New Category-Based Express Entry Draws establish an additional selection method that chooses candidates with low CRS scores who possess work experience in specific fields or those who are proficient in French. The Canadian Government implemented this system to help address labor shortages in these fields and to help preserve Canada’s French-speaking community.
In this Canada immigration guide, we will cover the key things you should know about category-based Express Entry draws.
Category-Based Express Entry Draws: Overview
The “targeted” or “category-based” Express Entry draws focus on people with experience in any one of 82 occupations selected by IRCC to solve labour shortages in Canada. These are spread across the following five fields:
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Professions
Category-Based Express Entry Occupation List
Check out all the occupations eligible under the category-based Express Entry in 2023 in the comprehensive list:
NOC TEER Code
Audiologists and speech language pathologists
Dieticians and nutritionists
General practitioners and family physicians
Instructors of persons with disabilities
Kinesiologists and other professional occupation in therapy and assessment
Licensed practical nurses
Medical laboratory assistants and related technical occupations
Medical laboratory technologists
Medical radiation technologists
Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates
Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors
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
Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants
Physician assistants, midwives and allied health professionals
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
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) occupations
Architecture and science managers
Business systems specialists
Computer and information systems managers
Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
Computer systems developers and programmers
Database analysts and data administrators
Electrical and electronics engineers
Industrial and manufacturing engineers
Information systems specialists
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 developers and programmers
Skilled Trade Occupations
Residential and commercial installers and servicers
Elevator constructors and mechanics
Heating, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics
Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics
Electricians (except industrial and power system)
Welders and related machine operators
Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers
Aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors
Transport truck drivers
Railway traffic controllers and marine traffic regulators
Engineer officers, water transport
Deck officers, water transport
Air traffic controllers and related occupations
Air pilots, flight engineers and flying instructors
Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors
Managers in transportation
Agriculture and Agri-Food Occupations
Contractors and supervisors, landscaping, grounds maintenance and horticulture services
Agricultural service contractors and farm supervisors
Butchers- retail and wholesale
The Canadian Government introduced the new targeted system to help address labour shortages in each of the aforementioned fields. To qualify, candidates must have a minimum of 6 months of continuous work experience in one of these occupations obtained within the last 3 years.
3 Benefits of the Category-Based Express Entry Draws
The new category-based Express Entry draws system has many distinct benefits. This includes:
1. Helping Employers
Canadian employers in many industries are experiencing worker shortages. Much of this is due to the demand for workers exceeding the supply available due to the time it takes such professionals to complete their education and acquire the necessary skills.
Setting up a special Express Entry sub-category for such workers allows them to enter the Canadian labour pool and help fill crucial job openings in the aforementioned fields.
2. Benefitting the Canadian Economy
Bringing in skilled workers in these fields also benefits the Canadian economy. These workers don’t just help address the current Canadian labour shortage; they also enable Canadian businesses to grow and expand, increasing Canada’s national output.
3. Preserving Canada’s French-Speaking Community
Canada’s main French-speaking province, Quebec, has historically faced a decline in French speakers. This is due to the influx of non-Francophone immigrants as well as younger Quebec residents moving to English-speaking provinces.
Adding a special French-speaking category to the targeted draws increases the number of French-speaking individuals in Canada and helps preserve the country’s Francophone community and culture.
How are Category-Based Draws Different?
The primary purpose of these targeted draws is to help address specific labour shortages using the immigration system. This is a significant shift from the earlier Express Entry draw system that didn’t single out workers based on specific occupations but rather based on whether they possessed skilled or semi-skilled work experience.
Lower CRS Score
In the past, all candidates in the Express Entry system were required to meet the minimum CRS cut-off score without any prioritization. The following data represents the difference between the CRS scores among the General Express Entry Draws and Category-Based Express Entry Draws:
CRS Cut-off Score
July 7, 2023
French Language Proficiency
July 6, 2023
July 5, 2023
July 4, 2023
It should be noted that occupation-specific immigration categories have existed within the Provincial immigration system for many years. For example, British Columbia’s Provincial Nominee Program has a Skill Immigration category designed to help various types of workers immigrate to the province based on their work experience.
The recent changes to the Immigration, Refugee, and Protection Act require the immigration minister to communicate with key stakeholders, such as employers, unions, workers, and immigration researchers from each province and territory to understand their needs.
Based on this, each targeted draw will be centered around different categories that update according to the province and territories’ most recent needs. The immigration minister is also required to provide full transparency about the consultation process to ensure the Canadian public is aware of decisions being made in the Express Entry system and how it will impact the country.
Future Expansion and Occupation List
The targeted Express Entry draw 2023 will likely change in the near future based on changes to labour needs. This means there is a good chance that more occupations will be added to it within the year. The current list of occupations can be found in the previously mentioned section.
Prospective immigrants with work experience in other occupations should keep a close eye on the targeted Express Entry draws, as their occupations could be added to the list at some point in the future.
The targeted Express Entry draws represent a huge shift in the way Canada selects immigration candidates. However, the pre-existing system is still being used, so this change is simply an addition that helps certain candidates.
If you would like to learn more about the targeted Express Entry draws and whether they will help you immigrate to Canada, please contact Elaar Immigration. Our team of Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants closely monitors developments in Canada’s immigration system and can guide you about immigration to Canada through the program that offers you the highest chance of success.
For a limited time, eligible category-based Express Entry candidates can sign up with us for as low as CAD $999 to benefit from our comprehensive services, which include:
Submission of a complete and accurate Express Entry profile and/or PNP Expression of Interest
Support with preparing documents in advance in anticipation of receiving an ITA
One-on-one ZOOM appointment with an RCIC to discuss your personalized case
On-going support from an RCIC throughout the process and even after
Take the next step toward immigrating to Canada with Elaar Immigration’s assistance. Contact us today!