Canada Express Entry in 2023: A Year in Review!

Canada Express Entry in 2023: A Year in Review!

Surya Rathee Surya Rathee
[Published 28 Dec, 2023 | 05:19 AM]
About Author - 5 min read

Canada Express Entry has had a very interesting year. 

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) conducted 42 Express Entry draws in 2023. In the first half, Express Entry continued with post-pandemic patterns established in 2022, following the resumption of Express Entry draws after an 18-month gap that started in December 2020. 

The draws conducted in 2023 were either All-program, Provincial Nominee Program-only, and in one instance - just for the Federal Skilled Worker Program. Draws typically took place every two weeks, but sometimes occurred more frequently. 

Express Entry Eligibility Checker

Category-based selection draws for Express Entry

On May 31, 2023, IRCC announced six selection categories for Express Entry draws. The introduction of the new categories aims to address the vacancies mentioned on the Canada Occupation In-demand List. The categories were chosen after considering labour market projections and consulting with various Partners, Stakeholders, Provincial, and Territorial governments. 

Categories chosen for Express Entry draws

  • French-language proficiency
  • Healthcare occupations
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) occupations
  • Trade occupations
  • Transport occupations
  • Agriculture and Agri-food occupations

The first category-based selection draw was conducted on June 28, 2023, which invited 500 healthcare professionals to apply for Canada PR. Since then, IRCC has invited 25,870 candidates across 17 category-based Express Entry draws. 

Type of Draws

A total of 42 Express Entry draws were conducted by IRCC in 2023. This included:

  • 19 All-program draws, 
  • 17 Category-based selection draws, 
  • 5 Provincial Nominee Program-only draws, and 
  • 1 Federal Skilled Worker Program draw.

Surprisingly, no invitations were given specifically to FSTP candidates in 2023

CRS Score Range 

Recent IRCC data shows that ITAs in 2023 were issued to: 

  • 56,223 candidates with CRS scores ranging between 451 and 500.
  • 4,433 candidates with CRS scores ranging between 501 and 600.
  • 1,011 candidates with CRS scores ranging between 601 and 1200.

Based on the draw-type

Type of Draw Date
Lowest CRS
Highest CRS
All-Program March 29 481 (7,000 invitations) December 06 561 (4,750 invitations)
Category-based selection September 28 354 (600 invitations) July 05 and October 25 486 (300+500 invitations)
Provincial Nominee Program May 10
691 (589 invitations) February 15 791 (699 invitations)
Federal Skilled Worker Program February 02 489 (3,300 invitations)

Calculate CRS Score!

Frequency of draws

Express Entry draws regularly took place every two weeks between January and June. However, once IRCC introduced the new category-based selection draws, it became difficult to predict when ITAs would be issued. 

Notably, IRCC has been following a trend of conducting three to four draws every month since July. The highest number of draws occurred in December when IRCC invited over 15,000 candidates across seven invitation rounds. The second-highest were five draws in both July and September - followed by four draws in October. 

Between October 26 and December 6, draws were paused.

IRCC did not provide a confirmed reason, but many possibilities included ongoing technical issues, staffing challenges, or if the department had already met the Express Entry targets for the year outlined in the previous Immigration Levels Plan.

Express Entry in 2024

According to the previous year's Immigration Levels Plan, IRCC had initially targeted 82,880 Express Entry candidates in 2023. But, between the first draw conducted on January 11 and December 21, the department issued 110,266 ITAs - exceeding the targets. 

Express Entry, the backbone of economic immigration to Canada, is all set to see a significant boost in its admission targets in 2024 as well. According to the current Canada Immigration Levels Plan 2024-2026, IRCC will seek to admit over 345,770 Express Entry candidates between 2024 and 2026. 

Overall, 1.5 million candidates will be invited.

Express Entry is known for its relatively fast processing times. Most applications are processed within six months, making it an attractive option for those looking for a quick immigration process. One of the biggest advantages of Express Entry is that it's available to candidates across Canada, regardless of the province or territory they want to settle in. Unlike Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), you have the freedom to choose your destination.

With the back-to-back invitation rounds and the upcoming record-breaking immigration targets, there's no better time to apply for a Canada PR visa.

Start your process today!

Read More: Who is most likely to receive an ITA in 2024?


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