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Immigration Law

Big Changes Announced to Express Entry Selection Process

June 03, 2023 by Carly Perryman

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has announced changes to the Express Entry Immigration system. There will now be category-based selection draws intended to fill Canadian labour market needs.

For 2023, there will now be rounds for six (6) specific categories as follows:

  • French language proficiency
  • Work experience in health care occupations
  • Work experience in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) occupations
  • Work experience in trade occupations
  • Work experience in transport occupations
  • Work experience in agriculture and agri-food occupations

According to Minister Sean Fraser, the intent of the category-based selection process is to allow Canada “to invite more skilled workers in these professions” and support “Canada’s commitment to welcoming in-demand professionals into communities across the country.” Also, by focusing on French-speaking candidates, the Government of Canada is ensuring that French communities can continue to live their life in Canada in the official language of their choice.

The targeted draws will start this summer but no exact date has been announced.

Candidates must meet the eligibility criteria for Express Entry under the current categories of Federal Skilled Worker, Canadian Experience Class and Federal Skilled Trades.

The Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) system is still in place and there will still be general draws outside of the new category-based draws. There will also continue to be PNP draws.

Although, for the new categories, the criteria are different as follows:

  • 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.
  • All candidates must meet all requirements in the instructions for that round.
  • For French-speaking candidates, they must have a French language test minimum score of 7.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is an online Canadian immigration system designed to manage the application of skilled workers who want to become permanent residents in Canada.

A candidate can submit an expression of interest or profile to Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Each candidate is assigned a score out of 1,200. The top-ranked candidates are then selected by IRCC based on their score to apply to become a permanent resident.

Selection factors include but are not limited to:

  • Your skilled work experience
  • Your age
  • Your language ability
  • Your education
  • Your work experience
  • Your Canadian job offer

To find out if you qualify for one of the new category-based draws or for the other Express Entry categories, please complete our free online questionnaire and a qualified professional from our firm will be in touch.