PNP-Specific Express Entry Draw Provides Cause for Optimism

CIC News
Published: December 7, 2016

canadamapflagAfter Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) conducted an Express Entry draw on November 30 that invited candidates with a provincial nomination only, candidates in the pool are noting how this may benefit them over time.

That draw, the 48th in total since the Express Entry system was first launched nearly two years ago, is the first draw in which only those candidates who had received an enhanced provincial nomination certificate through a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) were issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA). The only other previous program-specific draw took place in February, 2015, when candidates in the pool eligible under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) were issued an ITA if they met the minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) cut-off threshold.

November 30 Draw

A total of 559 candidates in the pool with a provincial nomination were issued an ITA in the November 30 draw. The minimum CRS score required was 786.

Candidates who obtain a nomination from a province are awarded 600 points under the CRS (out of a possible total of 1,200), making PNPs by far the single most valuable factor under the new CRS that came into force last month. Given this factor, it follows that candidates with core CRS scores as low as 186 were issued an ITA in this latest draw. Core CRS indicates a candidate’s score without the additional points for a provincial nomination or a qualifying job offer.

It is likely that most, if not all, candidates in the pool with a provincial nomination when the draw was made were issued an ITA. The previous draw, which took place on November 16, saw candidates with 470 or more CRS points issued an ITA. Therefore, a total of 559 candidates updated their profiles over the two-week period between the draws to let IRCC know that they had obtained a provincial nomination and claim the additional 600 points.

Although it had been 21 months since the previous program-specific draw, IRCC stated at the recent Annual Immigration Law Summit, held in November in Toronto, that program-specific draws may be considered in the future. Indeed, it is entirely possible that a program-specific draw that invites candidates eligible under the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) or Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) could take place at some point.

The reaction

For most candidates, the November 30 PNP-specific draw was unexpected, but nonetheless welcome. On the Canada Immigration Forum, many members reacted positively to the news, even though they may not themselves have been issued an ITA on this occasion. One member posted that ‘This is actually the best thing that could happen . . . This way they clear some of the high score individuals,’ while another member added that ‘All PNP cases in the pool are now cleared. This means the cut off scores should drop considerably.’

That general sentiment is backed up by IRCC’s recent statements on how recent improvements to the CRS may benefit candidates with human capital, skills, and experience. IRCC has said that “A reduction of points to candidates with arranged employment means the CRS cut-off will decline.”

Stakeholders should note that a provincial nomination is not required in order to enter the Express Entry pool or to receive an ITA for permanent residence.

“I think the latest draw was a wise move on the part of IRCC, particularly as this was the first draw following the recent improvements made to the Comprehensive Ranking System,” says Attorney David Cohen.

“Candidates were able to get an idea as to how many individuals in the pool were being issued nominations over a two-week period. Those nominees have now exited the pool and, with their ITA, effectively have one foot already in Canada. Moreover, IRCC has stated on numerous occasions over recent weeks that it expects the CRS cut-off point to decrease over time, allowing more candidates to be invited based on their skills, experience, and human capital factors.”

The PNPs: A recent history

2016 has been a breakout year for the PNPs, with Express Entry-aligned streams driving immigration to the provinces in greater numbers. In 2015, around 13 percent of Express Entry candidates who were issued an ITA had obtained a provincial nomination certificate through one of the many PNPs aligned with Express Entry. Over the first nine months of 2016, however, this increased to 23 percent.

These streams may open, reopen, or change at a moment’s notice, therefore benefiting candidates in the Express Entry pool who maintain an updated profile and have their documentation ready for submission. Many of the documents required to apply for permanent residence through Express Entry are also required to apply for a provincial nomination through a PNP.

Provinces in Western Canada have been particularly active over recent weeks and months. British Columbia continues to invite eligible skilled workers and international graduates to apply to the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP). At the time of writing, a total of 2,693 candidates in the federal Express Entry pool have been invited to apply to the BC PNP so far this year.

Saskatchewan’s International Skilled Worker – Express Entry sub-category is rather different, operating on a first-come, first served basis. This sub-category, which has a specific in-demand occupations list, has reopened on no fewer than eight occasions since it was first introduced last year. The application intake cap is usually filled within days, or even hours. Consequently, candidates who may be eligible, but who are not prepared, have little to no chance of successfully submitting an application and ultimately being awarded 600 additional CRS points.

Manitoba has also been active, with a portion of its Skilled Workers Overseas sub-category operating in alignment with the federal Express Entry system. The government of Manitoba issues Letters of Advice to Apply (LAA) to the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) in draws that occur around once per month.

Further east, Ontario’s main Express Entry-aligned stream, the popular Human Capital Priorities stream, closed temporarily earlier this year. This stream was unique in that it was passive; eligible candidates in the Express Entry pool with at least 400 CRS points could be contacted by the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), which issues a Notification of Interest (NOI) that allows the candidate to apply for a provincial nomination certificate. When the temporary pause in new NOIs was announced in May, Ontario stated that it ‘expects to be in a position to accept applications for some streams in six months.’ Therefore, the Human Capital Priorities stream may reopen in the near future.

Meanwhile, other provinces and territories across Canada have issued provincial nomination certificates throughout 2016. It is expected that many provinces will continue to launch or re-open dedicated PNP streams for candidates in the Express Entry pool throughout 2017.

There are also ‘base’ PNP streams that are not aligned with the federal Express Entry system. These streams have unique criteria that may allow individuals who are not currently eligible to enter the Express Entry pool to submit an application to immigrate to a province or territory in Canada. Candidates in the pool who have yet to receive an ITA may also pursue their immigration options through the base PNP streams.

To find out if you are eligible for immigration to Canada, please fill out a free online assessment today.

© 2016 CICNews All Rights Reserved

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at media@canadavisa.com
Related articles
Ontario, British Columbia and Saskatchewan invite candidates for nomination in latest draws
Aerial view of Toronto Financial District at sunset, Ontario, Canada.
How some Express Entry candidates may benefit from category-based selection draws
Business people smiling and having a meeting in the office.
How do Express Entry draws in 2024 compare to 2023?
A man sitting at a table looking intently at his laptop.
British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec issue provincial immigration nominations in latest draws
Skytrain bridge in British Columbia connecting Surrey and New Westminster over the Fraser River.
Top Stories
Ontario, British Columbia and Saskatchewan invite candidates for nomination in latest draws
Canadian Immigration Lawyers Association recommends IRPA legislation reform
Speed Up Your Canadian Study Permit through the Student Direct Stream: Tips for International Students
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
Subscribe
More in Sponsor Content
Speed Up Your Canadian Study Permit through the Student Direct Stream: Tips for International Students
International students aiming to study in Canada can expedite their study permit application process through a specialized program offered by the Canadian government.
Live Webinar: A Clear Path to Academic Achievement in Canada Redefined
Attain a great score on your language assessment and increase your chances of admission to a Canadian university.
Avoid these common tax-filing mistakes as a self-employed newcomer
Filing your income taxes when self-employed can sometimes be a more complicated and involved process than tax filing as an employee in Canada.
Prepare for CAEL and Meet Your Academic Goals with the Path to Success!
The CAEL Path to Success is a helpful tool to chart and track your progress as candidates prepare for CAEL.
Link copied to clipboard