Move to Canada through Express Entry Category based draws


The introduction of category-based draws changed the Canadian immigration game. On June 28th, 2023, Canada’s Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser announced a new “Category-Based Selection Draws” under Canada Express Entry. Six categories in total were chosen for which they aim to hire skilled overseas workers who can meet the unique eligibility requirements for each category to obtain permanent residency. 

Express Entry before this already has two types of draws, General and Program-Specific. In general draws, only the top-ranking candidates in the pool for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, or Canadian Experience Class are selected. In program-specific draws, candidates with the highest scores in the pool from a specific Express Entry program are selected. 

Categories chosen under the new category-based draws

The labour shortage has been a major issue in Canada. So, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) introduced this category to hire foreign workers with experience, training, and language skills to fill labour gaps in the following categories – 

  • French language proficiency
  • Healthcare occupations
  • Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) occupations
  • Trades occupations
  • Transport occupations
  • Agriculture and agri-food occupations

All Category-based selection draws in 2023

Date of Draw Category No. of ITAs Issued Minimum CRS score
June 28, 2023 Healthcare Occupations 500 476
July 5, 2023 STEM Occupations 500 486
July 6, 2023 Healthcare Occupations 1,500 463
July 7, 2023 French language proficiency 2,300 439
July 12, 2023 French language proficiency 3,800 375
August 2, 2023 French language proficiency 800 435
August 3, 2023 Trade Occupations 1,500 388
September 20, 2023 Transport Occupations 1,000 435
September 27, 2023 French language proficiency 500 472
September 28, 2023 Agriculture and agri-food Occupations 600 354
October 25, 2023 French language proficiency 300 486
October 26, 2023 Healthcare Occupations 3,600 431
December 7, 2023 French language proficiency 1,000 470
December 8, 2023 STEM Occupations 5,900 481
December 19, 2023 Trades Occupations 1,000 425
December 20, 2023 Transport Occupations 670 435
December 21, 2023 Agriculture and agri-food Occupations 400 386

IRCC conducted its first 2024 category-based under Express Entry on February 01, inviting 7,000 candidates in the French Language Proficiency category. Candidates with a minimum CRS score of 365 were eligible for an Invitation to Apply (ITA).  

Eligibility Requirements of Category-Based Express Entry

To enter the Express Entry pool, the first step is to check your eligibility for Canada PR using a 67-point calculator. Acquire 67 out of 100 points to qualify for one of the Express Entry programs – FSWP, FSTP, or CEC. 

Fulfil these requirements – 

  • Age – It should be between 18 and 35 to get maximum points.
  • Education – Have a minimum educational qualification equivalent to Canada’s higher secondary education. If you have a master’s or doctoral degree, more points for you. 
  • Work Experience – You must have at least one year of experience. The more the merrier. 
  • Language Skills – Score 6 bands in the language exam, IELTS. If you know French, additional points will be given.

If you fall short of the CRS cut-off, get a provincial nomination to get additional points. Having a relative or family member living in Canada or a valid job offer will also be of big help in getting that ITA.

Occupations & Eligibility Requirements for Category-based draws

French Language Proficiency

To qualify under this category, you need to acquire advanced French-speaking skills. Also, score CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) 7 on the Test d’Évaluation du Français (TEF Canada).

Healthcare Occupations

If you have a background in the healthcare industry, it will help you a lot to get selected in the category-based selection draw. Gain a minimum of six months of work experience (full-time in Canada or overseas) in the last three years. The experienced gain should be in one of the selected 25 occupations under this category:

  • NOC 31100 Specialists in clinical and laboratory medication
  • NOC 31101 Specialists in surgery
  • NOC 31102 General practitioners and family physicians
  • NOC 31103 Veterinarians
  • NOC 31110 Dentists
  • NOC 31111 Optometrists
  • NOC 31112 Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
  • NOC 31121 Dieticians and nutritionists
  • NOC 31200 Psychologists
  • NOC 31201 Chiropractors
  • NOC 31202 Physiotherapists
  • NOC 31203 Occupational therapists
  • NOC 31204 Kinesiologists and other jobs in therapy and assessment
  • NOC 31209 Other professional jobs in analyzing health and treating
  • NOC 31300 Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors
  • NOC 31301 Registered nursemaids and enlisted psychiatric nurses
  • NOC 31302 Nurse practitioners
  • NOC 31303 Physician associates, midwives, and allied health specialists
  • NOC 32101 Licensed practical nurses
  • NOC 32102 Paramedical occupations
  • NOC 32103 Respiratory therapists and cardiopulmonary technologists
  • NOC 32109 Other technical jobs in therapy and examination
  • NOC 32120 Medical laboratory technologists
  • NOC 32121 Medical radiation technologists
  • NOC 32122 Medical Sonographers
  • NOC 32200 Traditional Chinese treatment workers and acupuncturists
  • NOC 32201 Massage therapists
  • NOC 32209 Other practitioners of natural healing
  • NOC 33101 Medical laboratory support and similar technical fields
  • NOC 33102 Nurse assistants, attendants, and patient service associates
  • NOC 33103 Pharmacy technical helpers and pharmacy subordinates
  • NOC 33109 Other nursing jobs in health services
  • NOC 41301 Therapists in counseling and connected fields
  • NOC 41320 Education counselors
  • NOC 42203 Instructors of persons with disabilities

