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Canada’s First-Ever Category-Based Express Entry Draw Exclusively for Healthcare Workers

Austin Campbell



Category-Based Express Entry Draw

In a significant move that will shape the future of Canadian healthcare immigration, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has just held a first-ever Express Entry category-based selection draws.

Under the new Express Entry category-based selection process, IRCC has extended invitations to 500 healthcare professionals. To qualify, candidates needed a score of 476 on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

Since the six new categories were revealed on May 31, this is the first category-based selection draw. It is also announced that on July 5, some 1,500 additional applicants will be invited to submit their applications. Moreover, it is also expected to see an influx of qualified applicants in STEM fields during the same week.

Category-Based Selection and Healthcare

According to IRCC, the new category-based Express Entry selection process got the assent on May 31. The most qualifying vocations among the six new categories are those in healthcare, with 35 in total:

  • Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
  • Chiropractors
  • Dentists
  • Dieticians and nutritionists
  • Education counselors
  • General practitioners and family physicians
  • Instructors of Individuals with disabilities
  • Kinesiologists and other professional therapy and assessment occupations
  • Licensed practical nurses
  • Massage therapists
  • Medical laboratory assistants and other related technical occupations
  • Medical laboratory technologists
  • Medical radiation technologists
  • Medical sonographers
  • Nurse aides, orderlies, and patient service associates
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Nursing coordinators and supervisors
  • Occupational therapists
  • Optometrists
  • Other support of health services occupations
  • Other natural healing practitioners
  • Other professional health diagnosing and treating occupations
  • Other technical therapy and assessment occupations
  • Paramedical occupations
  • Pharmacy technical and pharmacy assistants
  • Physician assistants, midwives, and allied health professionals
  • Physiotherapists
  • Psychologists
  • Registered nurses and psychiatric nurses
  • Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists, and cardiopulmonary technologists
  • Specialists in clinical and laboratory medicine
  • Surgery Specialists
  • Counseling therapists and other related specialized therapies
  • Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists
  • Veterinarians
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Other categories include:

  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) professions
  • Trades, such as carpenters, plumbers, and contractors
  • Transportation
  • Agriculture and agri-food
  • Strong French language proficiency

Canadian Healthcare Workforce Shortage

One industry where there is a severe labor shortage is healthcare. This is partially a result of Canada’s aging population and one of the lowest birth rates worldwide. For instance, it is predicted that nine million Canadians will reach the age of retirement, 65, in the following seven years. The demand for the healthcare system will increase as the population ages. To fill these crucial professions and make up for the lack of younger Canadians, Canada needs immigration.

According to recent Statistics Canada data on job openings, the healthcare and social support sector has 144,500 open positions as of March 2023, accounting for 17.7% of all open posts.

Despite the fact that a number of provinces and territories already organize draws for medical professionals through specific streams of the Provincial Nomination Program (PNP). However, due to modifications made to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in June 2022, it was anticipated that the category-based selection drawings would start this year. Thus, the IRCC’s ground-breaking announcement regarding changes to Canadian healthcare immigration through the Express Entry program marks a significant milestone in the country’s efforts to address the healthcare workforce shortage.

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PNP Draws & Updates

British ColumbiaJuly 971 invitations
OntarioJuly 91,666 invitations
QuebecJuly 81,528 invitations
ManitobaJuly 4126 invitations
British ColumbiaJuly 376 invitations
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DrawNumber Of InvitationsMinimum CRS Points
305 (French)1,800400
304 (CEC)6,300515
303 (PNP)1,391670
302 (French-Language)3,200420
301 (Healthcare)3,750445
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