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The Misalignment of IRCC's Express Entry with Canada's Pressing Needs

Feb 1, 2024 7:33:45 PM • Written by: Soheil Hosseini


In 2023, Canada's Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) introduced six categories under the Express Entry system, including French-language proficiency and healthcare occupations, to address the nation's diverse needs. However, a stark analysis of the invitation data reveals a disconcerting prioritization: a significant preference for French-language speakers over urgently needed healthcare professionals. This critique boldly examines the implications of these priorities, emphasizing the life-saving potential of healthcare professionals compared to the cultural benefit of French-language proficiency.

The Numbers Speak: French-Language Proficiency vs. Healthcare Professionals

An examination of the 2023 data ( including draws in 2024 to date) unveils a striking imbalance. The IRCC issued an overwhelming 16,400 invitations to French-language proficient candidates—a figure that dwarfs the mere 5,600 invitations extended to healthcare professionals. This discrepancy is not just a matter of numbers; it's a reflection of a misaligned prioritization that potentially compromises Canadian healthcare services' efficiency and responsiveness.

French-Language Proficiency: Cultural Asset or Misplaced Priority?

While promoting French-language proficiency aligns with Canada's commitment to bilingualism and cultural diversity, one must question the timing and scale of this emphasis. In a year marked by acute shortages in the healthcare sector, resulting in prolonged wait times and compromised patient care, the prioritization of language skills over professional qualifications critical to saving lives appears misguided. Language, undoubtedly an integral part of Canada's heritage, does not directly save lives or alleviate the strain on an overstretched healthcare system.

The Life-Saving Potential of Healthcare Professionals

Healthcare professionals, including doctors and nurses, represent the backbone of any healthcare system. Their ability to save lives, provide essential care, and mitigate public health crises is unparalleled. The significant shortfall in invitations to this sector is not just a missed opportunity but a critical oversight in addressing the urgent needs of Canadians. Every invitation not extended to a healthcare professional is a potential delay in patient care, a missed diagnosis, or a life not saved.

A Bold Call for Reassessment

It is imperative for the IRCC to reassess its priorities within the Express Entry system. The data from 2023 serves as a stark reminder of the need to align immigration policies with the nation's immediate and critical needs. While linguistic diversity enriches the social fabric of Canada, the dire shortage of healthcare professionals poses a tangible threat to the health and well-being of its citizens. The choice between enhancing linguistic diversity and strengthening the healthcare sector should, in times of crisis, favor the latter.


The disproportionate number of invitations issued to French-language proficient candidates over healthcare professionals in 2023 underlines a critical misstep in Canada's immigration strategy. This approach not only neglects the immediate healthcare needs of the Canadian population but also raises questions about the IRCC's prioritization criteria. In the balance between cultural enrichment and public health, the scales must tip towards addressing the urgent need for healthcare professionals. Canada's immigration policy must be recalibrated to prioritize the recruitment of individuals with the skills most critical to the nation's health and prosperity. Lives depend on it.

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Soheil Hosseini

Soheil Hosseini is a Canadian Immigration and Citizenship consultant. He represents Immigratic, a data-driven Immigration platform based in Ottawa, Canada.