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IRCC announces new selection categories for Express Entry candidates

Canada’s Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser, has recently unveiled the introduction of category-based selection draws for Express Entry candidates, marking a significant development in the country’s immigration system.

The Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will now prioritize Express Entry candidates who demonstrate a strong proficiency in the French language or possess work experience in specific sectors. These sectors include healthcare, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions, trades such as carpenters, plumbers, and contractors, transportation, as well as agriculture and agri-food.

The objective of these category-based draws is to address labor shortages by attracting skilled professionals in targeted fields, while also promoting the growth and importance of the French language in French minority communities outside of Quebec. The Canadian government recognizes the crucial role of immigration in fulfilling the labor demands and fostering the vitality of various communities across the country.

To determine eligibility for the category-based draws, interested individuals can refer to the list of eligible occupations provided by IRCC. The draws under these new categories are expected to commence later in the summer.

The implementation of these new Express Entry categories stems from amendments made to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in June 2022. These changes granted the Minister the authority to select immigrants based on specific attributes that align with Canada’s economic priorities.

The selection of these categories followed a comprehensive process involving public consultation with provinces, territories, industry members, unions, employers, workers, worker advocacy groups, settlement provider organizations, as well as immigration researchers and practitioners. The aim was to ensure a well-informed decision-making process that considers the diverse perspectives and requirements of various stakeholders.

Express Entry, introduced in 2015, was designed to address Canada’s evolving economic and labor market needs. It serves as an application management system for three economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Workers Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class.

Under the Express Entry system, candidates are assigned a score through the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), which evaluates factors such as work experience, language proficiency, occupation, education, and more. Candidates with higher CRS scores are more likely to receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence in Canada.

In conclusion, the introduction of category-based selection draws in Canada’s Express Entry system signifies the government’s commitment to meet labor demands, enhance economic growth, and support French-speaking communities outside of Quebec. These changes offer new opportunities for skilled professionals while ensuring that Canada’s immigration system remains responsive to the country’s social and economic needs.

Find out if you’re eligible for category-based draws

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