The first-ever category-based Express Entry draw targeting candidates from Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) occupations invited 500 candidates on July 5, 2023.

The July 5 Express Entry draw was the week’s second consecutive draw. The first draw of this week invited candidates from the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class. The surprise All-program draw invited 700 candidates with a CRS cut-off of 511 points.

The first STEM-specific draw on July 5 required a minimum CRS score of 486 points for the invitations. The CRS cut-off was higher by 10 points compared with the last category-based Express Entry draw of Jun 28 for healthcare occupations.

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) may hold another category-based draw this week to target healthcare occupations.

Category-based Express Entry draws

Canada is focusing on category-specific selection of candidates through the Express Entry system. IRCC identified 82 occupations under the vital sectors, such as STEM, healthcare, transport, trades, and agriculture.

To be eligible for category-based selection, Express Entry candidates under these occupations should have a minimum of six months of full-time work experience besides the minimum work experience criterion for the specific Express Entry program.

The category-based draws will continue simultaneously with all-program Express Entry draws. There will be a reduction in ITAs in regular Express Entry draws by introducing the new category-based Express Entry draws.