Glitch in the Express Entry system

Glitch in the Express Entry system

On December 7, 2022, hundreds of candidates with an Express Entry profile were eagerly waiting for the details of the bi-weekly draw. However, the expected draw did not take place and Immigration Canada did not provide any information about it.

Following an 18 month pause from December 2020, all-program Express Entry draws resumed in July of this year. Since draws started again, IRCC has been inviting candidates every two weeks on Wednesdays between 1:00 to 4:00 pm EST.

There is a possibility that the draw may not have taken place due to a recent glitch/technical error in the Express Entry system. The glitch in the Express Entry system started after the implementation of the new NOC code on November 16, 2022. On that day, the NOC 2016 skill types and skill level structures (NOC 0, A, B, C and D) were replaced with TEER Categories. In addition, the 4-digit occupation codes became 5-digit codes. Consequently, IRCC updated the eligibility criteria for all programs that use NOC.

Let’s explore how this glitch is affecting Express Entry candidates.

About the IT glitch affecting Express Entry candidates

Some ineligible candidates received invitations to apply (ITAs) in the November 23rd draw, despite not having sufficient Canadian work experience. Meanwhile candidates with a CRS score higher than the specified cut off did not get an ITA.

In an email to CIC News, an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) spokesperson confirmed that there have been IT issues in the Express Entry system following the implementation of NOC 2021. IRCC said they were aware that clients were informed by the system that they meet the Minimum Entry Criteria (MEC) of the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) even if they didn’t have the experience. Due to this error, a number of ITAs were incorrectly issued to candidates, including some PNP candidates, during the November 23rd draw.

It is still unknown whether these IT issues were related to the missed Express Entry draw last week on December 7. However, there is a high probability that these problems are related.

Express Entry in 2023

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will implement targeted Express Entry draws in the first quarter of 2023. 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.

In an interview with the Reuters global news agency, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said:

“We can do a targeted draw beginning in 2023. That will allow us to select workers by the sector that they work in and the part of Canada that they are going to,” said Fraser. He added “This means we will be able to bring a greater focus to welcome more healthcare workers (…) in jurisdictions that will allow them to practice.” Fraser also mentioned, “I’m not interested in conducting a targeted draw for healthcare workers that are going to come to Canada and not be permitted to practice their profession.”

You can read more about this topic, here.

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    Andrea Neira