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IRCC Extends Invitations to 1,000 Candidates in Trades Occupations

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In the second Express Entry draw of the week,  IRCC have issued invitations to apply (ITAs). This draw focused on candidates in trades occupations and saw 1,000 individuals invited to apply.

To qualify for an ITA in this draw, candidates must have a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score 425.

This draw follows an all-program draw on December 18. Where 1,325 candidates received ITAs with a minimum CRS score requirement of 542.

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IRCC has been active recently, conducting three draws the week before. On December 8, a category-based selection draw targeted 5,900 candidates in STEM occupations, with a minimum CRS score of 481. Additionally, on December 7, a draw for individuals with French language proficiency invited 1,000 candidates from the Express Entry pool, with a minimum CRS score of 470.

Further, on December 6, there was an all-program draw for candidates with a minimum CRS score of 561. Notably, this draw marked the first occurrence in over a month. With the previous draw being a category-based selection draw for healthcare occupations on October 26.

The temporary pause in draws raised questions, with IRCC later citing an IT issue with the Express Entry profile builder on November 14. Although the glitch was reported as resolved on November 16, draws did not immediately resume. It prompted speculation about potential reasons, such as meeting targets, IT challenges, staffing changes, or updates to the Comprehensive Ranking System.

IRCC has not provided specific details about the causes for the pause, leaving room for various possibilities.

What is the Concept of Category-Based Selection?

In May of the previous year, IRCC introduced category-based selection rounds for issuing invitations to Express Entry candidates.

These specialized rounds target candidates possessing specific, sought-after attributes believed by the immigration minister to contribute significantly to enhancing Canada’s workforce and economy. Among the six categories, one aims explicitly at Express Entry candidates. Showcasing proficiency in the French language. The remaining five categories focus on candidates with work experience in sectors currently facing a labor shortage in Canada, including:

  • Transport
  • Agriculture and agri-food
  • Healthcare
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) professions
  • Trades.

Invitations to Apply (ITAs) issued through category-based selection rounds contribute to the Federal High Skilled (Express Entry) workers’ targets outlined in the Immigration Levels Plan. Canada aims to welcome up to 114,000 new permanent residents annually through the Express Entry system by the end of 2025.

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