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In the second Express Entry draw of the week, Invitations to Apply (ITAs) have been released by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

In a category-based selection draw for trade occupations, the department issued 1,800 ITAs.

To be considered, candidates had to receive a minimum of 436 points on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

The outcomes announced today were the first category-based selection draw held since April 24. Additionally, it was the first trade occupation draw since December 2023. In this year’s category-based selection draws, trade occupation draws will make up 5% of all ITAs, as per an April 2016 IRCC document.

Only candidates in the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) were taken into consideration at this week’s draw, which was held by the IRCC on July 2. For consideration, 920 candidates had to have a minimum CRS score of 739.

Early in the year, program-specific drawings started to become popular. Three of the four program-specific lotteries that the IRCC has conducted since May 30 have been for PNP candidates.

Only applicants who applied through an Express Entry program, such as the CEC, the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), or the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), are taken into consideration for program-specific lotteries. Candidates are only taken into consideration in the event of a PNP-only draw if they have been effectively nominated using an upgraded nomination process that is linked with Express Entry.

This kind of draw had not happened until recently, since May 2023, when category-based selection draws were implemented. Nonetheless, the IRCC has been attempting to stabilize Canada’s high number of temporary residents since January of this year. Giving temporary residents—those in Canada on a visitation visa, work permit, or study permit—more choices to become permanent residents (PR) is one way to do this.

Many temporary residents who have applied for permanent residence, and are currently living in Canada or have experience living in Canada, apply for PR through the CEC. The same is also true of candidates in the PNP. This means IRCC can meet its yearly target for “Federal High Skilled Workers” (Express Entry) as outlined in the Immigration Levels Plan, while also reducing the number of temporary residents in Canada.

Summary of Express Entry draw results in 2024

Date Draw Type Number of ITAs Minimum CRS
July 4 Trade occupations 1,800 436
July 2 Provincial Nominee Program 920 739
June 19 Provincial Nominee Program 1,499 663
May 31 Canadian Experience Class 3,000 522
May 30 Provincial Nominee Program 2,985 676
April 24 French proficiency 1,400 410
April 23 General 2,095 529
April 11 STEM occupations 4,500 491
April 10 General 1,280 549
March 26 French language proficiency 1,500 388
March 25 General 1,980 524
March 13 Transport occupations 975 430
March 12 General 2,850 525
February 29 French language proficiency 2,500 336
February 28 General 1,470 534
February 16 Agriculture and agri-food occupations 150 437
February 14 Healthcare occupations 3,500 422
February 13 General 1,490 535
February 1 French language proficiency 7,000 365
January 31 General 730 541
January 23 General 1,040 543
January 10 General 1,510 546

What is Express Entry?

The Express Entry application management system was introduced in 2015 as a way for IRCC to target candidates with in-demand human capital attributes and process their applications faster. It oversees applications from the FSWP, the FSTP and the CEC.

The CRS used by Express Entry considers human capital factors such as age, work experience, occupation, language ability  and occupation to evaluate a candidate’s eligibility. Each factor is assigned a score and, when added together, candidates receive their overall CRS score. The higher a candidate’s CRS score, the more likely the are to receive an ITA in an upcoming draw.

There are several types of Express Entry draws including program-specific draws, category-based selection draws and general draws. General draws consider all Express Entry candidates regardless of their program or occupation.

What is selection based on categories?

In 2023, the IRCC implemented category-based selection draws as a way to identify Express Entry applicants who possess desirable qualities for the Canadian workforce or to contribute to the growth of the country’s French-speaking population.

The IRCC established six categories under which candidates may be awarded ITAs:

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

These draws are not program-specific and are more likely to feature a lower than average CRS score (when compared to general draws).

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