2022: Express Entry year in review

Fewer draws and an updated NOC set the stage for a higher number of Express Entry ITAs in 2023.

The past year has been a unique one for Canada’s Express Entry application management system. The resumption of all-program draws, after an 18-month pause that began in December 2020, has allowed Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to work towards, pre-pandemic targets of Express Entry invitations.

Express Entry application management system manages applications for skilled workers, or economic class immigrants, who wish to come to Canada through a Federal High Skilled immigration program.

Number of ITAs

Ministerial instructions show that over the 23 draws in 2022, there were 46,538 ITAs issued to Express Entry candidates. This number includes draws between January and July, which were exclusively for candidates in Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). The total ITAs for just all-program draws, which began in July and spanned the rest of the year, was 35,750

Stage set for Express Entry changes in 2023

Updated NOC

On November 16, IRCC officially made the transition from NOC 2016 to NOC 2021.

The intent of the new system is to help better understand a candidate’s qualifications and experience in an occupation to ensure they can integrate more easily into Canada’s labour force. Also, under the TEER system, there are 16 occupations newly eligible for Express Entry programs.

Targeted draws

Last June, Bill C-19 received Royal Assent in Canada’s Parliament. Under the Bill, the immigration minister now has the authority to invite Express Entry candidates based on an economic need instead of their CRS score as the main criteria.

The minister said although Express Entry already gives Canada a competitive advantage, there is room for improvement.

IRCC is expected to begin holding draws targeted toward specific occupations in spring 2023.