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Who received ITAs in the recent Express Entry category-based selection draw?

Last week, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued 7,000 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) in a category-based draw for Express Entry candidates with French-language proficiency.

The draw took place on February 1 and the minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of all candidates who received an ITA was 365.

This CRS score marked the second-lowest minimum score of any category-based draw to date and is the lowest CRS of any Express Entry draw since late September last year.

While IRCC issued 7,000 ITAs in its latest French-language draw, many Express Entry candidates continue to wonder what would have made their profiles strong enough to receive an ITA in such a draw. Accordingly, using fictional examples, the following will illustrate how candidates with different Express Entry profiles would have been eligible to receive an ITA on February 1, 2024.

This information can be used by both current Express Entry candidates and prospective Canadian immigrants to understand how to strengthen/build their profiles in the hopes of receiving an ITA from IRCC in an upcoming draw.

Eligibility for French-language category-based draws

Before assessing different hypothetical examples of Express Entry profiles, candidates need to understand that IRCC’s French-language draws require meeting certain eligibility criteria.

Specifically, to be eligible for an Express Entry draw in IRCC’s French-language proficiency category, candidates must “have French-language test results that show a minimum score of 7 in all four language abilities on the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadien” (NCLC).

The four language abilities are reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Example profiles of successful ITA recipients

Beyond meeting the general criteria noted above, the following illustrates three hypothetical Express Entry profiles that would have been strong enough to receive an ITA during IRCC’s French-language category-based draw on February 1.

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