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First Express Entry Draw of 2023: 5,500 Candidates



On January 11, 2023, Immigration Canada issued 5,500 Invitations to Apply (ITA) in the Express Entry system. In the first draw of 2023, with a growing backlog of many months, the minimum Comprehensive Ranking System score was 507.

The last draw took place place on November 23, 2022. Accordingly, there is a growing number of candidates in the Express-Entry pool. As of early January 2023, there were 71,758 candidates in the pool with a CRS score over 451.


Processing times for all categories under Express Entry, including Canadian Experience Class and Federal Skilled Worker categories, have all slowed well beyond the standard six month processing times. However, Immigration Canada is slowly reducing their backlog with additional resources and pauses in issuing ITA's.


With a projected intake of 465,000 new immigrants in 2023, of which 82,880 will be from the Federal High Skilled program, 2023 appears to be banner year for Express Entry. This first draw of 2023 should be the first of many which should allow the points threshold to decrease.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is the electronic management system for applying for permanent residency. It is not an immigration category but a system to facilitate the selection and processing of Canada’s economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, the Canadian Experience Class, and a portion of the Provincial Nomination Programs.

Applicants first make an ‘expression of interest’ in immigrating to Canada by registering a profile and, if they are eligible for at least one of the aforementioned programs, they then enter the Express Entry pool. Candidates from this pool will then receive an ‘invitation to apply’ under one of the programs when they meet or exceed the points threshold.

The points of each applicant, under the express entry system, is determined by: English proficiency scores, level of education, age, and other selection factors. The points threshold changes according to the latest draw held approximately every two weeks.

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