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Canada Prepares to Introduce Category-based Express Entry Draws with Two-phase Approach

The second half of 2023 will witness a revolutionary change to the Express Entry selection management system as Canada is about to adopt Category-based draws.

The approach to selecting candidates in the Express Entry pool is about to change in the second half of 2023. On May 17, Mr. Sean Fraser, Canada’s minister of Immigration, announced the change to the Express Entry system by highlighting five main occupation sectors. These are:

  • Healthcare
  • Tech
  • Skilled trades
  • Agriculture
  • Transportation

The National Occupation Classification (NOC) system divides these five sectors into diverse occupations. IRCC intends to expand the scope of categories by introducing more sectors in the future.  

 The new change will enable Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to consider the occupation sector and the intended destination of the candidate besides the CRS score. The two-phase approach will include:

  • Phase 1 – Category-based draws to select candidates according to the occupation categories
  • Phase 2 – Matching candidates’ occupations with the intended destination

The two-phase approach is crucial to distribute candidates to the particular province that matches the candidate’s occupation with the province’s labor market goals. The layered approach will avoid instances wherein a province may get a healthcare candidate to work as a manager in a retail store. The new approach will enable a more meaningful selection of Express Entry candidates. It will also help provinces get relevant candidates to meet economic and labor market goals.

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