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April 10, 2024

Canada invites candidates in Express Entry draw for STEM occupations

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has issued invitations to candidates in the second Express Entry draw of the week.

The department issued 4,500  invitations to apply (ITAs) in a category-based selection draw for candidates in STEM occupations.

Candidates required a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 491 to be considered.

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This was the first draw for candidates in STEM occupations so far this year. Today’s draw follows a general draw from yesterday, April 10. IRCC invited 1,280 candidates with a minimum CRS score of 549, the highest minimum CRS score of any draw in 2024.  

The first general draw this year, on January 10, required a CRS score of at least 546 to be considered and general draw scores continued to decrease over the past few months.  

The last general draw on March 25 invited 1,980 candidates with a CRS score of 524.  

General draws consider candidates from all three Express Entry-managed programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). Unlike category-based selection draws, a high CRS score is the main deciding factor in a candidate’s likelihood of receiving an ITA. 

Summary of Express Entry draw results in 2024

DateDraw TypeNumber of ITAsMinimum CRS
April 11STEM occupations4,500491
April 10General1,280549
March 26French language proficiency1,500388
March 25General1,980524
March 13Transport occupations975430
March 12General2,850525
February 29French language proficiency2,500336
February 28General1,470534
February 16Agriculture and agri-food occupations150437
February 14Healthcare occupations3,500422
February 13General1,490535
February 1French language proficiency7,000365
January 31General730541
January 23General1,040543
January 10General1,510546

What is category-based selection?

Category-based selection draws were introduced in May 2023 as a means for IRCC to better target Express Entry candidates with in-demand skills or human capital attributes.

The department introduced six categories in 2023 and confirmed earlier this year that the same categories will be used throughout 2024. They are:

Healthcare occupations
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions
Trades occupations, such as carpenters, plumbers, and contractors
Transport occupations
Agriculture and agri-food occupations
Strong French proficiency

Candidates must already have an application in the Express Entry pool to be considered for category-based selection.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is an application management system for three of Canada’s most prominent economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).

Through these programs, applicants are evaluated based on their human capital factors such as their work experience, occupation, language ability, age and education.

Each factor is assigned a score and added together for a final Comprehensive Ranking System score. Those with the highest scores are the most likely to receive an invitation to apply for permanent resident status.

One of the major benefits of Express Entry is, as the name implies, that a candidate’s final applications for PR will be processed more quickly than other economic immigration programs. IRCC has a published service standard of six months for 80% of all Express Entry applications. The remaining 20% may take longer in complex cases.

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