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Canada’s First-Ever Category-Based Express Entry Draw for French-Language Category

Austin Campbell




Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has just held its fourth Express Entry category-based selection draws. Under the new Express Entry category-based selection process, IRCC has extended invitations to 2300 French-language proficiency category candidates for the first time. To qualify, candidates needed a score of 439 on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The cutoff is determined based on the date and time that candidates submitted their Express Entry profiles if more than one candidate gets the lowest score.

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

With the sixth Express Entry lottery held by IRCC in the past two weeks, a total of 9,800 individuals have now been invited. The most recent round, which included 1,500 applicants with experience in healthcare occupations, was held on July 6.

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Eligibility for French Language Proficiency Category

In order to be eligible under the French-Language Proficiency category, you must:

  • Have French language test results that show a minimum score of 7 in all 4 language abilities on the Niveaux De Compétence Linguistique Canadiens
  • Comply with all guidelines outlined in that invitation round’s instructions.

French-Language Proficiency is the only one of the five newly announced Express Entry selection categories that do not use work experience as a determining factor before issuing an ITA.

Sean Fraser, Canada’s minister of immigration, is charged with promoting French outside of Quebec. The IRCC quoted, “By prioritizing the invitation of French-speaking newcomers, Canada aims to support economic growth through Francophone immigration outside of Quebec while recognizing how it enriches and strengthens these communities.” This was in reference to the first-ever French-Language Proficiency Express Entry draw.

Sean Fraser announced on May 31 that the IRCC has decided on six new selection criteria for Express Entry lotteries. Along with French Language Proficiency, other categories will be taken into account for Express Entry drawings in 2023. The category includes:

  • Healthcare Occupations;
  • STEM Occupations;
  • Trades Occupations, Transport Occupations, and;
  • Agriculture & Agri-Food Occupations.
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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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Recent Express Entry Draws

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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