2024 has brought some notable changes to the Express Entry system, impacting how candidates are selected for permanent residence in Canada. From updates such as evidence of funds requirements to Minister of Immigration Marc Miller’s focus on more “domestic draws,” and substantially higher Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores, it’s clear that this year is different. There was even a month-long break in draws, adding to the uniqueness of 2024.

ITAs in the First Half of 2023

During the initial six months of 2023, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) conducted a total of 13 Express Entry draws, issuing a total of 49,948 Invitations To Apply (ITAs). The draw types included:

  • General: This encompasses the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
  • Provincial Nominee Program (PNP): Candidates nominated by provinces.
  • FSWP-specific: Draws specifically targeting Federal candidates for the Skilled Worker Program.

ITAs in the First Half of 2024

In contrast, the initial six months of 2024 saw 19 Express Entry draws, resulting in 41,855 ITAs. This year’s draws have been more diverse, including:

  • General
  • French language proficiency
  • Healthcare occupations
  • Occupations in Agriculture and Agri-food
  • Transport occupations
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) occupations
  • PNP
  • CEC-specific

The new category-based selections, introduced in late 2023, allow candidates in six specific categories to receive ITAs, sometimes with less emphasis on CRS scores.

Comparing ITAs and Draws: 2023 vs 2024

A few key differences emerge when comparing the two years:

Number of Draws: 2023 had 13 draws, while 2024 has already had 19.

Number of ITAs: Despite more draws in 2024, fewer ITAs were issued (41,855 compared to 49,948 in 2023).

This discrepancy is likely due to the implementation of category-based selections, which can affect the size and frequency of general draws.

Looking specifically at general draws:

In 2023, there were 8 general draws with an average of 5475 ITAs per draw and an average cut-off score of 489.

In 2024, there have been 9 general draws with a much smaller average of 1605 ITAs per draw and a higher average cut-off score of 536.

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