IRCC Issued 500 ITAs in STEM occupations Under Express Entry Draw

The Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) held its first-ever Express Entry Draw for candidates in STEM occupations. The second round of Invitations to Apply has been issued this week. This Express Entry Draw targeted eligible candidates for category-based selection in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) occupations. 

A total of 500 candidates received Invitations to Apply with a minimum CRS score of 486. This Express Entry Draw did not come as a surprise, as the IRCC had declared last week that it would be conducting its first-ever Express Entry Draw under category-based selection for candidates in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) occupations, this week. 

Furthermore, it has been confirmed by the IRCC that it will be conducting another round of invitations this week, issuing a total of 1,500 Invitations to Apply to healthcare workers applying for permanent residence. 

The latest and most recent Express Entry Draw for category-based selection was conducted on the 28th of June, 2023, inviting 500 healthcare workers with a minimum CRS score of 476, which has been recorded as the lowest-ever score in any Express Entry Draw conducted in the year of 2023 so far.

STEM occupations targeted under category-based selection:

In its most recent update, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) had stated its intention of prioritizing the invitation of new skilled workers having significant work experience in STEM-based occupations. The intention behind such a motive is to meet the growing demand for talent and to help fill the gaps in the Canadian labor market, so as to aid the country’s economic upswing and technological advancement.

List of eligible occupations under the latest STEM Draw:

  • 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

In his latest address to the nation, the country’s Minister of Immigration, Sean Fraser, announced that the new category-based selection criteria have been finalized by the IRCC for Express Entry Draws. These categories have been chosen keeping in mind the labor market projections and discussions with potential IRCC partners and stakeholders, along with meetings held with provincial and territorial governments.

The chosen categories have been listed below. 

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

The new move for category-based selection draws comes as an effective strategy undertaken by the Government of Canada, following the changes made to Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, as it allows for the selection of immigrants on the basis of key attributes supporting Canada’s economic requirements.

What is meant by Express Entry?

The Canadian government employs an online system called Express Entry to manage, and process applications from skilled professionals looking to come to the country and get permanent residency. 

The Express Entry Program serves as a major pathway to acquiring a permanent residence for immigrants wanting to begin a new life in Canada. Statistically speaking, the country welcomes a total of 250,000 immigrants through this program every year. 

This online system is specifically designed for talented workers wanting to immigrate to Canada and subsequently gain permanent residence in the country. This online system controls three specific federal economic programs, as mentioned below:

  • Federal Skilled Workers (FSW)
  • Federal Skilled Traders (FST)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

How do I Become Eligible for Express Entry?

In order to be eligible to apply to the Express Entry Program as a skilled worker, every candidate must fulfill the following eligibility conditions stated as below:

  • Possess at least a year of work experience in any skilled occupation.
  • Be able to demonstrate a minimum of seven on a language exam that has been authorized in either English or French according to the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB).  
  • Completed post-secondary education that has been evaluated against Canadian standards with the help of an Education Credential Assessment. 

It must be duly noted that all the points mentioned above are the minimum requirements to become eligible for Express Entry. It does not necessarily mean that candidates who meet these minimum criteria would receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) under the Express Entry Program. Candidates with a better and stronger profile are naturally given greater credence over those who simply meet the basic prerequisites or general requirements.

Quick points to keep in mind when applying for the latest Express Entry Draw:

  • All candidates who receive Invitations to Apply in a category-based selection draw are required to be in the Express Entry application pool through any specific Express Entry Program like Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, or the Canadian Experience Class. 
  • Candidates with a higher CRS score are more likely to receive an Invitation to Apply, as compared to those who simply meet the minimum requirements. 
  • Candidates invited on the basis of strong French language proficiency are required to submit their French language test results with a minimum score of 7 in all four language abilities.
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