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January 31, 2024

Canada issues 730 ITAs to candidates in latest Express Entry draw

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has issued invitations to apply (ITAs) in the latest Express Entry draw.

The department invited 730 candidates in a general draw.

Candidates required a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 541.

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This draw follows the most recent on January 23 in which 1,040 candidates with a minimum CRS score of 543 were invited in a general draw. The draw before that took place on January 10 and was also general and invited 1,510 candidates with a CRS score of 546.

It is still too early in the year to predict how Express Entry draws will unfold throughout 2024. In 2023, IRCC held 42 draws and issued ITAs to more than 110,000 candidates to help meet both the 2023 and 2024 admissions targets set out in the Immigration Levels Plan.

Changes to Post Graduation Work Permits

Many Express Entry candidates gain the work experience required for their programs by working in Canada after graduation from a Canadian post-secondary institution. One of the most common work permits for new graduates is the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).

On January 22, IRCC announced changes to eligibility criteria for PGWPs. Effective September 1, international students in a program at a private college that is part of curriculum licensing agreement with a public college will no longer be eligible for a PGWP.

Also, graduate-level students in a program shorter than the requisite eight months will now be eligible for a three-year PGWP. Currently, graduates are not eligible for a PGWP if their program is shorter than eight months and the length of time a PGWP is valid is tied to length of the graduate’s academic program. For example, a one-year program would be valid for a one-year permit.

This means that more graduate-level students will be able to get enough work experience in Canada to apply for a spot in the Express Entry application pool.

What is Express Entry?

The Express Entry application management system oversees the applications from three of Canada’s most prominent economic immigration programs; the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).

Candidates in these programs are given a score using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Scores are based on human capital attributes such as work experience, education, age, occupation and language ability. For example, a candidate between the ages of 20-29 receives 100 CRS points and less from age 30 and up.

In May 2023, IRCC announced that it was introducing category-based selection draws for Express Entry candidates who could demonstrate they had work experience in an in-demand occupation. One is for candidates with strong French-language proficiency and the remaining five categories are occupation based for:

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

Applying for Express Entry is a multi-step process. First, an applicant must self-evaluate if they are eligible for an Express Entry program. All three Express Entry programs have different eligibility criteria.

The second step is creating a profile in the Express Entry pool and obtaining a CRS score. From here, candidates must wait to receive an invitation to apply in an Express Entry draw.

Once a candidate receives an ITA, they have 60 days to gather their documents and submit their final application for permanent residence to IRCC.

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