“An updated NOC and fewer draws have set the stage for a higher number of Express Entry invitations in 2023.”
The Express Entry application management system in Canada has had a very interesting year. After an 18-month gap that started in December 2020, all-program draws were resumed, allowing Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to move closer to the pre-pandemic targets of Express Entry invitations.
The Canadian government has been working throughout the year to reduce the massive backlog of applications and increase immigration goals for the upcoming years.
Through the Federal High Skilled Immigration Programs (FHS), the Express Entry application management system oversees applications from skilled employees and immigrants of all economic backgrounds who seek to immigrate to Canada.
If a candidate meets the requirements of the Express Entry program, they may compile the required supporting documents and upload a profile on the IRCC website. The candidates will then receive a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, which is used to compare each candidate in the Express Entry pool. The higher one’s CRS score, the more the chances to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency.
According to ministerial instructions, Express Entry candidates received 46,538 ITAs during the course of the 23 draws conducted in 2022. These figures cover draws conducted between January and July just for participants in Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). There were 35,750 ITAs in total for just all-program draws, which started in July and continued through the end of the year.
Sean Fraser, Canadian Immigration Minister, stated in April last year that all-program Express Entry draws would start again in July. At the first draw, which was held on July 6, 1,500 candidates were welcomed.
Due to the pause in draws during the first half of the year, there are fewer ITAs issued overall - than in the past. The smallest draw was conducted on July 6. The number of ITAs climbed over the course of the next 10 draws in increments of either 250 or 500 candidates, reaching its peak on October 26, November 9, and November 23, when 4,750 candidates were invited in each draw.
The lowest minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score was 491 in the most recent Express Entry draw. There has been a drop of 66 points over 10 draws conducted ever since draws resumed on July 6. The CRS score for the first draw in July was 557.
Each succeeding draw after July 6 showed a drop in the minimum score. There were declines of six to eight points recorded in the initial draws. The smallest decline was seen in the last three draws, ranging from four to two points.
IRCC’s shift to the TEER system
On November 16, IRCC officially made the transition from NOC 2016 to NOC 2021.
Under NOC 2016, candidates applying through Express Entry were required to have work experience categorized as NOC skill classes 0, A, or B. IRCC’s shift to NOC 2021 has shifted to the Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities (TEER) system.
The goal of the shift is to make it easier to audit a candidate's academic and employment experience in order to ensure that they can more readily integrate into Canada's labor force. Additionally, 16 new occupations are now eligible for the Express Entry program under the new TEER system.
Targeted draws in 2023
Bill C-19 was signed into law by the Canadian Parliament in June. Bill C-19 gives the immigration minister the power to select Express Entry candidates based on their economic needs rather than just their CRS score.
Even though Express Entry already gives Canada a competitive edge, the minister indicated there is still room for improvement.
“Where the Express Entry system could be improved is at present if there are particular challenges that your economy is facing, it might be facing in the long term. We don’t have the ability to tailor the invitations to apply to the Express Entry system to meet those in-demand skills or qualifications,” Fraser said.
IRCC is expected to begin holding draws targeted toward specific occupations in spring 2023.
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