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Ask Tito Mike by Michael Scott  

Express Entry is a good choice

for skilled workers in demand in Canada

by Michael Scott

Express Entry continues to be the best bet for skilled worker immigration. The evidence is compelling, and we have only to focus on the number of Invitations to Apply (ITA) that have been issued in the month of December 2023. After a quiet November when no invitations were issued, we have been pleasantly surprised by the activity in the current month.

See the summary of Express Entry draws from June 2023 to December 2023 for an overview of the ITAs. The department issued 5,900 invitations on December 8 under STEM related occupations. STEM stands for four closely related areas of study, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It is anticipated that 377,500 jobs in the STEM area will be required in the years 2022 to 2032, such as Information Security Analysts with a BSc in Cybersecurity, Soft Wear Developers with a BSc in Computer Science and Computer Information Researchers with a master’s level education in Information technology. The invitations issued on December 8th show a commitment to identify applicants from the Express Entry inventory.

An examination of the draw activity shows that IRCC invited 5,900 on December 8, 2013, with a minimum Comparative Ranking System (CRS) score of 481, which followed 1,000 invitations of French language proficiency submissions with a minimum CRS of 470 and a general or all program 4,750 invitations on December 6, 2023 with a minimum CRS of 475. In three days IRCC issued invitations to apply to 11,650 persons who had submitted their profiles to Express Entry.

The month of November was quiet in terms of invitations, but the department cautioned users that candidates who received ITAs in recent draws were unable to upload their final applications to the Express Entry profile builder. It is possible that the reason for the lack of draw activity in November could be attributed to problems within the Express Entry system.

The solution of these issues explains the uptick in ITA activity for December. First, STEM is a high demand area and IRCC is moving to meet this continued demand and also selecting French speaking applicants and other skilled worker applicants to meet the country’s demand for skilled workers.

Since May of this year IRCC has been moving to invite applicants under category-based selections such as Healthcare, STEM professions, Trades, Transport and Agriculture, and Agri-food. Examples include: 1,000 ITAs under Transport occupations on September 20; 1,500 Trade occupations on August 3; 1,500 Healthcare occupations on July 6; 500 STEM occupations on July 5; 500 Health care ITAs on June 28, and several draws under All-programs.

Canada’s Immigration Minister Marc Miller is correct in saying that Canada requires more skilled workers to address shortages in the labour market with nine million Canadians expected to retire by 2030. The current Immigration Levels Plan for 2023 to 2025 show that the country expects 114,000 Federal High Skilled immigrants to land under Express Entry by the end of 2025. The opportunities are there, especially for foreign applicants in demand occupational areas, such as STEM, Health Care, Trades, Transportation, and Agri-food.

Christmas is a time of giving to others and this is true of Express Entry, which has been issuing thousands of ITAs to specialized applicants. Check into your qualifications to determine if you fit the demand and obtain the necessary English or French proficiency requirements as well as having your academic credentials certified by an approved Canadian accreditation agency. You may be surprised to discover that you, your relative or your friend are in increased demand in Canada – but don’t wait for IRCC to find you. You must submit an online Express of Interest profile in order to get started. There is no better time than the present. Good luck and we wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas.

Michael Scott is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC, R525678) who has 30 years of experience with Immigration Canada and the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. He currently works as a licensed consultant with Immigration Connexion International Ltd. Contact him at 204-691-1166 or 204-227-0292. E-mail: