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Express Entry FAQ: Understanding the New Category-Based Selection System

Express Entry FAQ: Understanding the New Category-Based Selection System

Express Entry FAQ: Understanding the New Category-Based Selection System

June 28, 2023
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Exciting news has emerged from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) regarding the launch of a new category-based selection for candidates in Express Entry managed programs. This significant update comes nearly a year after the immigration minister was granted the authority to invite Express Entry candidates with specific attributes that align with Canada’s economic goals. While targeted draws were expected, the official details of the selection criteria remained undisclosed until now. In light of this announcement, let’s address some of the pressing questions that Express Entry candidates may have regarding the new selection categories.

Who is eligible for the new category-based selection?

Under the new draw categories, Express Entry candidates are eligible if they have work experience in the following fields:

  • Healthcare
  • Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions
  • Trades such as carpenters, plumbers, and contractors
  • Transport
  • Agriculture and agri-food
  • Strong French language proficiency (at least NCLC 7 in reading, writing, listening, and speaking)

When will the targeted draws start?

The targeted draws under the new categories are set to begin later this summer. However, an exact date has not been announced yet.

Do I still need to have an Express Entry profile if I work in one of the eligible occupations?

Yes, candidates must still meet the eligibility criteria for an Express Entry managed program. The eligible programs include the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Canadian Experience Class, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

Will the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) no longer count for Express Entry?

The candidate’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score will still be considered for Express Entry draws. IRCC will continue to hold draws where candidates are invited without reference to any of the six categories. This may include all-program draws or program-specific draws.

Are the criteria different in each new category?

Among the five occupation-specific categories, all candidates must:

Have at least 6 months of continuous work experience (in Canada or abroad) within the past 3 years in a single eligible occupation.

Meet all requirements specified for that particular round. Candidates invited based on strong French language proficiency must have French-language test results demonstrating a minimum score of 7 in all four language abilities (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) on the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens and meet all the requirements specified for that round.

Will there still be Express Entry draws for Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates?

IRCC confirms that it will continue to invite candidates with provincial or territorial nominations through general draws and PNP-specific rounds. These candidates have demonstrated their skills, education, and work experience, contributing to the economy of their respective province or territory.

Why are there new categories?

The immigration minister aims to support Canada’s economic goals and promote the growth of French-speaking communities outside of Quebec, safeguarding French as one of Canada’s official languages. The new categories aim to fill a significant number of vacant positions throughout Canada, reducing labor shortages in various industries and increasing the number of French speakers in French minority communities.

How were the new categories decided?

The selection of categories followed mandatory discussions and public consultations with stakeholders, including provinces and territories, industry representatives, unions, employers, workers, advocacy groups, settlement providers, and immigration researchers and practitioners.

Will the categories change?

The categories may change on a yearly basis based on an IRCC report to parliament. This report will include details such as the previous year’s categories, the rationale behind their selection, instructions for establishing a category, and the number of invitations issued for each category. The Express Entry Year-End Report will also provide information on category-based selection.

At ASI Immigration, we stay informed about the latest updates in the Express Entry system, including the new category-based selection process. Our experienced professionals are ready to assist you in navigating this pathway, providing guidance and support throughout your immigration journey. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your goal of Canadian permanent residency.

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