IRCC’s First-Ever Express Entry STEM Draw


At Swift Immigration Solutions, we are thrilled to share exciting news from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). In their most recent round of Express Entry invitations, a historic milestone was achieved with the first-ever category-based selection draw for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) occupations.

A total of 500 eligible candidates received invitations with a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 486. This draw comes as no surprise, as IRCC had previously announced the plan for a STEM-specific draw. The move aims to prioritize skilled newcomers with STEM expertise, fulfilling the growing demand for talent in these crucial fields, and fostering Canada’s economic growth and technological advancement.

What to Expect in the STEM Draw

The Express Entry draw specifically targets candidates who fall under eligible occupations in the STEM category. These professionals play a pivotal role in shaping Canada’s future by contributing their expertise to various industries, such as architecture, engineering, data science, software development, and much more. By focusing on STEM professionals, Canada ensures that its workforce remains at the forefront of innovation and remains competitive on a global scale.

Eligible Occupations Under the STEM Draw

The list of eligible occupations for the STEM draw is extensive and includes roles such as architects, computer engineers, cybersecurity specialists, data scientists, electrical and electronics engineers, software developers, web designers, and many others. These professionals possess unique skills and knowledge that enhance the nation’s technological landscape and drive progress.

Category-Based Selection Criteria

The introduction of category-based selection criteria marks a significant shift in the Express Entry system. Alongside the STEM category, other priority areas include healthcare, trades, agriculture, transport, and strong French-language proficiency. IRCC’s selection is based on labor market projections, discussions with partners, stakeholders, provincial, and territorial governments. The aim is to align immigration policies with Canada’s economic priorities and fill labor market gaps effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

For those considering whether they qualify for the STEM draw, it is crucial to understand the criteria:

  1. Express Entry Pool Requirement: Candidates must be in the Express Entry pool through an Express Entry managed program, such as the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, or Canadian Experience Class.
  2. CRS Score: Category-based rounds of invitations will rank candidates based on their CRS score, and the top-ranking individuals who meet the category requirements will receive invitations. High CRS scores remain essential for consideration in regular all-program or program-specific draws.
  3. Frequency of Draws: IRCC does not follow a specific schedule for Express Entry draws or target a fixed number of candidates through any program or category. Draws occur at the discretion of the Immigration Minister, in line with economic priorities and supporting the French language.
  4. Eligibility Criteria: To be eligible for one of the five occupation-specific categories, candidates must have at least 6 months of continuous work experience within the past 3 years in a single occupation listed as eligible. Additionally, meeting all the requirements specified in the instructions for each round is essential.

At Swift Immigration Solutions, we strive to provide comprehensive support and guidance to our clients throughout the immigration process. Whether you’re considering the STEM draw or exploring other pathways to Canada, our team of experts is here to assist you every step of the way.

If you believe you qualify for the Express Entry program or any other immigration stream, we encourage you to get in touch with our team to discuss your options. Let’s navigate the journey to your Canadian dream together.

Reach out to us today for personalized assistance and embark on an exciting new chapter in your life with Swift Immigration Solutions.

4 New English tests approved by IRCC for SDS program

4 New English tests approved by IRCC for SDS program

IRCC has recently announced some good news for international students applying through the student direct stream ( SDS). 4 new language tests have been added to the list of eligible tests for these type of applications. Starting August 10th 2023 , those 4 English tests will be accepted :

  • CAEL
  • CELPIP General
  • PTE Academic
  • TOEFL iBT Test

The previous accepted tests IELTS general and academic are still eligible for SDS

What will be the new requirements?

  • CAEL and PTE Academic test results must show a minimum score of 60.
  • CELPIP must show a minimum of 7 in each section
  • TOEFL iBT Test must meet the requirements of minimum 83 points

All tests must also be taken in person. Online test results will not be accepted by IRCC

What do we know about SDS?

Student direct stream or SDS is a program implemented by IRCC to help foreign nationals from 14 countries fast track their study permit application. In normal timelines, most SDS applications are processed in 20 calendar days if the eligibility criteria are met. To benefit from this Immigration program, you must

  • Be a legal resident living in 1 of the following countries:
    China, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Vietnam, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda
  • Have an acceptance letter from a post-secondary designated learning institution
  • Apply from outside of Canada
  • You have paid your tuition fees for your first year of study
  • Open Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAN$10,000
  • Get a medical exam before you apply
  • Get a police certificate before you apply
  • Have your most recent secondary or post-secondary school transcript(s)
  • Have a language test result such as IELTS that shows an academic or general training score of 6.0 or higher in each skill (reading, writing, speaking and listening)
  • If you cannot complete the IELTS, you must complete one of the English tests mentioned above.

International students continue to be great assets for the Canadian government in their hope of attracting the most skilled people around the world. Canada is one of the most welcoming countries for international students and creates a clear pathway for them to become permanent residents through Canadian Experience Class. Canada remains a great destination for those students due to its education system, diversity and cultural experience.

How International Graduates Can Benefit from Canada’s New PGWP Policy | Swift Immigration Solutions Inc.


As Canada continues to experience economic growth, there has been a rising demand for highly-skilled and talented workers to fill various labour market shortages. In light of this, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, recently announced that foreign nationals with expired or expiring post-graduation work permits (PGWPs) will now be eligible for an additional or extended work permit for up to 18 months.

  • The new policy allows international graduates with a recently expired or expiring PGWP to apply for an additional or extended work permit to stay longer and gain additional work experience for up to 18 months.
  • The recent announcement by the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Sean Fraser, regarding the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program is a significant development for international graduates who are already in Canada or planning to come to Canada for studies.
  • This is good news for international graduates who want to continue working in Canada and gain valuable work experience that can lead to permanent residency in Canada.

As a reputable immigration consulting firm, Swift Immigration Solutions Inc is thrilled to hear about this recent development. Our team of experienced professionals understands that PGWPs play an important role in allowing international graduates to obtain Canadian work experience. This experience often leads to permanent residency opportunities, as tens of thousands of graduates transition to permanent residency each year. With this new policy in place, we can help our clients apply for an open work permit and guide them through the process of restoring their status, even if they are beyond the 90-day restoration period.

At Swift Immigration Solutions Inc, we offer a wide range of services to assist our clients with post-graduation work permit applications, including extensions and renewals. We are dedicated to helping international graduates achieve their career goals and make the most of their time in Canada. Our team is committed to staying up-to-date with the latest developments in immigration law, ensuring that our clients receive accurate and reliable advice.

This is an excellent opportunity for international graduates who are interested in gaining more work experience and contributing to the Canadian economy. We encourage our clients and those interested in our services to log into their online IRCC Secure Account starting April 6, 2023, to opt in and update key personal information. We will also be providing instructions on how to apply for the extended or additional work permit on our website in the weeks ahead.

In conclusion, Swift Immigration Solutions Inc is excited about this new development that will allow international graduates to gain valuable work experience in Canada. Our team is ready to provide guidance and support to clients seeking to apply for an open work permit and take advantage of this opportunity. Contact us today to learn more about our post-graduation work permit services and how we can help you achieve your career goals in Canada.