STEM Occupations

Skilled foreign workers with experience in STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math – are eligible to apply for Canada PR. To qualify, you have to have a minimum of six months of work experience (in Canada or overseas). The work must be continuous in the last three years in one of the 24 STEM occupations listed below: 

  • NOC 20010 Engineering managers
  • NOC 20011 Architecture and science managers
  • NOC 20012 Computer and Information Systems Managers
  • NOC 21200 Architects
  • NOC 21201 Landscape Architects
  • NOC 21202 Urban and land use planners
  • NOC 21203 Land surveyors
  • NOC 21210 Mathematicians, statisticians, and actuaries
  • NOC 21211 Data Scientists
  • NOC 21220 Cybersecurity Specialists
  • NOC 21221 Business systems specialists
  • NOC 21222 Information systems specialists
  • NOC 21223 Database analysts and data administrators
  • NOC 21230 Computer systems developers and programmers
  • NOC 21231 Software engineers and designers
  • NOC 21232 Software developers and programmers
  • NOC 21233 Web designers
  • NOC 21234 Web developers and programmers
  • NOC 21300 Civil Engineers
  • NOC 21310 Electrical and Electronics engineers
  • NOC 21311 Computer Engineers (except Software Engineers and Designers)
  • NOC 21321 Industrial and manufacturing engineers
  • NOC 21322 Metallurgical and materials engineers
  • NOC 41400 Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants, and program officers

Trade Occupations

Next up we have the category of trade occupations. To qualify for this category, you need to gain full-time experience for six months in the last three years. The experience can be accumulated in Canada or outside the country but should be in one of the 10 trade occupations selected for Express Entry category-based draws:

  • NOC 72014 Contractors and supervisors, additional construction works
  • NOC 72106 Welders and related machine operators
  • NOC 72200 Electricians (excluding industrial and power methods)
  • NOC 72300 Plumbers
  • NOC 72310 Carpenters
  • NOC 72400 Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics
  • NOC 72402 Heating and air conditioning mechanics
  • NOC 72405 Machine fitters
  • NOC 72406 Elevator constructors and mechanics
  • NOC 73200 Residential and commercial workers
  1. Transport Occupations

Similar to the trade occupations, you also need to gain six months of experience (in Canada or abroad) in the last three years in one of the 10 trade occupations. 

  • NOC 70020 Managers in transportation
  • NOC 72403 Railway carmen/women
  • NOC 72404 Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors
  • NOC 72600 Air pilots, airplane engineers, and flying instructors
  • NOC 72601 Air traffic regulators and similar jobs
  • NOC 72602 Deck officers, water transport
  • NOC 72603 Engineer officers, water transport
  • NOC 72604 Railway and marine traffic controllers
  • NOC 73300 Transport truck drivers
  • NOC 93200 Plane assemblers and airplane assemblage inspectors

Agriculture and agri-food Occupations

The last category selected for Express Entry category-based draws is agriculture and agri-food Occupations.  For this, you need to have at least six months of full-time work experience (in Canada or outside the country). The work experience gained should be in the last three years and in one of the following three occupations – 

  • NOC 63201 Butchers (retail and wholesale)
  • NOC 82030 Agricultural assistance contractors and farm managers
  • NOC 82031 Contractors and managers, landscaping, grounds upkeep, and gardening assistance

If you are eyeing permanent residency in Canada and have experience in one of the occupations for any category, you may be eligible to apply for Canada PR Visa from India. Need assistance? Connect with the industry experts – Nationwide Visas, one of the best Canada PR consultants who are equipped with comprehensive knowledge and tools to make this journey as smooth as possible. 

Good luck!



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