Express Entry ITA: Who May Receive an Invitation in 2023?

20 November, 2023

Express Entry ITA: Who May Receive an Invitation in 2023?

Fresh information from the Government of Canada offers a more detailed insight into the human capital profiles of individuals who received an invitation through Express Entry between January and September 2023.
Throughout this timeframe, Canada granted 53,455 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to candidates in the Express Entry pool.
It's important to note that the data provided does not encompass the ITAs issued by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in Express Entry draws throughout October. An additional 9,173 ITAs were granted in October.
The statistics are further segmented into various categories, presenting the breakdown of ITAs based on program, province, Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, age, and occupation.
Express Entry serves as an application management system overseeing applicants in the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). It also administers a segment of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).
While each program possesses distinct eligibility criteria, all candidates undergo evaluation and ranking through the Comprehensive Ranking System. This system assigns point values to a candidate's human capital attributes, encompassing factors such as work experience, age, language proficiency, and education.
The data also takes into account Express Entry candidates who have obtained a nomination through the PNP. A provincial nomination automatically adds an extra 600 CRS points to the candidate's profile.
Based solely on the available data, the most probable candidates to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) are CEC candidates in their twenties employed as software engineers and residing, or planning to reside, in Ontario.


Invitations by program


During the initial nine months of 2023, the majority of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) were extended to candidates in the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). All CEC candidates possess a minimum of one year of eligible Canadian work experience and meet the language proficiency criteria set by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). A total of 23,910 CEC candidates received an ITA, constituting nearly 45% of all ITAs issued during this period.
Following closely, Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) candidates received the second-highest number of ITAs, totaling 15,855, which accounts for approximately 30% of the overall ITAs. Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates secured the third-highest position with 13,655 ITAs, representing around 26% of all ITAs issued.
Notably, no Invitations to Apply were granted to candidates in the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).


Top occupations


There was a notable overlap in the occupations that received the highest number of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) across different programs. Specifically, software engineers were among the top five occupations for three distinct programs:
1. Canadian Experience Class
  • Software engineers and designers: 1,725
  • Computer programmers and interactive media developers: 1,745
  •  Information systems analysts and consultants: 1,375 
  • Food Service Supervisors: 1,240
  • Administrative assistants: 855
2. Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Financial auditors and accountants: 650
  • Dentists: 570
  • Software engineers and designers: 565
  • Professional occupations in advertising, marketing, and public relations: 505
  • Database analysts and data administrators: 420
3. Provincial Nominee Program
  • Other occupations: 970
  • Software engineers and designers: 820
  • Information systems analysts and consultants: 615
  • Computer programmers and interactive media developers: 595
  • Welders and related machine operators: 420 
Invitations by CRS score


Approximately half of all Express Entry candidates, totaling 26,070, held Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores within the range of 451-500. Another 11,640 candidates had scores falling between 501-600.
In the specific score brackets, only 225 candidates received an Invitation to Apply (ITA) with scores ranging from 601-700, while 60 candidates achieved scores between 701-800. Additionally, 790 candidates scored within the range of 801-900.
Notably, a significant number of Express Entry candidates, exceeding 7,750, obtained CRS scores between 901-1,000. Furthermore, more than 5,040 candidates garnered scores surpassing the 1,000 mark.
It's important to highlight that achieving a CRS score of around 600 is exclusively possible through receiving a provincial nomination, accounting for 600 points out of the maximum 1,200 CRS points an Express Entry candidate can attain.


Invitations by province


A majority of Express Entry candidates, totaling more than half, either resided in Ontario or had plans to relocate there. The data indicates that 31,550 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) were extended to these candidates.
Following closely, British Columbia secured the second-highest number of ITAs, with 10,655, while Alberta received ITAs for 5,280 candidates.
Nova Scotia received a total of 1,595 ITAs, and all other provinces had fewer than 1,500 ITAs each.


Invitations by age


The majority of candidates who received Invitations to Apply (ITAs) fell within the age range of 19-29, with a total of 28,970 candidates in their twenties being invited to apply. Another 20,865 candidates in their thirties were also extended ITAs, while less than 4,000 candidates aged 40 or older received ITAs.
This age distribution aligns with Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada's (IRCC) practice of assigning higher Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores to younger candidates. This strategy is informed by longitudinal analysis conducted by Statistics Canada, demonstrating that newcomers who arrive at a younger age tend to have more time for integration into the Canadian labor market.
Statistics Canada's research highlights age as a robust predictor of immigrant labor market integration. Younger arrivals typically have more time to enhance their language skills in English and/or French, accumulate Canadian work experience, and build a professional network in Canada. For instance, a single Express Entry candidate aged 20-29 receives 110 CRS points, while a 19-year-old candidate receives 105 points, reflecting the emphasis on the advantages of younger age in the scoring system.


Express Entry immigration levels


The number of Express Entry candidates invited between January and September 2023 surpasses the total invitations extended in 2022 (37,335) but remains below the remarkable figure of 108,105 in 2021.
The pandemic marked the past two years as outliers. In 2021, the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) increased Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates as part of a strategy to meet its target of welcoming over 400,000 immigrants during the pandemic, including addressing border restrictions. However, this approach led to a backlog and slower service standards, prompting IRCC to reduce Express Entry ITAs in 2022.
Post-pandemic, Canadian Experience Class candidates have consistently received the majority of ITAs, a shift from the pre-pandemic era when the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) dominated in ITAs.
Looking ahead, IRCC has set a target of 110,770 permanent resident admissions through Express Entry programs in 2024, with subsequent increases to 117,500 annually in both 2025 and 2026. It's worth noting that the number of ITAs issued tends to be lower than the number of admissions, as successful Express Entry candidates are eligible to bring their partners and children who also meet IRCC criteria.
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