The first-ever category-based selection for Express Entry has finally taken place, after nearly a year of anticipation. Since the passing of Bill C-19, targeted draws have been expected to begin this year, but before now there was no clear information on what these types of draws would look like. However, the IRCC has finally released more comprehensive information about these draws and what to expect, addressing many questions and concerns that many have.
These new category-based selections will allow Canada to issue invitations to apply (ITAs) to prospective applications with specific skills, training or language abilities. This will better allow for the selection of applicants with the most in-demand skills to be chosen to receive permanent residence. Draws are expected to begin this summer 2023, though no exact date has been released as of yet.
Here is everything you need to know about category-based selection for Express Entry (with updates as we learn them!)
For 2023, the categories that have been chosen are:
The categories can change on a yearly basis based on what is reported to parliament. Each year the IRCC will report:
To be eligible for an invitation through a category-based round, all requirements for that round must be met. There are also specific conditions that must be met depending on the category that is being targeted. For the 2023 categories, eligibility includes:
French-language proficiency: Must have a French-language test result that shows a minimum score of 7 in all 4 language abilities on the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens.
Healthcare occupations: Have accumulated within the past 3 years, at least 6 months of continuous work experience (in Canada or abroad) in one of the 35 targeted NOC codes.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) occupations: Have accumulated within the past 3 years, at least 6 months of continuous work experience (in Canada or abroad) in one of the 24 targeted NOC codes.
Trade occupations: Have accumulated within the past 3 years, at least 6 months of continuous work experience (in Canada or abroad) in one of the 10 targeted NOC codes.
Transport occupations: Have accumulated within the past 3 years, at least 6 months of continuous work experience (in Canada or abroad) in one of the 10 targeted NOC codes.
Agriculture and agri-food occupations: Have accumulated within the past 3 years, at least 6 months of continuous work experience (in Canada or abroad) in one of the 3 targeted NOC codes.
Specific NOC codes are listed on the Canadian government’s dedicated page.
While all the categories have a number of in-demand jobs, healthcare occupations are particularly in-demand. In the fourth quarter of 2022, there were over 143,000 job vacancies in the Healthcare and Social Assistance category, making the job vacancy rate 6%. All provinces across Canada are facing labour shortages in the healthcare sector, however Ontario and Quebec are the highest with 55,000 and 40,000 job vacancies respectively.
Newcomers already make up a significant number of physicians and nurses. As of the end of 2022, 36% of physicians were born outside of Canada.
Here are the 35 occupations being targeted for healthcare workers:
|Occupation||2021 NOC Code||2021 TEER Category|
|Audiologists and speech language pathologists||31112||1|
|Dieticians and nutritionists||31121||1|
|General practitioners and family physicians||31102||1|
|Instructors of persons with disabilities||42203||2|
|Kinesiologists and other professional occupation in therapy and assessment||31204||1|
|Licensed practical nurses||32101||2|
|Medical laboratory assistants and related technical occupations||33101||3|
|Medical laboratory technologists||32120||2|
|Medical radiation technologists||32121||2|
|Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates||33102||3|
|Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors||31300||1|
|Other assisting occupations in support of health services||33109||3|
|Other practitioners of natural healing||32209||2|
|Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating||31209||1|
|Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment||32109||2|
|Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants||33103||3|
|Physician assistants, midwives and allied health professionals||31303||1|
|Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses||31301||1|
|Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists||32103||2|
|Specialists in clinical and laboratory medicine||31100||1|
|Specialists in surgery||31101||1|
|Therapists in counselling and related specialized therapies||41301||1|
|Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists||32200||2|
Category-based draws are expected to begin taking place this summer. More information will likely be made available in the next few weeks.
Applicant’s Comprehensive Ranking System score (CRS) will still count, and be an important factor for Express Entry draws. Category-based rounds of invitations will invite the top-ranking candidates in the pool who are eligible for the category being targeted for that round.
This will give candidates a better chance as their CRS score will only be ranked with those in that selected category rather than the entire Express Entry pool.
In their announcement, IRCC confirmed that the category-based rounds of invitation will add to general and provincial rounds, suggesting all program draws will continue to take place. If your occupation does not appear on the demand list, you can still be considered for these general draws.
Furthermore, provinces and territories will continue to use the Express Entry pool to source applicants. Candidates who have secured a provincial nomination have demonstrated they have the skills, education and work experience to contribute to the province or territory’s economy, therefore they will receive an ITA via the all program or provincial Express Entry draws.
Yes, Express Entry will hold different types of draws throughout the year, not just category-based draws. There will be 3 types of rounds:
Immigration has been a key strategy for the Canadian government to help address labour market shortages. The current immigration plan also aims to attract the skills required to fill critical sectors, such as health care, skilled trades, manufacturing and technology sectors. Category-based draws will help to address these shortages by allowing the government to target roles and industries facing the most severe shortages.
Over the next three years, Canada will increase the number of new immigrants to the country each year. Canada will aim to welcome 465,000 new immigrants in 2023. The target will rise to 485,000 new immigrants in 2024. And it will again rise in 2025 to 500,000 new immigrants.
Express Entry is a system used by the Canadian government to manage applications for Canadian permanent residency. Express Entry uses a point-based system, the CRS, to rank candidates’ profiles. The system manages three main programs:
Applying to Express Entry is a two-step procedure. The first step is to submit your profile with the required documents. Required documents usually consist of language test results, educational credentials and passport or travel documentation.
After you submit a profile and receive an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence, you can submit your complete application for the IRCC to review. Your complete application should include supporting documents such as reference letters, additional identity documents, police clearance certificates, and results of a medical examination.
Interested in learning more about your options to enter the Express Entry pool? Complete our free online assessment form today!
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