Western Canadian Provinces Welcome New Applications Through Provincial Nominee Programs

CIC News
Published: September 7, 2016

Vancouver-skylineLate August was a busy period for PNPs in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and British Columbia (BC)

The Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and BC were each active in their drive to welcome new immigrants over the past couple of weeks, as more than 2,000 potential newcomers either submitted an application to one of these provinces’ Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) or were invited to do so.

On August 24, a total of 714 candidates for immigration to Canada through the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) were issued a Letter of Advice to Apply (LAA) under the MPNP Expression of Interest (EOI) immigration system. These LAAs were issued to a range of candidates who had previously expressed an interest in immigrating to the province.

The same day, a total of 598 candidates for immigration to BC were issued Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP).

Just a few days later, on August 30, the International Skilled Worker: Occupations In-Demand sub-category of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) reopened for up to 700 new applications. This intake cap was subsequently reached very quickly, and the sub-category is now closed at the time of writing.

The exact details of these developments are outlined below.

SINP International Skilled Worker: Occupations In-Demand

This SINP sub-category allows skilled workers with experience in an in-demand occupation to make an application for a SINP provincial nomination certificate, which is then followed by an application for Canadian permanent residence. Interestingly, applicants do not require a job offer in order to make an application.

The current occupations list contains 21 occupations across a range of industries, notably in engineering, trades, agriculture, health care, and IT. To view the full list of in-demand occupations, as well as full eligibility requirements, click here.

This SINP sub-category is a ‘base’ sub-category, meaning that it is not aligned with the federal Express Entry immigration selection system. It is possible that individuals who are not eligible for Express Entry (for example, because of language ability) may be eligible for this SINP sub-category.

(Note: The government of Saskatchewan’s website has recently stated that this sub-category has accepted the maximum number of applications for 2016. However, the website has stated this previously, only for the sub-category to reopen subsequently. Therefore, it is possible that it will open again this year.)

MPNP for Skilled Workers

The MPNP issues LAAs through two sub-categories of the Skilled Workers stream. On August 24, a total of 176 LAAs were issued to candidates through the Skilled Workers in Manitoba sub-category, while 538 LAAs were issued through the Skilled Workers Overseas sub-category. Under the MPNP's EOI points system, the province selects candidates under a ranking system. In this draw, Skilled Workers in Manitoba candidates required 592 points (out of 1,000) in order to be issued an LAA, and Skilled Workers Overseas candidates required 543 points.

The MPNP for Skilled Workers aims to attract workers who have the skills needed in the local labour market, and nominate them to receive Canadian permanent resident visas to settle and work in Manitoba. These immigration options may be particularly attractive to individuals who may not be eligible to immigrate to Canada through the federal Express Entry immigration selection system, as the eligibility requirements are rather different. For example, the MPNP awards points for language proficiency equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 to candidates in certain occupations, a much lower threshold than what is required under the Federal Skilled Worker Class.

Under the Skilled Workers in Manitoba sub-category, applications are accepted from qualified foreign workers and international student graduates who are currently working in Manitoba and have been offered a permanent job by their employer in Manitoba. Skilled Workers in Manitoba are not subject to a points-based assessment to determine their eligibility. To learn more about eligibility for the MPNP Skilled Workers in Manitoba sub-category, click here.

This Skilled Worker Overseas sub-category is for skilled workers who may be outside Canada but who can demonstrate a connection to the province. A points-based system is used to assess candidates according to factors such as age, language proficiency, work experience, education and adaptability. To learn more about eligibility for the MPNP Skilled Workers Overseas sub-category and the points assessment system, click here.

BC PNP: Wide range of candidates invited

The latest BC PNP draw saw a wide range of workers, graduates and entrepreneurs invited to apply for immigration to Canada. Those individuals who were invited had previously made an expression of interest in settling in BC, either through the Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS) or through BC’s Entrepreneur Immigration stream pool. Overall, candidates were issued ITAs through a total of five different BC PNP categories, some of which are aligned with the federal Express Entry system.

The minimum score required in order to receive an ITA decreased in the case of most BC PNP categories for the August 24 draw, compared with the previous draw. The only exception is for the Skills Immigration – Entry Level and Semi-Skilled category, under which only two candidates received an ITA this time around. There were significant decreases in the minimum score required across most of the other categories.

To learn more about eligibility requirements for BC PNP categories, click here. To find out what your score might be under the SIRS, use the new and exclusive SIRS Calculator.

Options beyond Express Entry

“These Provincial Nominee Programs in Western Canada have certainly been very active recently, but it is interesting to note that of the two thousand or so applications received or invitations issued in late August, the majority were not for streams aligned with the federal Express Entry system,” notes Attorney David Cohen.

“It is important for individuals who are seriously interested in immigrating to Canada to have their options assessed across a range of programs, not only those that are processed through Express Entry. In many cases, an immigration opportunity that is not widely known or publicized may be available.

“In addition, and I am referring principally to the Saskatchewan program here, it is important to prepare to submit an application in expectation of a category reopening for new applications. For categories that tend to open and close quickly, it has been shown time and again that advanced preparation is key.”

PNPs in Western Canada: An overview of recent activity
British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program: August 24 draw
Stream/Category Minimum Score Number of Invitations Aligned with Express Entry?
Express Entry BC – Skilled Worker 135 46 Yes
Express Entry BC – International Graduate 105 73 Yes
Skills Immigration – Skilled Worker 135 20 No
Skills Immigration – International Graduate 105 170 No
Skills Immigration – Entry Level and Semi-Skilled 95 10 No
Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program: August 24 draw
Stream/Category Minimum Score Number of Invitations Aligned with Express Entry?
Skilled Workers in Manitoba 592 176 No
Skilled Workers Overseas 543 538 No
SINP sub-category reopening: August 30
Stream/Category # of new applications Current status Aligned with Express Entry?
International Skilled Worker - Occupations in Demand 700 Not open for new applications No

To find out if you are eligible for immigration to Canada, including through the PNPs mentioned in this article, please fill out a free online assessment today.

© 2016 CICnews All Rights Reserved

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