IRCC Conducts its First STEM Occupations Draw

By Vijay Lala


OTTAWA – In a significant move aimed at attracting skilled professionals in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently conducted its first-ever draw specifically dedicated to STEM occupations. This draw marks a notable shift in the Canadian immigration landscape, as the government continues to prioritize sectors crucial to the country’s economic growth and innovation.

#DateImmigration programInvitations issuedCRS score of lowest-ranked candidate invited
254July 5, 2023STEM occupations (2023-1)500486
253July 4, 2023No Program Specified700511
252June 28, 2023Healthcare occupations (2023-1)500476

Under this pioneering initiative, a total of 500 invitations to apply (ITAs) were issued to candidates eligible under the STEM Occupations category. The draw, held on July 5, 2023, at 13:38:22 UTC, required candidates to have a rank of 500 or above in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to be considered for an invitation. The CRS score of the lowest-ranked candidate invited in this draw was 486, reflecting the high demand for skilled professionals in the STEM fields.

To address situations where multiple candidates possess the same CRS score, the tie-breaking rule was implemented. In this draw, the tie-breaking rule was based on the date and time of submission of Express Entry profiles, with the cut-off set at November 23, 2022, 00:01:29 UTC.

It is important to note that the invitations to apply are not limited to a specific immigration program. Qualified candidates under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Canadian Experience Class, and Federal Skilled Trades Program may also receive ITAs through this round of invitations, broadening the scope of opportunities available for skilled professionals.

Furthermore, the STEM Occupations draw is part of the IRCC’s strategic implementation of a category-based draw system. This system aligns with Canada’s evolving economic and social needs, enabling a more targeted approach to immigration.

For the year 2023, several categories have been shortlisted, reflecting the government’s focus on areas of high demand. These categories include French-language proficiency, healthcare occupations, STEM occupations, trade occupations, transport occupations, and agriculture and agri-food occupations.

The introduction of category-based draws allows the IRCC to proactively address the shortage of skilled workers in key sectors while fostering innovation and driving economic growth. By targeting specific categories, the Canadian government aims to attract professionals who possess the skills and expertise needed to contribute to the country’s ongoing development.

As the first-ever STEM Occupations draw concludes, it marks a pivotal moment in Canada’s immigration landscape. The government’s strategic approach to immigration, combined with a category-based selection system, ensures that skilled professionals in STEM fields have enhanced opportunities to obtain Canadian permanent residence and contribute to the country’s thriving technological and scientific sectors.

For more information on the STEM Occupations draw and the various categories shortlisted for 2023, including eligibility requirements and application processes, interested individuals are advised to visit the official website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or consult with authorized immigration professionals.

By Vijay Lala

Vijay Lala is the founder and editor-in-chief of Dual master's degrees in Political Science and Economics, along with a decade of Canadian immigration research experience, have equipped him with a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of immigration law, policy research, and settlement issues. Linkedin  Twitter

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