In an email to CIC News, an IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) spokesperson confirmed that there have been certain IT issues in the Express Entry system following the implantation of NOC (National Occupation Classification) 2021. This consists of Express Entry candidates who are in the PNP (Provincial Nominee Programs).
While IRCC states the department is closely observing these glitches and working to resolve them, no timeline has been given for such resolutions.
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada states they will be updating applicants as more information becomes available.
Some Ineligible Candidates Received ITAs in Most Recent Express Entry Draw
IRCC states they are aware that clients are being notified by the Express Entry system that they meet the MEC (Minimum Entry Criteria) of the CEC (Canadian Experience Class). This is when they, in some instances, do not have enough work experience in Canada.
Owing to this error, several ITAs (Invitations to Apply) were wrongly issued to applicants, including those belonging to PNP, during the November 23rd round of invitations.
Also, the system error had an impact on PNP applicants who are attempting to update their Express Entry profile for reflecting the move to NOC 2021.
Synthetic code 93888 is causing some Express Entry profiles to be ineligible for receiving ITAs. This code was generated by IRCC as a workaround to make certain these candidates could continue to be evaluated under NOC 2016.
Express Entry Draw Did Not Occur
It is not known whether these IT issues were related to the missed Express Entry draw last week on December 7.
CIC News has reached out to IRCC to learn what the system error could signify for applicants going forward and when Express Entry draws are expected to resume.
All-program Express Entry draws, following an 18-month pause from December 2020, resumed in July this year. Since draws commenced again, IRCC has been inviting candidates every 2 weeks on Wednesdays.
The expected draw on December 7 did not occur and was accompanied by potential applicants expressing social media frustration.
IRCC ministerial instructions say that draws will take place “about every two weeks.” However, while to date, they have occurred regularly on Wednesdays, no law summarizes how often draws will happen or on which day. It is completely up to the discretion of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.
The country has invited a large number of candidates with each draw. There have been 11 draws since July. The two draws that were held lately on November 9 and November 23 invited 4,750 candidates.
The first draw that was held on July 6 invited 1500 candidates with CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) scores of 557. Since then, the CRS scores have dropped with each draw to the most recent of 491 on November 23.
On November 16, 2022, IRCC formally made the transition from NOC 2016 to NOC 2021.
Under NOC 2016, Express Entry applicants required work experience classified under NOC skill types 0, A, or B. The shift initiated by IRCC to NOC 2021 has shifted to the TEER (Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities) system.
This change was planned to update the old NOC system with a new NOC and TEER system, which will support Canada in the four objectives mentioned below:
- Gaining a better understanding of the labour market in Canada
- Enhancing its occupational forecasting
- Carrying out better analysis of national labour supply and demand
- Providing Canadian citizens and foreign nationals alike with more targeted and specialized skill development/job training
Those applicants who already have a profile submitted to the IRCC Express Entry pool were invited to switch their NOCs to the new NOC 2021 separately. Such updates should be carried out for each position (job), which is included in the IRCC profile. Failure to do so will prohibit applicants from receiving an ITA (Invitation to Apply).