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Who is the most likely to receive an Express Entry ITA in 2023?

In the first nine months of 2023, the Canadian government gave out over 53,000 invitations for people to apply to become permanent residents through a program called Express Entry. This program manages applications for skilled workers and people with experience living and working in Canada.

The invitations were given to people who met specific criteria, like age, education, language ability, work experience, and where they wanted to live in Canada. People who had already been nominated for permanent residency in a Canadian province were also included in the data.

Express Entry is the application management system for Federal Skilled Worker Programs, Federal Skilled Trades Programs, and the Canadian Experience Class. It also oversees a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). There are different eligibility criteria for other programs, but the Comprehensive Ranking System assigns points based on a candidate’s work experience, age, language ability, education, and work experience.

Further, Express Entry candidates nominated through the PNP are included in the data. When a province nominates a candidate for Express Entry, their profile is automatically enhanced by 600 CRS points. Based on the available data, CEC candidates in their twenties working as software engineers who reside in Ontario or intend to move there are the most likely candidates to receive an ITA.

Program-specific invitations

23,910 ITAs were issued to the CEC candidates during the initial nine months of 2023, accounting for approximately 45% of all ITAs issued. All CEC candidates possess at least one year of Canadian work experience and fulfill the requirements of the IRCC.

There were 15,855 ITAs awarded to candidates in the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSTP), representing about 30% of all ITAs issued during the same period. Similarly, 13,655 ITAs were granted to Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates, accounting for approximately 26% of all ITAs. However, candidates in the FSTP were not eligible to receive ITAs during the timeframe mentioned above.

Regarding occupations receiving the most ITAs per program, there was some overlap. A software engineer ranked among the top five occupations for the following three programs:

Canadian Experience Class

  • Software engineers and designers – CEC has seen a surge in software engineers and designers applying for permanent residency. There were 1,725 applicants in this group.
  • Interactive Media Programmers & Designers – Interactive media programmers and designers are another popular occupation group. In this group, 1,745 people applied.
  • Information Systems Analysts and Consultants – Businesses across various industries need information systems, analysts, and consultants. The group had 1,375 applicants.
  • CEC Food Service Supervisors – CEC also attracts people in the food service industry, specifically food service supervisors. There were 1,240 applicants in this group.
  • Administrative assistants – Administrative assistants play a vital role in supporting various organizations, and their contributions to CEC are impressive. There were 855 applicants in this group.

Federal Skilled Worker Program

  • Financial auditors and accountants – 650 individuals were employed in this profession.
  • Dentists – There were 570 dentists actively working in their respective fields.
  • Software engineers and designers – In this profession, 565 individuals were employed.
  • Professional occupations in advertising, marketing, and public relations – Approximately 505 were employed in professional occupations in advertising, marketing, and public relations.
  • Database analysts and data administrators – In this field, there were 420 individuals actively engaged.

Provincial Nominee Program

  • Other occupations – There were 970 applicants for the various positions available.
  • Software engineers and designers – Around 820 people were interested in software engineering and design.
  • Information systems analysts and consultants – There were 615 applicants for information systems analysis and consulting positions.
  • Computer programmers and interactive media developers – A total of 595 people expressed interest in the field of computer programming and interactive media.
  • Welders and related machine operators – 420 people were applying for welding and related machine operation jobs.

Invitations by CRS score

There were 26,070 Express Entry candidates with a CRS score of 451-500, while 11,640 candidates scored between 501-600. Furthermore, 225 candidates received an ITA with a score of 601-700, and 60 candidates achieved a score of 701-800. However, more than 790 students obtained a score between 801 to 900. Also, over 7,7550 candidates had a CRS score between 901 and 1,000, while over 5,040 candidates exceeded 1,000. It is essential to keep in mind that achieving a CRS score of approximately 600 is only possible for Express Entry candidates who are nominated by a province, which is equivalent to 600 CRS points out of 1,200.

Invitations by province

The Express Entry candidates residing in or planning to settle in Ontario represent a substantial majority among all applicants. According to recent data, 31,550 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) have been issued to these individuals.

In contrast, the number of candidates in British Columbia who received ITAs stood at 10,655, while 5,280 candidates in Alberta received the same. Nova Scotia received 1,595 ITAs, while the remaining provinces had fewer than 1,500 residents each.

Invitations by age

In most cases, candidates who received an Invitation to Apply (ITA) were between 19 and 29 years old. There were 28,970 ITAs issued to candidates in their twenties and 20,865 ITAs given to applicants in their thirties. However, the number of ITAs given to candidates over 40 was less than 4,000. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) assigns a higher CRS score to younger candidates based on a longitudinal analysis conducted by Statistics Canada that shows young immigrants have a better chance of integrating into Canadian society.

According to Statistics Canada, integrating into the labor market is significantly impacted by an immigrant’s age. A study found that newcomers who arrive at a younger age tend to have a better chance of learning English and French, getting Canadian work experience, and building a Canadian network. The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points of an Express Entry candidate between 20 and 29 are 110, while those of a candidate under 19 get 105.

Express Entry immigration levels

There was a slight increase in the number of Express Entry candidates invited between January and September 2023 over the number requested in 2022 (37335). However, it is still below the number invited in 2021 (108,105). Clearly, the past two years have been outliers due to the pandemic. The Immigration and Refugee Center (IRCC) increased ITAs for CEC candidates in 2021 to facilitate landing more than 400,000 immigrants in the face of the pandemic, including border restrictions. IRCC reduced Express Entry ITAs in 2022 due to a backlog and slower service standards.

The issuance of ITAs has predominantly targeted Canadian Experience Class candidates since the pandemic’s start. Before this, the FSWP was the prominent program for ITAs. 2024 IRCC intends to admit 110,770 permanent residents through Express Entry programs, increasing to 117,500 in 2025 and 2026. In reality, though, the number of ITAs issued is usually lower than admissions since successful candidates can bring their partners and kids, provided they meet IRCC requirements.