The journey to Canada through the Express Entry system in 2023 was marked by significant shifts and advancements. Let’s delve into the key aspects that shaped this year and what lies ahead for prospective immigrants.
Express Entry Landscape in 2023: A Year in Review
The year commenced with the continuation of established patterns from 2022, with Express Entry draws resuming after an 18-month hiatus. Draws, occurring every two weeks or more frequently, followed diverse formats—ranging from all-program draws to Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)-only and, notably, Federal Skilled Workers (FSW) only.
In March 2023, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) set a remarkable milestone by inviting over 21,000 Express Entry candidates across four draws. This marked the second-highest number of candidates invited in a single month.
Category-Based Selection Rounds: A Paradigm Shift
May 2023 witnessed a transformative change with the introduction of six new categories for Express Entry draws. Stemming from amendments to the Immigrant and Refugee Protection Act in June 2022, these categories allowed the immigration minister to issue Invitations to Apply (ITAs) based on specific attributes rather than solely relying on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.
The new categories targeted candidates with attributes crucial to promoting French outside of Quebec and strengthening Canada’s labor force and economy. These categories included Healthcare, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) professions, Trades, Transport, Agriculture and Agri-food, and Strong French proficiency.
Draw Types and CRS Scores:
Out of the 42 draws in 2023, the majority were all-program draws, considering candidates that are from the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class. Interestingly, no ITAs were issued to Federal Skilled Trades Program candidates during the year.
CRS scores revealed a pattern, with most candidates receiving ITAs in the 451-500 range, totaling 26,070. Another significant group, comprising 11,640 candidates, had scores ranging from 501-600. Additionally, 12,590 candidates boasted CRS scores between 900 and 1,200, likely attributed to PNP nominations adding 600 CRS points.
Frequency of Draws:
Express Entry draws in the first half of the year adhered to regular bi-weekly schedules, occasionally occurring weekly. However, the landscape shifted with the introduction of category-based selection draws, making predictions more challenging. Since July, a trend emerged, featuring one week each month with three or four separate draws between Tuesday and Thursday.
The highest volume of draws occurred in December, with seven draws between December 6-21. Notably, there was a draw pause between October 26 and December 6, raising speculation about potential reasons, such as technical issues or achieving annual targets.
Looking Ahead to 2024:
The recently released Immigration Levels Plan 2024-2026 outlines Canada’s plan to invite 110,000 new permanent residents via Express Entry in 2024. In 2023, IRCC targeted 82,880 Express Entry candidates for admission, surpassing expectations by issuing 110,266 ITAs.
While these ITAs don’t necessarily guarantee immediate admissions, they set the stage for candidates to be admitted in 2024, with processing times taking up to six months. Furthermore, there is a possibility of category changes based on IRCC’s yearly report and stakeholder feedback.
In navigating the evolving landscape of Canada’s Express Entry system, entrust your journey to Kytero Immigration. As your committed partner, we ensure a seamless and informed move to Canada. Stay attentive for more information on Express Entry and make your relocation dreams a reality with our assistance.