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Canada Introduces Category Specific Express Entry Draws

Last year, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) had announced that Canada’s Express Entry program will be amended to allow occupation-based invitations. The new rules aimed at giving the immigration minister power to identify a specific economic goal and invite candidates who would help meet that goal, based on factors such as work experience, education, or language skills.

On May 31, 2023, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser finally announced which categories will be targeted in the category-based Express Entry draws that are expected to begin this year.

To be eligible for an invitation through a category-based round, you must meet all the requirements in the instructions for that round. In category-based rounds of invitations. IRCC will invite candidates to apply for permanent residence based on criteria such as:

  • Ability to communicate in a specific official language;
  • Work experience in a specific Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) category of the National Occupational Classification (NOC); and
  • Education

Which Categories are Eligible?

In the year 2023, IRCC will be focusing on Express Entry candidates who have a strong French language proficiency or work experience in the following fields:

  • Healthcare;
  • Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions;
  • Trades, such as carpenters, plumbers, and contractors;
  • Transport and
  • Agriculture and agri-food

How will IRCC Choose Candidates?

IRCC will choose categories based on labor market information and projections inputs received from their partners, including provinces and territories, and stakeholders across the country.

Each year, IRCC will report to Parliament on the categories

  • they chose the previous year
  • why and how they chose them
  • the instructions to establish a category
  • the number of invitations issued for each category


IRCC will also include information about category-based selection in the Express Entry Year-End Report monitor and assess categories on a regular basis.

Donoso & Partners, a leading immigration law firm based in Washington, D.C., will continue to report on developments regarding the immigration law and policy through our news section of donosolaw.com.


Donoso & Partners, LLC provide assistance with review and advice regarding eligibility for visas to the U.S. or Canada.

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