selection draw application process

The process of participating in Canada's Express Entry system begins with the creation of an online profile in your secure account with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Once your profile is established, you are placed in the Express Entry pool, where eligibility for programs like the Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class, or Canadian Experience Class is determined.

During your time in the pool, your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score is calculated based on various factors, providing a comprehensive evaluation of your profile. This score is accessible through your IRCC account, offering transparency into your standing.

Calculate CRS Score

The next step involves the identification of candidates eligible for specific categories established by the Minister. This categorization is a crucial aspect of the selection process, shaping the subsequent ranking of Express Entry profiles. Eligible candidates are then ranked based on their CRS scores, setting the stage for the subsequent round of invitations.

In the invitation round, candidates with the highest CRS scores are invited to apply for economic immigration programs. In category-based rounds, eligibility for a particular category is an additional criterion for invitation.

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Upon receiving an invitation, candidates have a 60-day window to submit their application for permanent residence under a specific Express Entry program. The final decision on the application is made considering program eligibility, the accuracy of the information provided in the profile, category eligibility, and the candidate's overall admissibility to Canada. This structured and transparent process ensures a fair and systematic approach to selecting individuals for permanent residence in Canada.

IRCC has so far conducted 17 invitation rounds under the newly launched category-based selection for Express Entry draws.

Start your process today!

Read More: Express Entry Latest Draws: Full List



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