Canada Express Entry rules change: Category-based selection begins!

Canada Express Entry rules change: Category-based selection begins!

As of 31st May 2023, Canada Express Entry rules have changed historically in order to make the system more sensitive to its labor requirements. What’s more, is that Canada Immigration is among the key sources of the labor force that fills up a massive amount of job vacancies in the country. Hence, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is updating the Express Entry system. Thus, no doubt, that Express Entry is the fastest and the most popular immigration system that processes applications in as fast as six months. Aspiring immigrants are given points by the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) out of 1200 based on factors such as education, age, work experience, job offer, etc. 

Canada Express Entry: in its present state

The Express Entry system invited not only the eligible but also skilled foreign workers belonging to 

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  • Federal Skilled Trade Program (FSTP)
  • Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Since, the candidates were scored out of 1200, by the Comprehensive Ranking System or the CRS, based on the information provided at the time of their Express Entry profile creation. Once, you get a score, the Express Entry profiles place your profile in the federal pool. Also, Express Entry draws were held every two weeks along with a specific CRS score cut-off. The rounds of invitations issued ITAs to the eligible candidates who had a CRS score equal to or greater than the CRS cut-off. Once invited, they had 60 days to apply for Canada PR through the Express Entry system. 

Why did IRCC change Canada Express Entry rules?

We know that the Express Entry system is popular because it is point-based and extremely fast. However, with popularity comes competitiveness. Moreover, it is an extremely competitive immigration system that issues ITAs only to applicants with a relatively high CRS score. Due to this reason, only selective candidates could get their Canada PR through the Express Entry system.

Secondly, the Express Entry system was not adaptive to the ever-changing labor market requirements. For example, a skilled foreign worker who did not have a job offer in TEER 00, would be set back by 200 additional points. Their CRS score will be 200 lower than someone with a job offer in NOC TEER 00. Thus, this is a huge difference. This will eventually lead to most ITAs being issued only to those applicants who have a job offer in management occupations. Thus, the Express Entry system was not able to fill the perpetual labor market shortage in Canada. After all, a country as vast as Canada cannot only require skilled foreign workers to manage occupations. Although the Provincial Nominee Program or PNP invites eligible applicants to bridge the labor shortage, each Canadian province still has a limit to the number of applicants it can invite.

Thus, the Canadian government is modifying the Express Entry system into something that empowers Canadian businesses and helps them meet their requirements for skilled labor. What’s more, is that it is also taking measures to strengthen French communities. So, keeping the above factors in mind, a brand new Express Entry is taking shape.

Since Canada Express Entry rules are changing, the country will be able to invite professionals who are highly in demand throughout the provinces and communities.

Canada Express Entry rules change: How will the new system work?

Since the Canada Express Entry rules are changing, ITAs will not be issued blindly according to the CRS score cut-off. Instead, Express Entry profiles with work experience in specific fields will be issued ITAs through the Express Entry system. Thus, the new category based Express Entry system will focus on people with work experience in the fields of:

  • Healthcare
  • STEM or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics occupations
  • Trades like plumbing, contractors, etc
  • Agri-food and agricultural occupations

Additionally, applicants who are highly skilled in the French language will also get preference.

The immigration authorities will conduct thorough research with provinces, employers, and immigration practitioners before creating a new demand-based category in the Express Entry system. Hence, every year, IRCC will report to the Parliament about the in-demand categories and the reason for creating them. 

Also, for the year 2023, in-demand categories in the Express Entry system will belong to the fields of Healthcare, STEM, agriculture, plumbing, carpentry, transport occupations, etc. 

How will the Express Entry draw change?

Usually, IRCC conducts rounds of invitations almost every two weeks where it issues ITAs or Invitation to Apply to eligible Express Entry profiles with a CRS score equal to or greater than the cut-off. Till now there used to be two kinds of Express Entry draws:

  • General all program draws that issued ITAs to all federal programs — Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and Canadian Experience Class (CEC). It also issued ITAs to applicants with PNP nominations.
  • Targeted draws: these draws issued ITAs to applicants eligible for a specific draw, only. For example, a PNP-targeted Express Entry draw will issue ITA only to those profiles in the federal pool who have provincial nominations.

Now, as the Canada Express Entry rules change, IRCC will also conduct category-based rounds of invitations. During these draws, you will be issued an ITA only if:

  • You have work experience in specific occupations
  • You have a specific education

List of jobs impacted by Canada Express Entry rules change

Following is the list of NOC codes and their TEER level that will be impacted as the Canada Express Entry rules change. Further, Express Entry category-based draws will include the NOC codes tabulated below. 

