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BREAKING: In the second 2023 Express Entry draw, the IRCC invites 5,500 applicants.

Today's surprise Express Entry draw by the IRCC was the second in a row. The IRCC has already extended invitations to 11,000 Express Entry candidates in 2023, which is the program's fastest-ever launch.

The second Express Entry draw of the year was held in Canada today.

A minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 490 was required for invitations to be sent out to 5,500 candidates by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Since no specific program was mentioned, qualified applicants from the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program were all invited to apply (FSTP). All of these initiatives work with the Express Entry framework.

As the second Express Entry round of invitations in as many weeks, the draw was unexpected. On January 11, the IRCC had just completed a draw for which it had also invited 5,500 applicants. The CRS cut-off score decreased by 17 points between draws, falling to 507 for last week's draw. The score for this draw was originally reported by IRCC as 507; however, it has subsequently been corrected to 490. The first drawing since November 23, 2022, was last week. Every two weeks on Wednesdays, Express Entry draws often take place. The IRCC has not explained why there was a break in draws during this time.

Express Entry offers the fastest service standard of all of Canada's more than 100 different skilled immigration channels, granting permanent residency to the majority of successful applicants in under six months.

Express Entry's quick start to the year is a part of what is probably going to be a busy year for the primary skilled immigration channel of the IRCC.

For targeted Express Entry lotteries, IRCC is creating categories:

The IRCC has been working to develop additional draw categories for candidates in Express Entry programs ever since Bill C-19 gained royal assent in June of last year. This is a significant change from the current practice of selecting applicants purely on the basis of a high score inside the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

In its most recent action, the IRCC finished a round of public and stakeholder consultations to better understand Canada's most pressing talent gaps.

All applicants must be qualified to submit an application through the current Express Entry application management system, regardless of category.

Before invites are sent out, the categories will be disclosed when the Minister makes a decision.

Possibilities for targeted draw categories:

The categories will be determined by a candidate's characteristics, including their profession, employment history, level of education, and language proficiency. By welcoming individuals who are better qualified to fill critical labor shortages, the immigration minister claims that this will help Canada's economic interests.

There may be draws to select Express Entry candidates who have particular job experience pertinent to a high-demand industry.

Additionally, if the student has a degree or diploma from a Designated Learning Institution in an in-demand sector, IRCC may develop categories to assist foreign students in Canada in becoming permanent residents through Express Entry.

For similar reasons, temporary residents are being treated as a separate group. It has been discovered that people with prior short-term work experience in Canada integrate more successfully into the labor market and are better able to transfer their talents when necessary.

As the government works to fulfill its duty to strengthen Canada's bilingual character and address labor gaps in areas where knowing French is required for a job, skilled immigrants who speak French may also have an advantage in acquiring an ITA.


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