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First Express Entry draw of 2024

First Express Entry draw of 2024

Canada invites candidates in the first Express Entry draw of 2024

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has issued invitation in the first Express Entry draw of the year.

They department invited 1,510 candidates to apply in a general draw.

They require a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 546.

A general draw consider candidates from all Express Entry managed programs including the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). No occupations of other human capital attributes are targeted.

The four recent draws took place from December 18-21. The all-program draw on December 18 invited 1,325 candidates with a minimum CRS of 524.

The remaining three draws were for candidate who fit the criteria for category-based selection is one of the six possible categories. The December 19 draw invited 1,000 candidates in a category-based draw for trades occupations with a minimum CRS of 425 and the December 20 invited 670 candidates in transport occupations. Candidates needed a CRS score of at least 435.

On December 21, 400 candidates in agriculture and agri-food occupations received ITAs. They required a minimum CRS score of 386.

IRCC also held three draws between December 6-8. The December 6 draw was all-program, December 7 was for candidates who were eligible under the category for French-language proficiency and the December 8 draw invited candidates in STEM occupations.

In total, there were seven Express Entry draws in December. This is the most Express Entry draws in one month for all of 2023. It followed a six-week pause that latest from October 26 until the December 6 draw. IRCC did not confirm a reason for the pause.

Summary of Express Entry draws since June 2023

Date       Draw Type                                             Number of ITAs              Minimum CRS

Dec 19     Trade Occupations                                        1,000                              425

Dec 18     All-program                                                   1,325                              542

Dec 8      STEM occupations                                          5,900                              481

Dec 7      French Language proficiency                        1,000                               470

Dec 6      All-program                                                    4,750                              561

Oct 26     Healthcare occupations                                3,600                              431

Oct 25     French language proficiency                          300                              486

Oct 24     PNP-only                                                        1,548                              776

Oct 10     All-program                                                    3,725                               500

Sept 28    Agriculture and agri-food occupations          600                               354

Sept 27    French language proficiency                           500                                472

Sept 20    All-program                                                    3,000                               504

Sept 20    Transport occupations                                   1,000                              435

Sept 19    All-Program                                                    3,200                              531

Aug 15     All-Program                                                    4,300                              496

Aug 3      Trade Occupations                                           1,500                              388

Aug 1      All-Program                                                     2,000                              517

July 12    French language Proficiency                          3,800                              375

July 11    All-Program                                                        800                              505

July 7    French-language proficiency                            2,300                              439

July 6    Healthcare occupations                                     1,500                              463

What will Express Entry look like in 2024?

The Immigration Level Plan 2024-2026, shows that Canada will admit 110,000 new permanent resident through Express Entry 2024.

This is a jump from the 82,880 Express Entry candidates IRCC targeted in 2023. Still, the high target does not necessarily mean that all the candidates invited in 2024, will be admitted before the year’s end. Some, especially those invited later in the year, will arrive in 2025. This is because IRCC has a service standard of six months to issue a final decision on Express Entry applications for permanent residency.

IRCC issued more than 100,000 ITAs to Express Entry candidates in 2023.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is an application management system that oversees the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Canadian Experience Class and the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

These three economic immigration programs use the Comprehensive Ranking System to assign a score to candidates based on their human capital attributes. This includes factors such as language ability, education, work experience, occupation, and age. Each attributes is assigned a score and candidates are ranked against each other.

Express Entry candidates in any of the three program may also receive ITAs in a category-based selection draw that target a specific attribute. This type of draw was introduced in May 2023 and features six categories:

  • Healthcare;
  • STEM professions;
  • Trades;
  • Transport;
  • Agriculture and agri-food and;
  • French-language proficiency

Regardless of the program or the type of draw those with the highest CRS score are the most likely to receive an ITA in an upcoming Express Entry draw.

First Express Entry draw of 2024

Will the CRS score go down in 2024?

2023 was a landmark year for Canadian immigration, filled with more new policies, measures and changes than seen in many years pervious.

However, common themes remain, with one of the most enduring being the importance of Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) in the immigration journeys of Express Entry candidates. Last year’s Express Entry draws saw higher CRS scores than average (ranging as high as 791 in some cases), leaving many wondering if the coming year will see more of the same.

