Canada has unveiled its new Immigration Levels Plan for 2023-2026, which outlines the number and categories of immigrants it plans to welcome in the next four years. The plan aims to attract more than 465,000 immigrants in 2023, 485,000 in 2024, and 500,000 in both 2025 and 2026.
The plan covers various immigration programs, such as economic, family, humanitarian, and refugee streams. Among the economic programs, the Express Entry system is the most popular and competitive way to apply for permanent residence in Canada. Express Entry manages applications for three federal high-skilled programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class. It also manages some provincial nominee programs and the Atlantic Immigration Pilot.
The plan sets the target for the federal high-skilled programs and caregivers at 110,770 immigrants in 2024, and 117,500 in both 2025 and 2026. The plan also allocates 82,000 spots for the spousal, partner, and children program in 2024, and 84,000 in both 2025 and 2026. The parents and grandparents’ program will admit 32,000 immigrants in 2024 and 34,000 immigrants in both 2025 and 2026.
To apply for the Express Entry system, you need to meet the eligibility criteria, create an online profile, and submit your documents. You will then receive a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, which ranks you in the pool of candidates. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will issue invitations to apply (ITAs) to the candidates with the highest scores in the pool. If you receive an ITA, you will have 60 days to submit your application for permanent residence.
Here are the steps to apply for the Express Entry system:
- Check your eligibility for the Express Entry programs by answering a few questions on the IRCC website. You will need to provide information about your nationality, age, language ability, education, work experience, and family members.
- If you are eligible, create your Express Entry profile online and enter the pool of candidates. You will need to provide your personal details, language test results, proof of Canadian education (if applicable), and proof of funds (if applicable). You will also need to register with the Job Bank (if applicable).
- Get your CRS score, which is based on factors such as your skills, education, language ability, work experience, and other criteria. You can check your score online or use the CRS tool to calculate it. Your score will determine your rank in the pool of candidates.
- Wait for an ITA from IRCC, which will be issued through regular draws. The number and frequency of draws depend on the immigration targets and the pool size. You can check the latest draw results and cut-off scores online.
- If you receive an ITA, you will have 60 days to submit your application for permanent residence online. You will need to provide additional documents, such as passport/travel documents, police certificates, medical exams, and birth certificates. You will also need to pay the application fees and the biometrics fees (if applicable).
- Wait for a decision from IRCC, which may take up to six months or longer, depending on the program and the processing time. You can check the status of your application online or through the IRCC web form. If your application is approved, you will receive a confirmation of permanent residence (COPR) and a permanent resident visa (if applicable). You will need to present these documents when you arrive in Canada.