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Update on Provincial Nominee Programs Using ‘Expression of Interest’ Systems

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After the launch of the federal Express Entry immigration selection system on January 1, 2015, several Canadian provinces and territories have modified their Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) for Canadian immigration by introducing what are frequently referred to as ‘Expression of Interest’, or EOI, systems.

The latest province to issue Invitations to Apply to its PNP is Manitoba, which issued 372 invitations for its Skilled Worker stream category on October 13. Manitoba, along with Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, make up the list of provinces that have at least one immigration stream with an EOI model.

What is an Expression of Interest?

While each PNP that operates an EOI system may do so in slightly different ways, broadly speaking they all share the same method. When eligibility requirements for a particular PNP stream are revealed, eligible individuals who are interested in immigrating to that province through the given stream are asked to submit an Expression of Interest, typically by filling out an online form. The province in question then assesses these Expressions of Interest, often with a points grid, and issues Invitations to Apply to candidates who the province considers has the characteristics needed in order to settle in the province successfully.

Many people who are interested in Canadian immigration matters would be familiar with this method, since it is similar to the federal government’s Express Entry selection system. By managing the supply of complete applications, provinces put themselves in a better position to process applications quickly and efficiently. They are also able to respond to local labour market needs and engage more proactively in their own immigration programs.

What is a PNP?

In Canada, the federal government and the provinces and territories share jurisdiction over the selection of immigrants. Apart from the territory of Nunavut and the province of Quebec, which has its own unique immigration system, all other provinces and territories have immigration programs that allow them to nominate individuals who wish to immigrate to Canada and who are interested in settling in a particular province. The federal government then attends to health and security matters before issuing the permanent resident visa.

Each PNP is tailored to the specific needs of the provinces and territories, which aim to select new immigrants who will be able to settle into life and work in the region and effectively contribute to the community, both socially and economically.

British Columbia Entrepreneur Stream

In July, 2015 the province of British Columbia launched the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) Entrepreneur Immigration stream. Under this stream, a maximum of 200 eligible candidates are accepted into a pool each month, with the BC PNP periodically inviting the highest-scoring registrants to submit applications.

To find out if you are eligible for the British Columbia Entrepreneur Immigration Program, as well as other Canadian business immigration programs, please fill out a business eligibility assessment form today.

Saskatchewan Entrepreneur and Farm Category

The SINP Entrepreneur and Farm category, which operates on an EOI model, offers successful candidates and their families the opportunity to establish, acquire or partner in a business in Saskatchewan and be actively involved in its management. Click here to learn more.

Manitoba Skilled Worker

The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) Skilled Worker stream is divided into two categories: Skilled Workers in Manitoba and Skilled Workers Overseas. So far this year, 2,613 candidates have been invited to apply to the MPNP after having submitted an EOI to the MPNP. Click here to learn more.

New Brunswick Express Entry Labour Market Stream

Candidates may complete an EOI form and send it to the New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP), which receives forms from the 1st to the 15th of each month. Candidates are assigned a score based on the information provided, with a set number of candidates being invited to apply on a priority basis.

This Canadian immigration stream is aligned with the federal Express Entry system, with successful applicants benefitting from a 600-point bonus under the Comprehensive Ranking System and expedited processing times once the application for permanent residence is submitted to the government of Canada. Click here to learn more.

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia is unique in the Canadian immigration landscape as it is the only province currently offering two immigration streams that are aligned with the federal Express Entry system, namely Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry and Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry. Both of these streams operate on an EOI system.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island also has a PNP stream that operates on an EOI model aligned with the federal Express Entry system. Candidates who are already in the Express Entry pool and are interested in living and working in Prince Edward Island may submit an Expression of Interest to the PEI PNP Express Entry stream. The form asks for some basic personal information and poses the question ‘Why would you like to immigrate to Prince Edward Island?’ There is no points system or verifiable objective criteria. Click here to learn more.


While the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) is currently not accepting new applications until January 27, 2016, the government of Alberta states that ‘Applications to the AINP are treated as an expression of interest, and as such, will be processed according to quality of the application (completeness, eligibility), labour market information, occupational supply and demand forecasting, AINP application volumes, and/or any other factors at the AINP’s discretion.’

To find out if you are eligible for any of over 60 Canadian immigration programs, including the Provincial Nominee Programs, please fill out a free online assessment today.

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