IRCC Unveils New Selection Categories for Express Entry Candidates

Canada to Launch New Pathway under EMPP Express Entry candidates temporary foreign workers
  • June 1, 2023

The Immigration Minister of Canada, Sean Fraser, has revealed the introduction of selection draws based on categories specifically designed for Express Entry candidates.

The Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will prioritize Express Entry candidates who possess advanced proficiency in the French language or possess work experience in the following specialized domains:

  • Healthcare
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) professions
  • Skilled trades such as carpentry, plumbing, and contracting
  • Transportation
  • Agriculture and agri-food

According to the minister, this initiative by the IRCC to invite more skilled workers from these targeted professions aligns with Canada’s commitment to welcoming highly sought-after professionals into various communities across the nation. A comprehensive list of eligible occupations falling under the new categories can be found here.

The implementation of draws based on the new categories is expected to commence in the upcoming summer season.


But why have these new Express Entry categories been introduced?

They aim to fill vacancies prevalent throughout Canada and are perceived as a crucial solution for mitigating labor shortages while simultaneously elevating the significance of the French language within French minority communities located outside of Quebec.

Fraser affirms, “During my travels, I have consistently heard from employers nationwide who are grappling with persistent labor shortages. These modifications to the Express Entry system will ensure their access to the skilled workforce needed for growth and success. By addressing labor shortages and expanding the pool of French-proficient candidates, we can bolster our economy and contribute to the vitality of French-speaking communities. In simple terms, Canada’s immigration system has never been more responsive to the social and economic needs of our country.”

The incorporation of category-based draws was anticipated to commence this year following revisions made to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in June 2022. These revisions empower the minister with the authority to select immigrants based on key attributes that align with Canada’s economic priorities.


Now, how were these categories determined?

The selection of these categories adhered to legislative requirements mandating the minister’s participation in public consultations with provinces, territories, industry representatives, unions, employers, workers, worker advocacy groups, settlement provider organizations, as well as immigration researchers and practitioners.

On an annual basis, the IRCC will submit a report to the Parliament encompassing the following details:

  • Categories chosen during the preceding year
  • The rationale behind their selection and the methodology employed
  • Instructions for establishing a category
  • The number of invitations issued for each category


What exactly is Express Entry?

It was established in 2015 as a response to the evolving economic and labor market needs of Canada. It operates as an application management system that oversees three distinct economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Workers Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class.

These programs utilize the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to evaluate candidates based on various human capital factors such as work experience, language proficiency, occupation, education, and more. Candidates with the highest overall CRS score stand the greatest chance of receiving an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence.

Free Immigration Evaluation