IRCC Conducts 14th Express Entry Draw, Introduces New Category-Based Selection Criteria

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Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) conducted its fourteenth Express Entry draw of the year, extending invitations to 4,800 candidates through an all-program draw. The draw required candidates to meet a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 486, reflecting the competitive nature of the selection process.

In its ongoing efforts to attract highly skilled immigrants, IRCC has introduced significant updates to the Express Entry system. Alongside the recent draw, the department announced the introduction of six new category-based selection criteria for Express Entry candidates, with a specific focus on attributes aligned with Canada’s economic goals. The introduction of these categories aims to enhance the alignment between immigration policies and the evolving needs of the Canadian labor market.

Category-Based Selection Criteria

The new category-based selection criteria introduced by IRCC target candidates with attributes that are in high demand in Canada’s economy. The categories include healthcare, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions, trades, transportation, agriculture and agri-food, as well as candidates with strong French speaking abilities. By prioritizing these specific areas, IRCC aims to attract individuals who possess the skills and qualifications required to contribute to Canada’s economic growth and development.

Implementation of Category-Based Draws

IRCC plans to initiate category-based draws during the summer, although an exact date has not been specified yet. This approach will allow the department to focus on the specific attributes required in each category, enabling a more targeted selection process. Candidates who meet the requirements of a particular category will be evaluated and ranked accordingly, with those achieving the highest scores receiving Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for permanent residence in Canada.

Continued All-Program and Program-Specific Draws

In addition to the introduction of category-based draws, IRCC will continue to conduct all-program draws and program-specific draws as necessary. This approach ensures the inclusion of candidates from various programs within the Express Entry system, providing opportunities for individuals across different occupations and industries to receive ITAs.

The number of candidates invited through Express Entry in 2023 has already surpassed the figures recorded during the same period in 2022, indicating the system’s increasing popularity among prospective immigrants. This trend underscores Canada’s reputation as an attractive destination for highly skilled individuals seeking permanent residence opportunities.

Shifting Emphasis to Specific Attributes

With the introduction of category-based selection criteria, IRCC is expected to shift its emphasis from solely relying on CRS scores to targeting candidates with specific attributes in demand in the Canadian economy. This strategic shift aims to ensure that the immigration system remains responsive to evolving economic needs while attracting the most qualified candidates.


IRCC’s 14th Express Entry draw of the year, inviting 4,800 candidates, signifies the ongoing commitment of Canada’s immigration system to attract highly skilled individuals. The introduction of category-based selection criteria reflects the government’s dedication to aligning immigration policies with the country’s economic goals. As the summer approaches, prospective candidates can anticipate category-based draws that will provide increased opportunities for those with skills and qualifications in healthcare, STEM professions, trades, transportation, agriculture and agri-food, and French speaking abilities. Through these enhancements, IRCC continues to refine the Express Entry system, ensuring that Canada remains an attractive destination for talented individuals seeking to contribute to the nation’s prosperity.

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