1. Jobs in the field of Healthcare

Since Canada Express Entry rules change, you would be able to receive an ITA in the category-based Express Entry draw if:

  • You have Canadian or foreign work experience of 6 months within the last 3 years. Also, the work experience must be continuous.
  • Fulfill all the external requirements mentioned at the time of the draw
Healthcare jobs in TEER 1
JobsNOC codes 
Audiologists and speech language pathologists31112
Chiropractors31201
Dentists31110
Dieticians and nutritionists31121
Education counselors41320
General practitioners and family physicians31102
Kinesiologists and other professional occupation in therapy and assessment31204
Nurse practitioners31302
Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors31300
Occupational therapists31203
Optometrists31111
Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating31209
Physician assistants, midwives and allied health professionals31303
Physiotherapists31202
Psychologists31200
Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses31301
Specialists in clinical and laboratory medicine31100
Specialists in surgery31101
Therapists in counseling and related specialized therapies41301
Veterinarians31103
Healthcare jobs in TEER 2
JobsNOC codes 
Instructors of persons with disabilities42203
Licensed practical nurses32101
Massage therapists32201
Medical laboratory technologists32120
Medical radiation technologists32121
Medical sonographers32122
Other practitioners of natural healing32209
Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment32109
Paramedical occupations32102
Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists32103
Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists32200
Healthcare jobs in TEER 3
JobsNOC codes
Physician assistants, midwives, and allied health professionals33102
Other assisting occupations in support of health services33109
Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants33103
Medical laboratory assistants and related technical occupations33101
2. STEM jobs eligible for category-based Express Entry draw

As Canada Express Entry rules change, the following jobs belonging to the STEM fields will receive ITAs in the category based rounds of invitations if:

  • You have 6 months of continuous work experience either in Canada or abroad, within the last three years.
  • Meet all additional requirements mentioned during the draw
STEM jobs in TEER 0
JobsNOC codes
Architecture and science managers20011
Engineering managers20010
Computer and information systems managers20012
STEM jobs in TEER 1
Architects21200
Business systems specialists21221
Civil Engineers21300
Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)21311
Computer systems developers and programmers21230
Cybersecurity specialists21220
Data scientists21211
Database analysts and data administrators21223
Electrical and electronics engineers21310
Industrial and manufacturing engineers21321
Information systems specialists21222
Land surveyors21203
Landscape Architects21201
Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries21210
Metallurgical and materials engineers21322
Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officer41400
Software developers and programmers21232
Software engineers and designers21231
Urban and land use planners21202
Web designers21233
Web developers and programmers21234
3. Trade occupations eligible for category-based Express Entry draws
Trade JobsNOC codes
Elevator constructors and mechanics72406
Machine fitters72405
Heating, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics72402
Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics72400
Carpenters72310
Plumbers72300
Heating, refrigeration, and air conditioning mechanics72200
Welders and related machine operators72106
Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers72014
Residential and commercial installers and servicers73200 TEER 3
4. Transport occupations eligible for category-based  Express Entry draws

According to the latest changes in the Express Entry rules, you will be issued an ITA in the category-based draws if:

  • You have at least 6 months of continuous Canadian or foreign work experience in the last 3 years.
  • And, you fulfill all the additional requirements stated at the time of the draw
Transportation jobsNOC codes
Managers in transportation70020 TEER 0
Railway traffic controllers and marine traffic regulators72604 TEER 2
Engineer officers, water transport72603 TEER 2
Deck officers, water transport72602 TEER 2
Air traffic controllers and related occupations72601 TEER 2
Air pilots, flight engineers and flying instructors72600 TEER 2
Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors72404 TEER 2
Railway carmen/women72403 TEER 2
Aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors93200 TEER 3
Transport truck drivers73300 TEER 3

Agriculture and agri-food occupations eligible for category-based Express Entry draws

If you have work experience in the following jobs, you will be eligible to get an ITA during the category-based draws. You will still need to have at least 6 months of continuous work experience and meet any additional requirements stated at the time of the draw.

Agriculture and agri-food JobsNOC codes
Contractors and supervisors, landscaping, grounds maintenance and horticulture services82031 TEER 2
Agricultural service contractors and farm supervisors82030 TEER 2
Butchers- retail and wholesale63201 TEER 3

Since Canada Express Entry rules are changing, the system is becoming more accommodating to applicants belonging to various occupations. And, the number one requirement for all the Express Entry draws is that you have an Express Entry profile. Further, as more information is yet to be announced in the future, this is the best time to consult a CICC-authorized immigration consultant and seal your ITA in the upcoming months.

Immigrate to Canada through Express Entry. Contact us now.

Niyati Chaurasia

Niyati Chaurasia

Niyati’s specialty lies in Canadian immigration matters along with crafting helpful, user-oriented content.

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