Canada to conduct targeted Express Entry draws

Canada to conduct targeted Express Entry draws in 2023

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will implement targeted Express Entry draws in the first quarter of 2023. “The Department is planning to consult a wide range of stakeholders to inform new categories in Express Entry, as required by the legislation,” said an IRCC spokesperson.

The recently passed Bill C-19 allows the immigration minister to conduct Express Entry draws targeting specific National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes, based on criteria that support regional economic needs. In other words, the minister will be able to hold Express Entry invitation rounds based on a candidate’s occupation, language, or educational attainment, rather than their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.

The new legislation also states that the minister must engage in a public consultation process. He should also report the draw details, including the economic goals, to parliament annually.


On May 19, Philip Somogyvari from IRCC presented the proposed changes to the Standing Committee on Immigration and Citizenship. This committee monitors some federal policies, as well as the immigration department and refugee board.

Somogyvari told the Committee that “the proposed amendments being sought will build upon Express Entry’s existing flexibility and support Canada’s economic recovery and future growth by permitting the department to more easily select candidates that meet a range of economic needs and priorities.” “More specifically, the amendments authorize the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to invite foreign nationals to apply for permanent residence through Express Entry on a new basis.”

“Eligibility requirements to be a member of a category would be established by the minister and could be based on factors such as work experience, educational background or language skills,” Somogyvari said at the time.

Bill C-19, tabled in the House of Commons on Apr. 7 and known as the Budget Implementation Act, 2022, received royal asset on June 23, 2022. 

<<Also Read: PGWPs expired after September 2021 will qualify for an additional work permit>>

How will immigration help Canada’s economic growth?

Somogyvari gave an example of using immigration to support the growth of Canada’s technology sector:

“For example, if there was a desire to leverage immigration to support the growth of Canada’s tech sector, a category of Express Entry candidates would be created based on criteria such as their possession of work experience in their sector occupation and/or their possession of a related educational credential. Invitations could then be issued to the top-ranked candidates in that category,” he told the Committee. 

The process for determining the selection of the groups is still being developed. The government would likely make such decisions after consultation with:

  • stakeholders,
  • Employment and Social Development Canada,
  • provincial and territorial governments, and
  • other relevant entities.

Express Entry in 2022: all-program draws continue in the meantime

On June 6, 2022, IRCC finally resumed Express Entry draws under the federal high-skilled streams, after a pause of over 18 months. On that day, IRCC invited a total of 1,500 Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence. Canadian Experience Class candidates and  Federal Skilled Worker Class candidates were included in that draw.

To compare all the Express Entry programs, please visit:

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