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IRCC Sean Fraser - Express Entry

New Targeted Express Entry Draws 2023 Selection Criteria

Last Updated On 1 June 2023, 9:16 AM EDT (Toronto Time)

Today, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced new targeted Express Entry draws in 2023 implementation with category-based selection for Canada permanent residency (PR).

This effort by IRCC is to address labor shortages and strengthen its communities within its flagship economic immigration management system, Express Entry.

By inviting prospective permanent residents with specific skills, training, or language proficiency, Canada aims to empower businesses, meet labor demands, and support French-speaking communities. 

This article explores the details of the new selection process, highlights the focus on French language proficiency and in-demand occupations, and discusses the potential impact on Canada’s economy and society.

Occupation-Based Selection in New Express Entry Draws

Express Entry, Canada’s primary application management system for economic immigration, is now implementing category-based selection.

By targeting candidates with work experience in key fields, such as healthcare, STEM professions, trades, transport, and agriculture, Canada can invite skilled workers who are in high demand.

New occupation based Express Entry draws will focus on candidates who have at least 6 months of work experience in last 3 years in one of the following sector:

You can click on above links to get full list of occupations with their NOC codes under each sector.

Do I just need 6 months of experience to be eligible for new Express Entry targeted draws?

No, you need at least 1 year (30 x 52 weeks = 1560 hours) of work experience in TEER 0, 1, 2, or 3 occupations to meet general eligibility for any program of the Express Entry system.

Out of this 1 year, if you worked in any of the above listed sectors for at least 6 months in last 3 years, then you will be considered for the targeted Express Entry draws.

This selection method will allow Canada to issue invitations to apply for permanent residency to individuals with specific skills, training, or language ability.

Focus on French Language Proficiency

Another category apart from occupation-specific draws is strong French language proficiency category to support French-speaking communities across Canada.

Eligible Express Entry profiles with French-language test results that show a minimum score of 7 in all 4 language abilities on the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens will be eligible for such draws.

By encouraging skilled individuals with a strong French language proficiency to immigrate, Canada ensures that French communities can thrive and maintain their vibrant cultural identities.

This commitment reflects Canada’s dedication to promoting bilingualism and language diversity.

By placing a special focus on Francophone immigration, the Government of Canada is ensuring that French communities can continue to live their life in Canada in the official language of their choice.” – The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

The Importance of Immigration in Solving Labor Shortages

In recent years, employers across Canada have faced significant challenges in filling vacant positions due to chronic labor shortages.

Recognizing the crucial role of immigration in meeting these demands, the Government of Canada has developed an immigration system that acts as a catalyst for growth.

By attracting skilled workers and addressing labor market needs, Canada aims to ensure economic and social prosperity for years to come.

Enhancing the Express Entry System

Category-based selection not only addresses labor market needs but also enhances the responsiveness of the Express Entry system.

This new approach aligns with Canada’s high human capital approach, which has been a cornerstone of its successful economic immigration system.

By selecting candidates with the potential to integrate and contribute to Canada’s future, the government ensures that the country continues to attract skilled workers who will make meaningful contributions to society.

Canada’s immigration system has never been more responsive to the country’s social or economic needs.” – The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Anticipated Impact and Future Invitations

The first category-based invitations to apply are expected to be sent out this summer, marking a significant milestone in Canada’s immigration system.

By attracting skilled professionals in high-demand fields and prioritizing French language proficiency, Canada aims to address labor shortages, foster economic growth, and support the vitality of French-speaking communities.

With immigration accounting for nearly 100% of Canada’s labor force growth, the country recognizes the invaluable contributions immigrants make to key sectors.

Quebec’s Unique Immigration Arrangement

Under the Quebec-Canada Accord, Quebec maintains its autonomy in establishing its immigration levels.

While the category-based selection primarily focuses on non-Quebec regions, the Federal High-Skilled program has contributed significantly to French-speaking admissions outside Quebec.

From 2018 to 2022, these admissions accounted for 34% to 40% of overall French-speaking admissions.


Category-based selection in Canada’s Express Entry system represents a crucial step toward addressing labor shortages, supporting economic growth, and empowering French-speaking communities.

By inviting skilled workers with specific skills, training, and language proficiency, Canada ensures that businesses have access to the talent they need while fostering the vitality of its diverse communities.

This proactive approach reflects Canada’s commitment to building an inclusive and prosperous future for all.

When will new targeted Express Entry draws start?

More information on the date of new targeted Express Entry draws for various categories, as well as how to apply, will be released in the coming weeks.

What will happen to occupations not included in targeted Express Entry draws?

IRCC has repeatedly confirmed that normal Express Entry draws will continue as targeted Express Entry draws will be just part of the quota allocated for overall Express Entry.

Express Entry profiles with occupations NOT in the targeted draws can expect higher CRS Cutoff score.


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IRCC Sean Fraser - Express Entry - New Targeted Express Entry Draws 2023 Selection Criteria