IRCC invites 7,000 candidates with French proficiency in the latest draw, marking the lowest CRS cutoff of 2024.

In its latest endeavour to enrich Canada's cultural tapestry and foster economic growth, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has extended invitations to apply (ITAs) through the Express Entry draw. This draw, tailored to select candidates with French language proficiency, saw 7,000 individuals welcomed into the fold of Canada's immigration landscape. To be eligible for consideration, candidates were required to boast a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 365, marking the lowest threshold witnessed thus far in the year.

Today's draw stands as the second of its kind within the week, following closely on the heels of the January 31 draw, which ushered in 730 candidates through a general selection process, necessitating a minimum CRS score of 541. Preceding these, two additional draws transpired in January. The initial draw, conducted on January 23, beckoned forth 1,040 candidates, each possessing a minimum CRS score of 543. Shortly prior, on January 10, another general draw ensued, extending invitations to 1,510 candidates, all of whom showcased a CRS score of 546.

As the calendar year unfolds, it remains too premature to forecast the trajectory of Express Entry draws throughout 2024. Reflecting on the preceding year, IRCC orchestrated 42 draws, extending ITAs to over 110,000 candidates, thereby facilitating progress toward the ambitious admissions targets delineated within the Immigration Levels Plan for both 2023 and 2024.

Canada Work Permit

Alterations in Post-Graduation Work Permit Criteria

Many candidates seeking entry into the Express Entry system fulfill their required work experience through employment in Canada following their graduation from a Canadian post-secondary institution, often facilitated by the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). Recently, on January 22, IRCC unveiled alterations to the eligibility criteria for PGWPs, slated to take effect from September 1.

One major shift sees international students enrolled in programs delivered by private colleges under curriculum licensing agreements with public colleges becoming ineligible for PGWPs, effective September 1st. This change aims to ensure programs meet specific quality and accreditation standards.

Furthermore, graduate-level students undertaking programs shorter than the standard eight-month duration will now qualify for a three-year PGWP. This adjustment marks a departure from the previous stance, where graduates from programs shorter than eight months were ineligible for a PGWP, and the permit's duration was tethered to the length of the academic program. For instance, a one-year program would warrant a one-year permit.

The traditional link between program length and PGWP validity remains unchanged. This means graduates of year-long programs still get a year-long permit, but it also opens doors for longer PGWPs. Graduates of programs lasting two years or more will continue to receive a three-year permit, allowing them more time to accumulate the qualifying work experience needed for Express Entry.

These changes will likely result in more graduate-level students utilizing PGWPs to gain Canadian work experience, potentially increasing the number of eligible candidates in the Express Entry pool. While private college students face a new hurdle, the expanded access for short-term graduate programs opens exciting possibilities for a wider range of international students to pursue their Canadian immigration dreams.

Express Entry Canada

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is a streamlined application management system designed to facilitate immigration to Canada through three key economic programs: the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). Through this system, candidates are assessed and scored using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), which evaluates various human capital attributes such as work experience, education, age, occupation, and language proficiency.

The CRS assigns points to candidates based on these factors, with certain criteria carrying more weight than others. For instance, individuals aged between 20 to 29 receive the maximum score of 100 CRS points, while older candidates receive fewer points as per their age bracket.

A significant development in the Express Entry system occurred in May 2023 when the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) introduced category-based selection draws. These draws targeted Express Entry candidates who could demonstrate work experience in occupations deemed to be in-demand within Canada. This initiative aimed to streamline the immigration process further by prioritizing individuals with relevant skills and experience that align with the country's economic needs.

Express Entry serves as a gateway for skilled workers seeking to immigrate to Canada for employment opportunities and contribute to its workforce and economy. By leveraging a points-based system, it ensures a fair and transparent selection process while prioritizing candidates with the potential to positively impact the Canadian labor market.

Through Express Entry, candidates undergo a rigorous evaluation process, with successful applicants receiving invitations to apply for permanent residency in Canada. This system not only benefits individuals seeking new opportunities but also supports Canada's goal of attracting and retaining talented professionals who can contribute to its growth and prosperity.

Express Entry offers specialized pathways tailored to candidates with diverse skills and backgrounds. While one category targets individuals with strong proficiency in the French language, the remaining five categories focus on specific occupations crucial to Canada's economic growth:

French Language Proficiency: Reserved for candidates with exceptional proficiency in French, this category recognizes the importance of bilingualism in Canada and provides an avenue for Francophone individuals to immigrate and contribute to the country's linguistic diversity.

Healthcare Occupations: This category prioritizes professionals in the healthcare sector, acknowledging the critical role they play in maintaining the well-being of Canadian residents. It encompasses a wide range of roles, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and allied health professionals.

STEM Professions (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics): With a focus on innovation and technological advancement, this category seeks to attract skilled workers in STEM fields such as engineering, computer science, biotechnology, and mathematics. These professionals are vital to driving Canada's competitiveness in the global economy.

Trades Occupations: Recognizing the importance of skilled tradespeople in various industries, this category welcomes individuals with expertise in trades such as carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, and construction. These trades are essential for infrastructure development and building sustainable communities.

Transport Occupations: This category targets individuals with experience in transportation-related fields, including aviation, logistics, maritime operations, and public transit. These professionals play a crucial role in facilitating the movement of goods and people across the country and internationally.

Agriculture and Agri-food Occupations: Vital to Canada's agricultural sector, this category aims to attract individuals with skills and experience in farming, agribusiness, food processing, and agricultural research. These professionals contribute to food security, environmental sustainability, and rural development.

The process of applying for Express Entry involves several steps:

Self-Evaluation: Candidates must assess their eligibility for one of the three Express Entry programs based on specific criteria unique to each program.

Profile Creation: Eligible candidates create a profile in the Express Entry pool, providing detailed information about their education, work experience, language proficiency, and other relevant factors. They receive a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on these details.

Invitation to Apply (ITA): Candidates with high CRS scores may receive an invitation to apply for permanent residency in Canada through Express Entry draws. These draws are conducted regularly, and successful candidates are invited to submit their applications within a specified timeframe.


In conclusion, Canada's Express Entry draw and amendments to Post-Graduation Work Permit criteria reflect its commitment to diversity and economic growth. By inviting 7,000 candidates with French language proficiency and adjusting eligibility criteria, Canada opens doors to talent worldwide. These initiatives underscore Canada's adaptability and inclusivity, shaping a future where skilled individuals from diverse backgrounds contribute to the nation's prosperity. As we navigate this dynamic landscape, let us embrace the promise of new beginnings and the transformative power of immigration, forging a path toward a brighter, more inclusive tomorrow for all who seek opportunity on Canadian soil.