Comprehensive Guide to Canada's Category-Based Express Entry Program Skip to main content

Did you know in the latest iteration of the Best Countries ranking by the U.S. News, Canada proudly clinched the second position as the best country in the world for 2023? The survey comprehensively gauged countries across ten pivotal categories from entrepreneurship and social purpose to quality of life and cultural influence, and Canada ranked second. This isn’t the only reason to think about Canada immigration from Singapore.

Canada also offers other reasons, including employment and low inflation rates. In fact, according to Statista, the number of employed people in Canada was forecasted to increase between 2023 and 2024 by 1% (i.e. 0.2 million people), and the numbers are estimated to amount to around 20.14 million people in 2024.

There are different pathways to get a visa to Canada, and the Express Entry system is one of them. The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have unveiled a fresh route for welcoming highly skilled individuals aspiring to relocate to Canada. Moreover, within the framework of the Express Entry system, there are now category-specific draws. In the past, candidates eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Provincial Nominee Programs, or Federal Skilled Trades program were chosen based on their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. However, the new Category-Based Express Entry Draws changed it. How? Delve in to find out!

What’s changed?

So, the recently introduced Category-Based Express Entry aims to introduce an alternative selection approach that prioritizes candidates with lower CRS scores. Individuals with expertise in specific fields or proficiency in French now have the opportunity to qualify for Express Entry through this novel category-based draw. This system was primarily implemented by the Canadian Government to address workforce shortages in specific industries and to support the French-speaking community in Canada.

The “category-based” or “targeted” Express Entry primarily concentrates on individuals in any of the 82 occupations specified by the IRCC, aiming to mitigate labour shortages in Canada. These occupations encompass six distinct professional fields:

  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) professions: The individual must have six months of unscathed, continuous work experience in one of the targeted 24 NOC codes within the past three years.
  • Healthcare roles: 6 months of uninterrupted work experience in any one of the targeted 35 NOC codes.
  • Transport professions: 6 months of work experience in any one of the ten designated NOC codes within three years in Canada or abroad
  • Trade Professions: Have at least six months of continuous work experience in one of the ten targeted NOC codes within the past three years.
  • Agriculture professions: Minimum six months of work experience in one of the three targeted NOC codes in Canada or abroad within the past three years.
  • French language proficiency: The individual must have a French language test result with at least a score of 7 in all four language abilities on the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens.


The targeted or category-based entry draws represent a massive shift in how Canada selects immigration candidates. If you would like to learn more about how the process works and if you are searching for help or info about Canada immigration from Singapore, get in touch with us now. At Strategic Migration Services, we have a deck of immigration consultants who can help you with the process so you have the highest chance of visa approval.