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Express Entry: The new category-based selection process

Express Entry: The new category-based selection process

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The new category-based selection process: Express Entry is the electronic system used by the Canadian government to manage applications for permanent residence through economic immigration programs. It is designed to attract skilled foreign workers who can contribute to Canada’s economy.

The Express Entry system includes three main economic immigration programs:

  1. Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP): This program is for skilled workers with foreign work experience and qualifications that will enable them to contribute to the Canadian economy. Eligibility is determined based on age, education, work experience, language proficiency, and adaptability.
  2. Canadian Experience Class (CEC): This program is for individuals who have gained skilled work experience in Canada and wish to become permanent residents. Applicants must have at least one year of skilled work experience in Canada and meet language requirements to be eligible.
  3. Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP): This program is for skilled tradespeople who have work experience in a skilled trade and meet the required language and employment criteria. Examples of eligible occupations include electricians, plumbers, carpenters, and welders.

To apply through Express Entry, candidates must create an online profile and provide information about their skills, work experience, education, language ability, and other relevant factors. Based on this information, candidates are assigned a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, determining their rank in the Express Entry pool.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have announced that candidates in programs run by Express Entry will now be chosen based on their group.


The news comes almost a year after a bill was passed that gave the immigration minister the power to call Express Entry candidates with certain skills to help Canada reach its economic goals. Many people thought that targeted draws would start this year, but until now, IRCC hadn’t said anything about what might be used as selection factors in a targeted draw.

In light of this new information, we’ve compiled answers to some of the most pressing issues potential Express Entry candidates may have about the new selection groups.

Who can Apply?

Express Entry candidates will be eligible for the new draw categories if they have work experience in one of the following fields: healthcare science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professions trades including carpenters, plumbers and contractors transport agricultural and agri-food or have advanced French language skills (at least NCLC 7 in reading, writing, hearing, and speaking)

When will the draws be held?

Drawings for the new groups will begin later this summer, but there is no exact date yet.

One of the common questions that arise in the mind of applicants is: Do I still need an Express Entry profile if I work in one of the qualified jobs to be chosen?

The answer is Yes. Candidates must still meet the requirements to be eligible for a program handled by Express Entry. The Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Canadian Experience Class, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program are all programs that can be used.

Will Express Entry no longer use the CRS?

In Express Entry draws, a candidate’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) number will still be considered. IRCC will still hold draws where candidates are asked without regard to any of the six categories. This could include draws for all programs or draws just for one show.

Applicants in the Express Entry pool who match the category requirements will be ranked, according to IRCC, depending on invitation rounds. Then, the top-ranked candidates will be asked to apply for permanent residence.

Are the factors for each new group different?

In each of the five job-specific categories, all candidates must have the following:

  • At least 6 months of continuous work experience (in Canada or abroad) in a single job mentioned as qualified within the last 3 years.
  • meet all of the rules in the round’s directions.

Those who are invited based on their strong French language skills must have a minimum score of 7 on the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens for all four language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) and meet all the requirements in the instructions for that round.

Will there still be draws for PNP candidates who want to use Express Entry?

IRCC says it will keep inviting candidates who have been nominated by a province or territory through both general and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)-specific rounds. The department says that these applicants have shown that they have the skills, education, and work experience to help the province or territory’s economy. It is also important to know which PNP Program is best for you.

Why are there so many new categories?

The job of Canada’s immigration minister is to support the country’s economic goals and encourage the growth of French-speaking towns outside of Quebec. This helps protect French as one of Canada’s official languages.

The goal of the new groups is to fill a large number of open jobs across Canada. Targeted immigration can help fill jobs in areas where there aren’t enough people, and it can also increase the number of French speakers in communities where French is spoken but not as the main language.

Minister Fraser says that letting in more skilled workers in these chosen fields will help Canada let in professionals who are in demand in cities and towns all over the country.

How did IRCC come up with the new groups?

According to IRCC, the categories were chosen after mandatory discussions and public consultations with provinces and territories, members of industry, unions, employers, workers, worker advocacy groups, settlement provider organizations, and immigration researchers and practitioners.

Will the Categories be different?

The categories can change every year after the IRCC sends a report to parliament which includes the following factors:

  • With the categories from the previous year, 
  • Why they were chosen, and 
  • How they were chosen.
  • The rules for setting up a category
  • How many invites were sent out for each type of event

IRCC says that the Express Entry Year-End Report will also have information about how people are chosen based on their qualifications.


  1. New Express Entry Categories
  2. Targeting In-Demand Skills
  3. Regular EE Draws
  4. CRS Scores Still Used
  5. PNP Focus on Regional Needs
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