Express Entry – Category Based target percentages 2024

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Express Entry – Category Based Draw numbers for 2024

An Access to Information request (ATIP) request by Carry Immigration on February 14th, 2024, sought to investigate and gather information on IRCC’s plans for category-based rounds of invitations in the Express Entry system. Information on numbers of Invitations To Apply (ITA) for 2024 and what percentage designation each category would be allocated for the year were requested.

  • The documentation shared by IRCC had useful information but was redacted as is usual for any ATIP request.
  • Percentage share of the individual category-based draws were shared.
  • Planned number of ITA rounds per draw type were redacted and the approximate volume of Federal High Skilled ITA’s per category were redacted.

For the figures below, keep in mind IRCC – FHS (Federal High Skilled) Express Entry Target for 2024 is 110,770 applicants and 2025 is 117,500 as stated in the 2024-2026 Immigration Levels Plan.

  • Federal High Skilled includes the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class.

What was the percentage allocation to each category?

The percentage share for draws in 2024 will be as follows:

  • French Proficiency – 30%
  • Healthcare Occupation – 15%
  • STEM occupations – 25%
  • Trade Occupations – 5%
  • Transport Occupations -3%
  • Agriculture and Agri-food Occupations – 0.5%
  • General – no figure given but 21.5% is the remaining percentage left after totaling the above figures.

A total of 78.5% of all Federal High Skilled ITA’s will come through Category-based draws for 2024.

Low General Express Entry draw numbers

The presumed reason for a low level of (General) Federal High Skilled applicants being invited to apply in 2024, that are non provincial or territorial nominees so far can be linked to above information. They will only receive a small proportion of the overall express entry allocation of invitations for 2024 in comparison to past years of Express Entry draws.

French-proficiency draw plans

The documentation shared from the ATIP request also outlines the government’s internal plans with regards to French-Proficiency category numbers and processing plans. The following is quoted from ATIP document request received by us:

Meeting Francophone Admissions Targets:

  • French-Proficiency invitations in Express Entry are critical to meeting the higher Francophone target in 2024 (6% of Rest of Canada admissions).
  • The Department will invite a high-volume of French-Proficient clients in December 2023 and will continue to do so in the first quarter of 2024 in order to meet the Francophone admissions target in 2024.
  • The majority of French speaking clients come from overseas, and therefore, must be invited early in the year in order to have time to arrive.
  • The ability to reach future Francophone immigration targets will be highly dependent on pool replenishment, as the Department is close to exhausting the pool of French-Proficient candidates.

This information in the ATIP offers an explanation on the high number of ITA’s issued under French-Proficiency draws thus far from later 2023 and early 2024 in comparison to other draw types. It is now April coming to the end of the first quarter of 2024 and we have seen 11,000 ITA’s so far in 2024 (as of this date of writing). We have also seen 8,700 ITA’s issued in 2023 under the category of French-proficiency. Of that total of 19,700, it should be noted that some applicants may have accompanying family members listed on their Permanent Resident applications which will increase the overall total. If the PR applications are processed within the average stated processing times of 5-6 months, it can be assumed that the invitees should be able to land as permanent residents in 2024, as the first French-proficiency draw took place July 7th. Allowing for the additional time it takes to prepare and submit a full application, it is unlikely they will have obtained PR status in 2023. All 19,700 will likely form part of the 2024 numbers. Assuming the above, we may see a drop in frequency of French-proficiency draws in the near future with an upswing in later 2024 repeating a similar plan that looks towards 2025 figures landing in Canada.

It can be inferred from the ATIP notes we received that IRCC aims to maintain a predictable schedule, “with rounds occurring on a bi-weekly basis.”

The below extract from the ATIP shows the approach and planning model IRCC plans to use to implement Express Entry draws for 2024.

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