Canada invited 5,500 Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residency for the second consecutive week as it held the second invitation draw of 2023.
The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) cutoff score for this draw was 490 points – 17 lower than the previous invitation round.
Following this latest draw, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has invited 11,000 candidates to apply for Canadian permanent residency in 2023 – the fastest-ever start to the Express Entry pathway.
Having invited 5,500 Express Entry candidates in the first invitation round as well, this latest draw – held on January 18, 2023 – marked two consecutive weeks in which IRCC has issued 5,500 invitations to apply (ITAs).
Like the previous iteration, this invitation draw was also all-program and invited candidates belonging to all three of Canada’s Express Entry programs – the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
Inviting 11,000 Express Entry candidates before the end of January also indicates Canada’s willingness to welcome new skilled immigrants in what promises to be an eventful 2023 for Canadian immigration.
Indeed, the 11,000 ITAs issued by IRCC this year make it the fastest start to Express Entry since it was launched in 2015, crossing the previous record of 10,000 invitations rolled out in January 2021.
IRCC has been working to create new categories for Express Entry candidates to better address Canada’s acute shortage of skilled workers.
According to Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Sean Fraser, the new categories will allow IRCC to support Canada’s economic priorities by inviting Express Entry applicants who are better placed to fill urgent gaps in the workforce.
New categories will be based on candidates’ attributes, such as their education, occupation, work experience and language abilities.
There could also be new categories for international students to obtain permanent residency through the Express Entry program, particularly if the student graduates from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).
Temporary residents could also get a similar category as they have been found to have better labour market integration and be well-equipped to transfer their skills when needed.