Express Entry in 2023 | Probability of Receiving an Invitation

Express Entry in 2023 | Probability of Receiving an Invitation

Michael Zimmer Published:
November 22, 2023

New information from the government of Canada offers more insights into the human capital profiles of individuals who were issued Express Entry invitations from January 2023 to September 2023. During this period, Canada issued a total of 53,455 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to Express Entry candidates. Note that this data excludes ITAs issued by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in Express Entry draws throughout October, where an additional 9,173 ITAs were issued.

The provided figures are categorized to illustrate the distribution of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) by program, province, Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, age, and occupation. Express Entry manages candidates in the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and a segment of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) known as ‘enhanced’ provincial nominee programs as they are enhanced/automated through the Express Entry selection system. Although each program has distinct eligibility criteria, all candidates undergo evaluation and ranking based on the Comprehensive Ranking System, which assigns points for attributes like type of work experience, number of years of work experience, age, language proficiency, education, etc.

The data also encompasses Express Entry candidates who received a provincial nomination through one of Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), which automatically adds 600 [additional] CRS points to their Express Entry profile.

Distribution of invitations by program

Between January 2023 and September 2023, the majority of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) were issued to candidates in the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program. CEC candidates are those who possess at least one year of eligible Canadian work experience in the last three years, and meet the language proficiency criteria set by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Specifically, 23,910 ITAs were issued to CEC candidates, constituting nearly 45% of the total ITAs.

Following closely, candidates in the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) received the second-highest number of invitations, totalling 15,855, which represents about 30% of the overall invitations issued. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) candidates secured the third-highest number of ITAs, with 13,655, accounting for approximately 26% of all the ITAs.

Here, it would be noteworthy that no ITAs were issued to candidates in the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) category.


Distribution of invitations by occupations in demand

There are some overlaps in the occupations that attracted the maximum number of invitations per program. Software engineers ranked among the top five occupations for the following three programs:

The Canadian Experience Class Program (CEC)

  • Software engineers and designers: 1,725
  • Computer programmers and interactive media developers: 1,745
  • Information systems analysts and consultants: 1,375
  • CEC Food Service Supervisors: 1,240
  • Administrative assistants: 855

The Federal Skilled Worker Class Program (FSWC)

  • 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

Canada’s various Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

  • 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

Distribution of invitations by CRS score

Roughly half of all Express Entry candidates, totalling 26,070, achieved CRS scores within the 451-500 range, while 11,640 candidates scored between 501-600. A mere 225 Express Entry candidates were invited with scores ranging between 601-700, and only 60 candidates scored between 701-800. Additionally, 790 candidates received scores falling within the 801-900 range.

Significantly, more than 75,500 Express Entry candidates secured CRS scores between 901-1,000, and over 5,040 candidates attained scores exceeding 1,000. It is noteworthy that obtaining a CRS score of around 600 is exclusively possible through receiving a provincial nomination, contributing 600 points toward the maximum 1,200 CRS points that an Express Entry candidate can achieve.

Distribution of invitations by province

A majority of Express Entry candidates, accounting for over half, either resided in Ontario or had intentions to settle in Ontario. The data indicates that 31,550 Invitations to Apply (ITAs were extended to these candidates.

British Columbia secured the second-highest number of ITAs, totaling 10,655, while Alberta had 5,280 candidates receiving ITAs. Nova Scotia received 1,595 ITAs. In contrast, all other provinces had fewer than 1,500 ITAs each.


Distribution of invitations by age of applicants

The predominant group of candidates receiving Invitations to Apply (ITAs) fell within the age range of their Twenties, totalling 28,970 candidates. While 20,865 candidates in their thirties were invited, fewer than 4,000 candidates aged 40 or above were issued invitations. The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) allocates a higher Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score to younger candidates, as supported by longitudinal analysis from Statistics Canada. This research emphasizes that newcomers arriving at a younger age have a more extended period for integration into the Canadian labour market.

Statistics Canada's research highlights age as a potent predictor of immigrant labour market integration. Young arrivals typically have more opportunities to enhance language skills (English and/or French), accumulate Canadian work experience, and establish a professional network in Canada. For instance, a single Express Entry candidate aged 20-29 receives 110 CRS points.


Express Entry Immigration Targets

Between January and September 2023, the number of Express Entry candidates invited exceeds the total for 2022 (37,335) but falls short of the remarkable 108,105 in 2021. The pandemic influenced the past two years, leading to increased Invitations to Apply (ITAs) in 2021, particularly for Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates, contributing to a backlog and subsequently reduced ITAs in 2022.

Post-pandemic, CEC candidates continue to receive the majority of ITAs, while before the pandemic, the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) led in ITAs. Looking ahead, the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) aims for 110,770 permanent resident admissions through Express Entry programs in 2024, elevating to 117,500 annually in 2025 and 2026. It's noteworthy that the number of ITAs issued tends to be lower than the admissions figure, as successful candidates can bring their partners and children who also meet IRCC’s criteria.


Check if you qualify for Express Entry. Check out Owlspriority Immigration’s Canada Settlement Resources to learn about finding employment in Canada, making your initial days stress-free, etc.

Canadian Immigration NEWSLETTER

Canadian Immigration Eligibility Check

Find out the easiest way to CANADA
Pay Online