Canada has recently conducted its first round of Express Entry draws based on STEM categories, signaling a significant milestone in the country’s immigration measures. The aim of these category-based draws is to actively welcome skilled professionals in fields such as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, aligning with Canada’s commitment to embrace in-demand workers and meet labor market needs through immigration.
By issuing 500 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to individuals with a minimum Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) of 486, who work in STEM professions like Software Developers, Programmers, and Mathematicians, Canada is ensuring that it attracts top talent in the tech industry. This move is in line with the recently launched Tech Talent Attraction Strategy, which solidifies Canada’s position as an attractive international destination for skilled professionals.
The introduction of category-based selection demonstrates Canada’s determination to fill critical labor gaps, particularly in targeted sectors. By harnessing the expertise of skilled professionals from around the world, Canada aims to address worker shortages and bolster its immigration efforts. This new system allows for a more strategic approach to immigration, ensuring that the country can attract individuals with specialized skills and knowledge.
In addition to the category-based draws, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has also been conducting program-related draws. For instance, an all-program Express Entry draw was conducted recently, issuing 700 ITAs to candidates with a CRS score of at least 511. These regular program-related draws will continue alongside the targeted category-based draws, providing multiple opportunities for individuals to apply for Permanent Residency in Canada.
Express Entry, which was introduced in 2015, has been one of Canada’s main pathways for economic immigration. It encompasses programs such as the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). The system selects candidates from the federal pool based on their CRS score, granting them the opportunity to apply for Permanent Residency.
To address worker shortages in key sectors and enhance Francophone immigration, the Canadian government introduced changes to the Express Entry system in March 2023. These changes aim to target specific labor needs and invite candidates with specialized work experience and language skills. The targeted categories include healthcare workers, STEM professionals, tradespeople, transportation workers, and agriculture and agri-food workers. Additionally, candidates with strong French language proficiency are also given preference.
It is important to note that targeted draws will not replace other Express Entry draws throughout the year. The Canadian government will continue to conduct regular program-related draws alongside the category-based selection process. This ensures that a diverse range of skilled professionals have the opportunity to immigrate to Canada and contribute to its labor market.
Canada’s commitment to attracting skilled professionals through its Express Entry system highlights the country’s recognition of the value that immigrants bring to its economy and society. By actively seeking individuals with specialized skills and knowledge in high-demand sectors, Canada is positioning itself as a global leader in innovation and technology.