On May 31, 2023, a new selection process was announced for the Express Entry program that will now allow for eligible candidates to be invited to apply for permanent residency in Canada based on specific categories. This new category-based selection process for Express Entry will invite skilled workers from certain professions and those with a strong proficiency in French.
The categories are selected every year based on a report to Parliament of the labour and economic needs of the country. For 2023, category-based selection invitations will focus on candidates who have:
- a strong French language proficiency or
- work experience in the following fields:
- science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions
- trades, such as carpenters, plumbers and contractors
- agriculture and agri-food
This process aims to assist with Canada’s changing economic and labour market by bringing in workers for in-demand professions. Furthermore, the focus on French language immigration is to ensure that French communities will be able to continue their livelihood in Canada in the official language of choice.
What is The Express Entry Program?
The Express Entry program allows for people to immigrate to Canada under certain economic programs. If you are a foreign skilled worker, you may qualify for one of the programs under Express Entry and be invited to apply for permanent residency in Canada.
How do I know if I am eligible for Express Entry?
As a foreign worker, you can be eligible for Express Entry if you fall into one of the following three categories:
- Canadian Experience Class: applies to skilled workers who have Canadian work experience. You will need to have at least one year of fill-time skilled work experience in Canada, gained within the last 3 years to qualify.
- Federal Skilled Worker Program: applies to skilled workers with foreign work experience, and meet the minimum requirements for education, work experience and language. You will need to have at least one year of skilled work experience to qualify.
- Federal Skilled Trades Program: applies to skilled workers who are qualified in a skilled trade. You will need to have a valid job offer or a certificate of qualification to be eligible in this category.
Furthermore, if you are eligible for one the programs you can also apply for Express Entry through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). The program targets foreign workers who have education, work experience or skills that can contribute to the economy of a specific province or territory, and will want to live in that specific province or territory. If you are nominated through PNP, this can help expedite an invitation to apply for permanent residency.
Once you determine that you are eligible for one of the Express Entry programs, you will have to create an Express Entry profile online, where your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score will be determined.
What is a CRS score?
The Comprehensive Ranking System is a point system that is designed to assess whether you are likely to become successfully established in Canada after obtaining permanent residence status. There are several factors that are assessed to determine your CRS score, which include:
- Language proficiency in French or English
- Work experience
- Arranged employment
Your CRS score is used to determine if you will receive an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence in Canada. Use our FREE Express Entry CRS calculator to see if you qualify.
We have years of experience assisting applicants with their permanent residence applications through the Express Entry system. See if you qualify by calculating your CRS score.
How Do The New Measures Affect the Express Entry Program?
With the new measures, invitations to apply can now be sent out in 3 different ways. Previously, invites were sent out through:
- General rounds: invites are sent out to top ranking candidates who are eligible for any 1 of the 3 Express Entry programs.
- Program Specific rounds: Invitations are sent out to top-ranking candidates who are eligible for a specific Express Entry program. For instance, if IRCC is specifically doing a PNP invite round, they will only send out invites to PNP candidates.
Now with Category-based invite rounds, top-ranking candidates that are eligible in one of the specified categories can receive an invitation. This provides another faster route to be invited if you might not qualify as a top-ranking candidate through the other Express Entry program, but meet the requirements for one of the selected categories.
Notably, in order to be invited through one of the occupation categories, you will only need 6 months of continuous work experience in Canada or abroad, within the past 3 years, to be eligible under a category-based invite. If you are eligible under one of the categories, your CRS score will still matter as it will count towards your ranking amongst other candidates to be invited. Furthermore, you can still be invited as a candidate through General rounds or PNP rounds if you meet the necessary eligibility requirements.
How do I apply for permanent residence through Express Entry?
After you submit a completed Express Entry profile online you will be placed in a pool with other applicants and will be ranked against other eligible candidates based on your CRS score. Immigration authorities will periodically draw from the pool of candidates and those with the highest CRS score amongst the pool of eligible candidates will receive an ITA. Express Entry draws take place approximately every two weeks.
Once you receive an ITA, the invitation is only valid for 60 days for you to apply for Permanent Residence. After all your documents are uploaded and fees are paid for your PR application, you will just have to wait to see the status of your PR application, and IRCC will notify you of any updates on your application such as requesting for biometrics and medical examinations.
Learn more about Canada’s Express Entry program and the latest on the most recent Express Entry Draw.
How Can We Help
The Law Office of Matthew Jeffery, has over 20 years of experience in guiding individuals through the immigration process. If you are interested in applying for Express Entry or permanent residence, use our FREE CRS Calculator to see if you qualify.