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Canada announces new category-based selection through Express Entry

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With employers eagerly seeking to fill countless vacant positions across the country, immigration emerges as a vital piece to solving this puzzle. Recognizing this reality, the Government of Canada is building an immigration system that acts as a catalyst for growth, empowering businesses, helping address their labour needs and strengthening French communities. When combined, these efforts will ensure Canadians benefit from economic and social prosperity for years to come.

Category-based selection will allow Canada to issue invitations to apply to prospective permanent residents with specific skills, training or language ability. Click To Tweet

The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today announced the first-ever launch of category-based selection for Canada’s flagship economic immigration management system, Express Entry. Category-based selection will allow Canada to issue invitations to apply to prospective permanent residents with specific skills, training or language ability. Further details on the timing of invitations for individual categories and how to apply will be announced in the coming weeks.

This year, category-based selection invitations will focus on 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
    • agriculture and agri-food

By allowing us to invite more skilled workers in these professions, category-based selection supports Canada’s commitment to welcoming in-demand professionals into communities across the country. Additionally, by placing a special focus on Francophone immigration, the Government of Canada is ensuring that French communities can continue to live their life in Canada in the official language of their choice.

Category-based selection will make Express Entry more responsive to Canada’s changing economic and labour market needs, while building on the high human capital approach that has been a hallmark of Canada’s successful economic immigration system. These priorities maintain the focus on bringing in skilled workers with the potential to integrate and contribute to Canada’s future.

“Everywhere I go, I’ve heard loud and clear from employers across the country who are experiencing chronic labour shortages. These changes to the Express Entry system will ensure that they have the skilled workers they need to grow and succeed. We can also grow our economy and help businesses with labour shortages while also increasing the number of French-proficient candidates to help ensure the vitality of French-speaking communities. Put simply, Canada’s immigration system has never been more responsive to the country’s social or economic needs.”

– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Quick facts

  • Express Entry is Canada’s flagship application management system for those seeking to immigrate permanently 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, the Government of Canada made changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to allow for the selection of immigrants based on key attributes that support economic priorities, such as specific work experience or knowledge of French.
  • Legislative requirements to use these new authorities include that the Minister engage in public consultations, prior to establishing a new category, with provinces and territories, members of industry, unions, employers, workers, worker advocacy groups, settlement provider organizations, and immigration researchers and practitioners. Each year, IRCC must also report to Parliament on the categories that were chosen during the previous year and the selection process, including the rationale for choosing them.
  • The categories have been determined following extensive consultations with provincial and territorial partners, stakeholders and the public, as well as a review of labour market needs. A complete list of eligible jobs for the new categories is available on our website.
  • The first category-based invitations to apply are expected to be sent this summer.
  • Immigration accounts for almost 100% of Canada’s labour force growth, helping to addresses labour shortages in key sectors.
  • According to Employment and Social Development Canada, the number of occupations facing shortages doubled between 2019 and 2021.
  • Under the Canada–Québec Accord, Quebec establishes its own immigration levels. From 2018 to 2022, admissions under the Federal High-Skilled program accounted for between 34% and 40% of overall French-speaking admissions outside Quebec.
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