Express Entry: IRCC Conducts Three Consecutive Express Entry Draws

IRCC Conducts Three Consecutive Express Entry Draws: On July 4, 2023, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) invited 700 candidates in a surprise All Program Express Entry draw #253. Invitations were sent to candidates with a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 511. Then, on July 5th, IRCC held draw #254 to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Occupations with a CRS score of 486 and above. Subsequently, IRCC held draw #255 on July 6th, inviting 1500 healthcare workers with a CRS score of only 463. The July 5th draw was the first category-based selection Express Entry draw for STEM professions. On June 28, IRCC held the first-ever Express Entry category-based draw for healthcare workers, inviting 500 candidates with a minimum CRS score of 476 in draw #252. The July 4th draw with CRS score of 511 is the highest seen in any all-program draw of 2023. Prior to that, the all-program draw #251 on June 27 invited 4,300 candidates invited with a minimum CRS score of 486.

Category-Based Draws – Express Entry Draw

Category-based selection draws are a new type of Express Entry draw that aims to invite candidates within specific occupational fields or those who have other in-demand attributes. There are six new categories for which candidates may be eligible:

  1. Healthcare
  2. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions
  3. Trades, such as carpenters, plumbers, and contractors
  4. Transport
  5. Agriculture and agri-food
  6. Strong French-language proficiency

Category-based selection draws were made possible following changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in June 2022. The changes give the immigration minister the authority to invite economic immigrants based on a specific attribute that align with Canada’s economic priorities or will promote the French language outside of Quebec.

What are the criteria for Each New Category?

To be eligible for one of the five occupation-specific categories, all candidates must:

  • have accumulated, at least 6 months of continuous work experience (in Canada or abroad) within the past 3 years in a single occupation listed as eligible.
  • meet all requirements in the instructions for that round.

Healthcare Occupations for Category-Based Selection

Among the six new categories, healthcare occupations make up the largest number of eligible occupations with 35 in total:

  • Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
  • Chiropractors
  • Dentists
  • Dieticians and nutritionists
  • Education counsellors
  • General practitioners and family physicians
  • Instructors of persons with disabilities
  • Kinesiologists and other professional occupations in therapy and assessment
  • Licensed practical nurses
  • Massage therapists
  • Medical laboratory assistants and related technical occupations
  • Medical laboratory technologists
  • Medical radiation technologists
  • Medical sonographers
  • Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Nursing coordinators and supervisors
  • Occupational therapists
  • Optometrists
  • Other assisting occupations in support of health services
  • Other practitioners of natural healing
  • Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating
  • Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment
  • Paramedical occupations
  • Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants
  • Physician assistants, midwives and allied health professionals
  • Physiotherapists
  • Psychologists
  • Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses
  • Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
  • Specialists in clinical and laboratory medicine
  • Specialists in surgery
  • Therapists in counselling and related specialized therapies
  • Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists
  • Veterinarians

STEM Occupations for Category-Based Selection

Canada’s aim is to meet the growing demand for talent and fill key positions that contribute to the nation’s economic growth and technological advancement.

Eligible occupations under the STEM draw include:

  • Architects
  • Architecture and science managers
  • Business systems specialists
  • Civil Engineers
  • Computer and information systems managers
  • Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
  • Computer systems developers and programmers
  • Cybersecurity specialists
  • Data scientists
  • Database analysts and data administrators
  • Electrical and electronics engineers
  • Engineering managers
  • Industrial and manufacturing engineers
  • Information systems specialists
  • Land surveyors
  • Landscape Architects
  • Mathematicians, statisticians, and actuaries
  • Metallurgical and materials engineers
  • Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants, and program officers
  • Software developers and programmers
  • Software engineers and designers
  • Urban and land use planners
  • Web designers
  • Web developers and programmers

To be eligible for category-based selection, you must already be in the Express Entry pool and qualify under one of the three express entry programs, such as Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trade or Canadian Experience class.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact us via email at for further information.