How Express Entry Draws in 2024 compared to 2023: Key Insights and Future Projections

How Express Entry Draws in 2024 compared to 2023: Key Insights and Future Projections

The Express Entry system, Canada’s flagship immigration pathway for skilled workers, has seen notable changes in 2024. From adjustments in draw types to variations in Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores, these modifications have reshaped the landscape of Express Entry. This article delves into how the issuance of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) in the first half of 2024 compares to the same period in 2023 and what these trends suggest for the rest of the year.

ITAs Issued in the First Six Months of 2023: In the first half of 2023, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) held 13 Express Entry draws, issuing a total of 49,948 ITAs. The draw types included:

  • General (encompassing the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP))
  • Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
  • FSWP-specific draws

ITAs Issued in the First Six Months of 2024: In contrast, the first six months of 2024 saw IRCC conducting 19 Express Entry draws, issuing a total of 41,855 ITAs. The draw types expanded to include:

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

The introduction of category-based selection draws is a new policy within the Express Entry system, allowing candidates in specific fields to be invited for permanent residence based on their qualifications rather than solely on CRS scores.

Comparing ITAs and Draws Between 2023 and 2024: Several contrasts emerge when comparing the data from both years:

  • Number of Draws: 2024 saw more draws (19) compared to 2023 (13).
  • Number of ITAs: Despite more draws in 2024, fewer ITAs were issued (41,855) compared to 2023 (49,948).
  • Draw Frequency and Size:
    • 2023 General Draws:
      • Frequency: 8
      • Average draw size: 5,475 ITAs
      • Average CRS cut-off score: 489
    • 2024 General Draws:
      • Frequency: 9
      • Average draw size: 1,605 ITAs
      • Average CRS cut-off score: 536

These differences can be attributed to the new category-based selection draws, which impact the overall composition of the Express Entry pool and potentially lead to higher CRS cut-off scores in general draws.

Implications for the Remainder of 2024: The issuance of 7,000 fewer ITAs in the first half of 2024 compared to 2023 poses a significant question about the strategy for the remainder of the year. According to the immigration levels plan released by IRCC, Express Entry (under “Federal High-Skilled”) has an allocation of 110,770 for 2024, an increase from the 82,800 targets in 2023.

This allocation is for landings (when a new permanent resident formalizes their status in Canada), not just ITAs. Given IRCC’s service standard of six months for processing Express Entry applications, ITAs issued in late 2023 and early 2024 contribute to the 2024 landing targets.

Future Projections: To meet the higher immigration targets for 2024, IRCC may increase the frequency and size of draws in the latter half of the year. This approach would align with the need to compensate for the fewer ITAs issued in the first six months and ensure the levels plan targets are met.

In conclusion,Express Entry in 2024 has undergone significant changes, from the introduction of category-based draws to higher CRS cut-off scores. While fewer ITAs have been issued so far compared to 2023, IRCC’s strategy for the remainder of the year may involve more frequent and larger draws to meet immigration targets. Prospective applicants should stay informed about these trends and prepare accordingly to enhance their chances of receiving an ITA. We at Swift Immigration will continue to watch these developments closely and keep you updated as the situation evolves. The world of immigration is ever-changing, and staying informed is your best ally in navigating this complex process.