Canada’s Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser, has announced the initiation of category-based selection draws for Express Entry candidates. This innovative approach will target those who excel in French language proficiency or possess work experience in specific fields.
Express Entry Categories in Focus
The categories emphasized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the Express Entry candidates include:
- STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) professions
- Trades (Carpenters, Plumbers, and Contractors)
- Agriculture and Agri-food
Find out if you are eligible for these category-based draws here.
Aiming for Economic Growth and Social Progress
This initiative is expected to alleviate labour shortages in these areas and bolster the influence of the French language in communities outside of Quebec.
Canada’s Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser Stated:
“Everywhere I go, I’ve heard loud and clear from employers across the country who are experiencing chronic labour shortages.
These changes to the Express Entry system will ensure that they have the skilled workers they need to grow and succeed. We can also grow our economy and help businesses with labour shortages while also increasing the number of French-proficient candidates to help ensure the vitality of French-speaking communities. Put simply, Canada’s immigration system has never been more responsive to the country’s social or economic needs.”The Honorable Canadian immigration Minister Sean Fraser
These changes aim to support businesses grappling with labour shortages while emphasizing Canada’s commitment to a diverse and inclusive workforce.
The Selection Process for Categories
Categories are chosen following wide-ranging consultations involving provinces and territories, industry members, unions, employers, workers, worker advocacy groups, settlement provider organizations, and immigration researchers and practitioners.
Every year, IRCC will share a report with Parliament, detailing:
- The categories selected from the previous year
- The process and rationale behind their selection
- The instructions to establish a category
- The number of invitations issued per category
A Brief Overview of Express Entry
Express Entry, established in 2015, caters to Canada’s evolving economic and labour market needs. It manages three immigration programs:
These programs utilize the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to score candidates based on various factors like work experience, language ability, occupation, and education. Those with the highest overall CRS score are most likely to receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence.
With the implementation of the category-based selection, the process is set to evolve. Candidates who meet the eligibility criteria of the new categories will be ranked within the Express Entry pool, and those with the highest ranks will receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence.
Anticipated Changes in the Future
The category-based selection is the first of many steps IRCC plans to introduce to address labor market deficits better. Soon, applicants’ intended destinations in Canada might also play a role in their selection.
How to Apply for Express Entry:
1. Create your Express Entry profile: Submit your profile with the necessary documentation. This should include:
- Language test results
- Educational credentials
- Passport or travel documentation
2. Wait for an invitation: If you meet the eligibility criteria and your profile ranks high within the Express Entry pool, you will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence.
3. Submit your full application: After receiving an ITA, send your complete application which should include additional documentation like:
- Reference letters
- Police clearance certificates
- Medical examination results
Remember that while creating your profile, it’s important to ensure that all the information you provide is accurate and up to date to avoid any issues or delays with your application.
With the introduction of these new category-based selections, Express Entry is expected to become a more dynamic and responsive tool tailored to Canada’s ever-changing labour market needs and societal aspirations. This new era of Express Entry signifies a hopeful future, offering promising opportunities for skilled immigrants in various sectors.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who can qualify?
Eligible candidates for the new Express Entry draw categories are those with experience in healthcare, STEM professions, trades, transport, agriculture and agri-food, or those with high proficiency in French (NCLC 7 in all aspects).
2. When do the new draws start?
The new category draws will begin later this summer. The exact date is yet to be announced.
3. Is an Express Entry profile still required for eligible occupations?
Yes, candidates must meet the eligibility criteria of an Express Entry managed program such as the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Canadian Experience Class, or Federal Skilled Trades Program.
4. If my occupation is not listed in the categories, can I still apply for Express Entry?
Yes. If your occupation is not on the targeted list, you can still be considered for general draws. The provinces and territories will continue to use the Express Entry pool to select candidates.
5. Does the CRS score still matter?
Yes, the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score remains crucial for Express Entry draws. There will still be draws where candidates are invited without reference to any category, including all-program or program-specific draws.
6. What are the criteria for each category?
For the five job-specific categories, candidates need a minimum of 6 months of continuous work experience in the past 3 years in an eligible job and meet all round instructions. For the French language category, a minimum NCLC score of 7 in all abilities is required, along with meeting all round instructions.
7. Will PNP candidates still have Express Entry draws?
Yes, candidates with provincial or territorial nominations will continue to be invited through general and PNP-specific rounds.
8. Why introduce new categories?
The new categories aim to fulfill numerous vacancies across Canada and promote the growth of French-speaking communities outside Quebec, aligning with Canada’s economic goals and bilingual status.
9. How were the categories decided?
The categories were selected after mandatory discussions and public consultations with various stakeholders such as provinces and territories, industry members, unions, employers, worker advocacy groups, and immigration researchers and practitioners.
10. Will the categories be updated?
Yes, categories may change annually following an IRCC report to parliament, which will include details about each category, its selection, and the number of invitations issued. This information will also be included in the Express Entry Year-End Report.
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