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Category based draws Express Entry

The Express Entry system is highly popular and renowned for its efficiency in managing Canada's immigration applications for skilled workers. Recently it has expanded to include category-based rounds of invitations.  This is in addition to the General and Program-specific rounds where these category-focused rounds aim to identify and invite top-ranking candidates meeting specific economic needs of Canada. This strategic approach underscores Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada's (IRCC) commitment to fulfilling distinct economic objectives.

What are the Categories for the Express Entry Draws?

The targeted approach in the Express Entry system focuses on six key categories and  each of these playing a crucial role in bolstering Canada’s economic landscape:

  1. French-language proficiency:  This is the cultural step by the Canadian government as per which those who have  good command in  the French language they can   support Canada’s commitment to bilingualism and the need for French-speaking professionals.
  2. Healthcare occupations:   This way is to address the critical demand for healthcare professionals  and with this they ensure the robustness of Canada’s healthcare system.
  3. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) occupations:  It is the perfect way to foster growth in these innovative and essential sectors.
  4. Trade occupations: Recognizing the importance of skilled trades in driving the economy.
  5. Transport occupations: Ensuring the efficiency and reliability of Canada’s transport sector.
  6. Agriculture and agri-food occupations: Supporting the agricultural sector, vital for the country’s food security and economic health.

What is the Eligibility criterion for the express entry Program?

There are the candidates who possess skills, training, or language proficiencies relevant to these categories are eligible for the category-based draws. The criteria include proficiency in an official language, relevant work experience in key sectors, and educational qualifications.

How is the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) calculated for the category based selection?

Despite the introduction of category-based rounds there is Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) which remains a crucial factor in the Express Entry process.  The candidates are still ranked based on their CRS scores and the scores are considered based on the  factors such as age, education, work experience, and language skills. It is the high-ranking candidates within the specified categories  who receive the Invitations to Apply (ITAs).

What If Your Occupation is Not Listed?

  • If your occupation is not listed in the current categories there it is still possible to receive an ITA through the General or Program-specific rounds. 
  • These rounds continue to operate alongside the category-based selections, ensuring that a diverse range of skilled workers can contribute to Canada’s economy.

Other Types of Draws

The Express Entry system will still conduct General and Program-specific draws. These draws encompass a broader range of occupations and ensure that the immigration process remains inclusive and comprehensive, allowing candidates from various professional backgrounds to immigrate to Canada.


The introduction of category-based selections in the Express Entry system is a testament to Canada’s dynamic and strategic approach to immigration. By focusing on specific economic needs, Canada can better address labor market gaps and support economic growth while maintaining the integrity and inclusivity of the overall immigration process

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