The Commencement of the new Express Entry System is Scheduled for this Summer.
Ottawa, May 31, 2023—In response to the pressing need for skilled professionals to fill numerous job vacancies across the country, the Canadian government has recognized the pivotal role of immigration in addressing this challenge. With a vision of fostering economic and social prosperity, Canada is establishing an immigration system that acts as a catalyst for growth, empowering businesses, meeting labor demands, and strengthening French communities.
The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced the introduction of a novel category-based selection process for Express Entry, Canada’s leading economic immigration management system. This new approach enables the issuance of invitations to apply for permanent residency to prospective immigrants possessing specific skills, training, or language proficiency. Further information regarding the timing of invitations for different categories and application procedures will be disclosed in the upcoming weeks.
Canada Prioritizes French Proficiency and Priority Occupations in Category-Based Selection
In the inaugural year of category-based selection, invitations will be primarily extended to candidates who demonstrate either a high proficiency in the French language or possess work experience in the following fields: healthcare, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions, trades (such as carpenters, plumbers, and contractors), transportation, and agriculture/agri-food. By inviting more skilled workers in these sectors, Canada reaffirms its commitment to welcoming highly sought-after professionals into communities nationwide. Moreover, the government’s emphasis on Francophone immigration ensures that French-speaking communities can continue to flourish in Canada, enjoying the freedom to live and work in their preferred official language.
Category-based selection is designed to make Express Entry more responsive to Canada’s evolving economic and labor market needs. This strategic approach builds upon Canada’s successful economic immigration system, which has long focused on attracting highly skilled individuals capable of integrating and contributing to the nation’s future.
Minister Sean Fraser stated, “Employers across the country have expressed their urgent need for skilled workers, and these changes to the Express Entry system will ensure they have the talent required to thrive and grow. By addressing labor shortages, we can stimulate economic growth while prioritizing French-proficient candidates to preserve the vitality of Francophone communities. In short, Canada’s immigration system has never been more attuned to the social and economic needs of the country.”
- Express Entry is Canada’s primary application management system for permanent immigration through the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, the Canadian Experience Class, and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program.
- In June 2022, amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act were made to facilitate the selection of immigrants based on key attributes that align with economic priorities, such as specific work experience or French language proficiency.
- The utilization of these new authorities necessitates that the Minister engage in public consultations before establishing a new category, involving provinces, territories, industry members, unions, employers, workers, worker advocacy groups, settlement providers, and immigration researchers and practitioners. Additionally, IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) is required to report annually to Parliament on the chosen categories from the previous year, the selection process, and the rationale behind their selection.
- The eligible categories were determined through extensive consultations with provincial and territorial partners, stakeholders, and the public, and a thorough review of labor market needs. A comprehensive list of eligible occupations for the new categories can be found on the official website.
- The first invitations to apply under the category-based selection are expected to be issued this summer.
- Immigration accounts for nearly 100% of Canada’s labor force growth, effectively addressing labor shortages in critical sectors.
- Employment and Social Development Canada reports that the number of occupations facing shortages doubled between 2019 and 2021.
- Under the Canada-Quebec Accord, Quebec establishes its immigration levels.
Categories Chosen for 2023
- French-language proficiency
- Healthcare occupations
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) occupations
- Trade occupations
- Transport occupations
- Agriculture and agri-food occupations
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