IRCC held the fifth Express Entry draw of 2023 on 15th February 2023. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued invitations to 699 candidates with a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 791.
The draw was only applicable to candidates in the Provincial Nominee Program. This was the third program-specific draw of 2023 following the results on February 1 and February 2. The February 1 draw invited only candidates who had already received provincial nomination and the February 2 draw was program specific for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP).
Draw pattern has yet to be established for 2023.Usually, Express Entry draws occur every two weeks on Wednesday. However, draws so far in 2023 have varied significantly from the patterns established before the COVID-19 pandemic and in the latter half of 2022.
Since the first Express Entry draw of this year on January 11, there have been some notable differences in how draws are conducted. For example, the January 11 draw took place after an unexpected six pause, IRCC has implied that this was due to an IT system glitch caused by the implementation of NOC 2021.
The next draw took place on January 18, only a week later. The number of ITAs issued was the same as January 11 but with a significantly lower CRS score.
IRCC did wait two weeks for the next draw on February 1 which occurred as expected. However, this draw was unique in that it was not an all-program draw. Candidates were only issued ITAs if they had already received a nomination under a Provincial Nominee Program. IRCC had not had a PNP only draw since June 2022. At this point, IRCC resumed all-program draws, which had been paused between January 2021 and July 2022 due to pandemic restrictions and border closures.
The most recent draw was the next day on February 2, when IRCC issued invitations to candidates in the FSWP. This was significant because there has never been a FSWP only draw since Express Entry began in 2015. The FSWP is one of the most prominent immigration pathways under Express Entry.
Express Entry draws are totally at the discretion of the immigration minister and IRCC. There is no law in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act that dictates when draws will occur, the number of candidates or the minimum CRS cut-off score. Theoretically, draws could take place daily or once every several months if the minister deems that it is best way for Canada to meet its economic priorities.