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Express Entry Draws for February: Highlighting French-Speaking Speakers and Industry Professionals

Express Entry Draws
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February’s Express Entry Draws: A Spotlight on French Speakers and Industry Experts

Canada’s Express Entry immigration program has maintained its focus on cherry-picking applicants based on specified skills and language abilities throughout February 2024. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) continues to apply a strategic approach in its category-based draws, which has been advantageous for candidates with specialized sector skills and linguistic prowess.

Significant Lift for French-Speaking Candidates

The most recent Express Entry draw has cast a favorable light on candidates fluent in French, with 2,500 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) sent out for permanent residency. Applicants in this round needed a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of just 336, marking an unprecedented chance for French speakers aiming to immigrate to Canada.

Diverse Draw Strategies Tailored to Market Requirements

February’s IRCC draws have illustrated a diverse selection strategy. Before the latest language-sensitive draw, there was a general one that took place on February 28, in which the minimum CRS was substantially higher—534—resulting in 1,470 ITAs. Such discrepancies highlight Canada’s methodical approach in filling precise labor market shortages through immigration.

Over 13K Invitations Reflecting Sector and Language Priorities

Throughout the month, a total of 13,610 ITAs were issued. The spectrum of invites extends beyond the general pool, branching into specific realms such as healthcare, agriculture and agri-food sectors coupled with French language aptitude.

Steadfast Categorization in 2024’s Selection Process

The IRCC stands firm on its decision not to modify the category-based approach for Express Entry draws in 2024. Instituted last year with six novel categories—embracing healthcare workers to STEM professionals and proficient French speakers—the system was initially lined up for review but remains unchanged this current year.

The Importance of Collective Insight

Instating these specialized categories involved significant stakeholder consultations including provincial governments and Canadian businesses. This collaborative effort has ensured that the Express Entry program is tightly integrated with actual economic needs across Canada’s varied sectors.

Qualification Pathways for Aspiring Residents

Prospective immigrants must note that eligibility for these targeted draws requires inclusion in one of the three primary programs managed under Express Entry: Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program or Canadian Experience Class. Remaining well-versed with these pathways is vital for those seeking permanent residency through the system.

Express Entry Draw Results Summary for February 2024

Date  Draw Type            Number of ITAs Minimum CRS
February 29 French language proficiency 2,500 336
February 28 General 1470 534
February 16  Agriculture and agri-food occupations 150 437
February 14 Healthcare occupations 3500 422
February 13 General 1490 535
February 1 French language proficiency 7000 365
January 31 General 730 541
January 23  General 1040 543
January 10 General 1510 546

Canadian Immigration Stays the Course: Category-Based Selection for Express Entry Remains Unchanged in 2024

In May of 2023, a significant shift was introduced to the selection process for Express Entry applicants. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) began issuing invitations in rounds specific to candidates who aligned with one of six new categories:

  1. Healthcare occupations
  2. Professions within Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
  3. Trades candidates such as carpenters, plumbers, and contractors
  4. Transport occupation specialists
  5. Workers in Agriculture and agri-food sectors
  6. Candidates exhibiting strong proficiency in French

Initially stated as subject to review, the IRCC has recently confirmed that there will be no modifications made to these selection categories in the coming year. This decision follows extensive consultations between the IRCC and key stakeholders including provincial, territorial governments, settlement services, and a broad network of business and employer representatives.

Express Entry: The Gateway to Canadian Immigration

Express Entry is essentially a streamlined system designed for managing applications for those seeking economic immigration under three federal classification programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Canadian Experience Class
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program

Eligibility for one of these programs is the first step into the Express Entry pool. Once there, candidates are evaluated using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), which scores potential immigrants based on diverse factors including work experience, language abilities (covering both English and French skills), education credentials, and age. The highest-ranking individuals are typically extended an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency (PR) in Canada.

An additional benefit is extended to those who also secure a nomination through a Provincial Nominee Program—one that adds 600 points to their CRS score—a decisive advantage most often leading to an ITA.

The real-time constraint kicks in following receipt of an ITA; candidates must compile and submit their complete application for PR within a two-month window.

Forthcoming ITAs: A Projection of Canada’s Immigrant Influx Through Express Entry

In the latest release of the IRCC’s Immigration Levels Plan, numbers demonstrate an upswing in immigration targets through Express Entry: from last year’s 82,880 to a proposed 110,770 newcomers anticipated to attain PR status in 2024. Beyond this immediate hike, projections settle at an approximate annual intake of 117,500 for 2025 and 2026.

However, it is noteworthy that starting from 2025 onward, more emphasis is projected to shift toward Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP). These province-specific streams are expected to surpass other methods as the dominant conduit for new economic immigrants—an estimated threshold of 120,000 new permanent residents annually speaks to this tactic’s favoured status within Canada’s immigration strategy.

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