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IRCC’s First Category-Based Express Entry Draw for Agri-Food Occupations

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IRCC has recently extended 600 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) in the inaugural category-specific Express Entry draw. Dedicated to agriculture and agri-food occupations. Eligible candidates must have a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 354.

IRCC highlights that prioritizing candidates with experience in the agriculture and agri-food sector, including agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors, and retail and wholesale butchers, will aid in attracting skilled talent to support this sector nationwide.

Besides, in 2022, Canada’s agriculture and agri-food industry achieved a remarkable global export value of nearly $92.8 billion in agriculture and food products.

In addition, this draw marks the third Express Entry draw of the week. On September 27, the IRCC invited 500 candidates from the French-speaking proficiency category. Those, who had a minimum CRS score of 472. Furthermore, on September 26, 3,000 candidates received invitations in an all-program draw with a minimum CRS score of 504.

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Category-Based Selection Overview

In May of this year, IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada) announced a significant change in its Express Entry draws. Rather than solely considering candidates’ overall Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores, draws would now be conducted based on specific attributes.

In addition, in light of the 2022 amendment to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), people expected this shift toward category-based selection. This amendment granted the immigration minister the authority to select Express Entry candidates. Those, who can contribute to Canada’s economic growth and promote the French language outside of Quebec, aligning with Canada’s mandates.

They introduced six new categories to achieve these goals, emphasizing high-demand occupations and individuals with strong French language skills. These five occupation-based categories include:

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


Starting with the first category-based draw for healthcare workers on June 28, IRCC has conducted draws in each category, except for Agriculture and agri-food. Besides, the highest number of category-based Invitations to Apply (ITAs), totaling 6,900, have been issued to candidates with strong French-language abilities.

Furthermore, to be eligible for immigration to Canada through category-based selection, candidates must be part of the Express Entry pool and meet a minimum CRS score.

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