The 2023 Express Entry Recap: Setting the Stage for 2024 and Beyond

Canada This year has been really intriguing for Express Entry. 

42 Express Entry draws were held by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in 2023. Following the resumption of Express Entry draws after an 18-month break that began in December 2020, Express Entry resumed using post-pandemic patterns established in 2022 in the first half of the program. 

In 2023, there were three types of draws: provincial nominee program only, all-program, and once, only for the Federal Skilled Worker Program. Draws happened every two weeks on average, but occasionally they happened more regularly. 

Express Entry drawings based on category.

The IRCC revealed the six selection categories for the Express Entry drawings on May 31, 2023. Draws typically took place every two weeks, but sometimes occurred more frequently. 

Category-Based Selection Draws for Express Entry

On May 31, 2023, IRCC announced six selection categories for Express Entry draws. The introduction of the new categories aims to address the vacancies mentioned on the Canada Occupation In-demand List. The categories were chosen after considering labour market projections and consulting with various Partners, Stakeholders, Provincial, and Territorial governments. 

Categories chosen for Express Entry draws.

  • French-language proficiency
  • Healthcare occupations
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) occupations
  • Trade occupations
  • Transport occupations
  • Agriculture and Agri-food occupations

On June 28, 2023, the first category-based selection draw was held, inviting 500 healthcare professionals to apply for permanent residence in Canada. In 17 category-based Express Entry drawings since then, 25,870 individuals have received invitations from the IRCC.

Draw Types

Of the 42 draws in 2023, the majority were all-program draws that considered candidates from the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program and Canadian Experience Class. However, IRCC did not issue any ITAs to FSTP candidates in 2023.

In total, 19 Express Entry draws were all-program, 5 were PNP-only, one was FSWP-only and the remaining 17 were category-based selection draws.

CRS Score Range 

Recent IRCC data shows that ITAs in 2023 were issued to: 

  • 56,223 candidates with CRS scores ranging between 451 and 500.
  • 4,433 candidates with CRS scores ranging between 501 and 600.
  • 1,011 candidates with CRS scores ranging between 601 and 1200.

Based on the draw-type

Type of DrawDateLowest CRSDateHighest CRS
All-ProgramMarch 29481 (7,000 invitations)December 06561 (4,750 invitations)
Category-based selectionSeptember 28354 (600 invitations)July 05 and October 25486 (300+500 invitations)
Provincial Nominee ProgramMay 10691 (589 invitations)February 15791 (699 invitations)
Federal Skilled Worker ProgramFebruary 02489 (3,300 invitations)

The Rhythm of Draws

Express Entry draws in the first half of 2023 maintained a predictable frequency, occurring every two weeks. However, the introduction of category-based draws added an element of surprise. The latter half of the year witnessed a trend of concentrated draws, particularly in December, underscoring the adaptability of the system.

Summary of Express Entry draws since June 2023

DateDraw TypeNumber of ITAsMinimum CRS
Dec 19Trade occupations1,000425
Dec 18All-program1,325542
Dec 8STEM occupations5,900481
Dec 7French language proficiency1,000470
Dec 6All-program4,750561
Oct 26Healthcare occupations3,600431
Oct 25French language proficiency300486
Oct 24PNP-only1,548776
Oct 10All-program3,725500
Sept 28Agriculture and agri-food occupations600354
Sept 27French language proficiency500472
Sept 26All-program3,000504
Sept 20Transport occupations1,000435
Sept 19All-program3,200531
Aug 15All-program4,300496
Aug 3Trade occupations1,500388
Aug 2French language proficiency800435
Aug 1All-program2,000517
July 12French language proficiency3,800375
July 11All-program800505
July 7French language proficiency2,300439
July 6Healthcare occupations1500463
July 5STEM occupations500486
July 4All-program700511
June 28Healthcare occupations500476
June 27All-program4,300486
June 8All-program4,800486

Gearing Up for Express Entry 2024

A recent document called the Immigration Levels Plan 2024–2026 states that 110,000 new permanent residents will be admitted to Canada through Express Entry in 2024.

The IRCC sought admission for 82,880 Express Entry candidates in 2023. The department issued 110,266 ITAs from the first draw of the year on January 11 and the draw on December 21.

This does not imply that every applicant will be granted entry into Canada before the end of the year, since the IRCC may require up to six months to complete an Express Entry application. Many the 2023 ITAs will be considered admittance in 2024.

Processing times for Express Entry are renowned for being comparatively quick. For individuals seeking a speedy immigration process, it is an appealing choice because most applications are processed in less than six months. The fact that candidates from all around Canada can apply for Express Entry, regardless of the province or territory they choose to settle in, is one of its greatest benefits. You are not restricted by Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) in terms of where you can go.

Applying for a Canada PR visa now is the best option given the approaching record-breaking immigration targets and the back-to-back invitation rounds.

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