What can we expect in 2024?

The short answer is that it is difficult to predict how CRS score will continue in 2024. There are several reasons for this including for this, including the fact that CRS scores are largely determined by the make-up of the Express Entry Pool throughout the year. More specifically as the spread of CRS scores changes through the year, this will impact both the minimum CRS score needed for a draw and may further impact the draw size.

However, another key factor that makes predicting CRS score in 2024 difficult is the introduction of Category-based-draws in 2023. These are targeted draws based on Express Entry categories that reflect labour market and demographic needs in Canada. Specially, these categories are:

  • Healthcare occupations;
  • STEM occupations;
  • Trade occupations;
  • Transport occupation;
  • Agriculture and agri-food occupations; and 
  • French language proficiency.

Since these categories reflect targeted groups that Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has identified as important for immigration, candidates who fit into this category can often receive Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for permanent residence, regardless of comparatively lower CRS score (making predicting future scores even more difficult). Through this is the case it is likely that most candidates will benefit from first maximizing their CRS score before attempting to receive an ITA through one of these category-based draws.

The last key factor to consider is the inclusion of Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates within the Express Entry draws. These candidates receive provincial nominations through Express Entry aligned PNP streams, which give eligible candidates an extra 600 CRS points-further skewing overall cut-off scores due to this boost.

The remainder of this article will track and graph the CRS score for general, PNP and category-based draws throughout 2023, Note that dates for Express Entry draws are given in the format “dd/mm/yy”.

General/All-program draws

All-program draws include the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). Before the introduction of category-based draws earlier in 2023, this was the standard format for Express Entry draws, with candidates being picked solely for their CRS score ranking.

Throughout the year, 19 all-program draws delivered 76,700 ITAs, with the highest CRS scores cut-off at 561 points and the lowest 481 points.


PNP Draws 

In 2023 there were five PNP draws, that yielded 4,296 ITAs to candidates. The lowest CRS score cut-off for this group was 691, and the highest was 791.

Draw Date                      CRS Cut-Off

01-02-23                             733

15-02-23                             791

01-02-23                             748

10-05-23                             691

24-10-23                             776

Healthcare Occupation 

Healthcare occupation included candidates in the Express Entry pool who had experience in healthcare related professions, encompassing nursing, doctors, physicians and many other job titles, In 2023 there were three healthcare draws, delivering 5,600 ITAs. The highest recorded CRS score for this group was 476, while the lowest was 431.

Draw Date                      CRS Cut-Off

28-06-23                             476

06-07-23                             463

26-10-23                              431

STEM Occupations

Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) occupations included candidates in the Express Entry pool who had experience in occupations within these four connected fields, including civil engineers, software developers, mathematicians, web designers and more. In 2023 there were two healthcare draws delivering 6,400 ITAs.

Draw Date                      CRS Cut-Off

05-07-23                             388

19-12-23                             425

Transport Occupations

Transport occupation draws considered candidates with experience in professions like transport truck drivers, air traffic controllers, aircraft assemblers, managers on transport and more. In 2023 two transport draws yielded 1,670 ITAs to candidates.

Draw Date                      CRS Cut-Off

20-09-23                             435

20-12-23                             435

Agriculture and Agri-food occupations

Agriculture and Agri-food draws considered candidates with professional experience as butchers, agriculture service contractors, farm supervisors and more. Two Agriculture and Agri-food draws in 2023 yielded 1,000 ITAs to candidates.

Draw Date                      CRS Cut-Off

28-09-23                             354

21-12-23                             386

French language proficiency

French language draws targeted candidates with French ability equivalent to a level 7 in all four language ability (reading, writing, Speaking and listening) according to the Niveaux de Competence Linguistique Candidates (NCLC), Canada’s French language grading system. Six French language draws this year yielded 8,700 ITAs to candidates, with the lowest CRS score cut-off reaching 375, and highest cut-off 486.

Draw Date                      CRS Cut-Off

07-07-23                             439

12-07-23                             375

02-08-23                             435

27-09-23                             472

25-12-23                             486

07-12-23                             470


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