Recent weeks have seen an impressive amount of activity among Canada’s Express Entry-linked provincial nominee streams. In the past five days alone, more than 1,400 Express Entry candidates have been contacted by Canada’s provinces to apply for a provincial nomination.
These streams allow Canada’s provinces and territories to choose candidates in the federal Express Entry system who meet their individual labour market needs and nominate them for Canadian permanent residence.
Express Entry is Canada’s main pathway to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers and manages the pool of candidates for the Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class and Canadian Experience Class.
Express Entry candidates with a provincial nomination receive an additional 600 points toward their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score and are fast-tracked for an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
In order to be considered for a provincial nomination through one of Canada’s Express Entry-linked streams, the first required step is to submit an Express Entry profile.
This week saw more than 1,400 invitations to apply for a provincial nomination issued to Express Entry candidates in two draws held through Ontario’s Human Capital Priorities Stream and Nova Scotia’s Labour Market Priorities Stream.
Both are examples of so-called ‘passive’ nominee streams that search the Express Entry pool for candidates with specific profiles.
The Human Capital Priorities draw issued Notifications of Interest to 1,072 Express Entry candidates with work experience in 10 occupations ranging from registered nurses to financial auditors and business management consultants, among other criteria.
The 10 targeted occupations were:
While specific work experience is not one of the usual requirements of the Human Capital Priorities Stream, Ontario adapts the stream’s selection criteria on occasion to meet its evolving labour market and economic development priorities.
This kind of flexibility is also built into Nova Scotia’s Labour Market Priorities Stream, which was launched last year to target Express Entry candidates with work experience in occupations facing labour shortages in the province.
The June 3 draw saw Nova Scotia issue Letters of Interest to 312 Express Entry candidates with eligible work experience as early childhood educators and assistants.
This was the second time since the Labour Market Priorities Stream’s creation last summer that it targeted early childhood educators. The stream has also targeted financial auditors and accountants and Express Entry candidates whose first language is French.
While Ontario only drew candidates with Express Entry CRS scores ranging from 439 to 469, Nova Scotia did not have a minimum CRS requirement in their draw.
Another passive Express Entry-aligned stream that was active in recent weeks was the Alberta Express Entry Stream, which sent Notifications of Interest to 316 Express Entry candidates in May.
The stream prioritizes candidates with either strong ties to Alberta or who are considered capable of supporting the province’s “economic development and diversification priorities.”
Alberta invited 316 Express Entry candidates in May, some with CRS scores as low as 301.
In addition to passive streams, many Canadian provinces have Express Entry-linked streams that allow candidates to express their interest or submit applications.
For example, Saskatchewan’s International Skilled Worker: Express Entry sub-category has its own unique pool of candidates who also have profiles in the federal Express Entry pool.
In order to be eligible, Express Entry candidates must register a separate profile with the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program and have work experience in one of 19 occupations that are listed as in-demand in Saskatchewan, among other requirements.
Saskatchewan invited 185 Express entry candidates from their pool to apply for a provincial nomination in two draws held May 1 and May 22.
After obtaining a provincial nomination, these candidates would receive 600 additional points toward their Express Entry ranking score and move to the front of the line for an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
Other streams inviting candidates from their own pools in recent weeks included Prince Edward Island and Manitoba.
A key feature of all three Express Entry-linked streams in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island is the fact they do not require a minimum CRS score in order to be eligible.
Taken together, this activity among Canada’s Express Entry-linked provincial nominee streams stands in marked contrast to the Express Entry system itself, which allowed four weeks to elapse between its last two all-program draws and resulted in a CRS cut-off of 470 in its May 29 invitation round.
Since the start of May, streams in seven provinces — British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia — have given opportunities to more than 2,000 Express Entry candidates to apply for a provincial nomination.
This burst of PNP activity reflects Canada’s higher 2019 admissions target for the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), which is set at 61,000. This is an increase of 6,000 over 2018’s target of 55,000.
Over the next three years, Canada could receive as many as 213,000 new permanent residents through the PNP alone.
“Nobody can accuse Canada’s provincial nominee programs of being boring and the past few weeks have provided ample reasons why this is the case,” said David Cohen, senior partner at the Campbell, Cohen Canadian immigration law firm in Montreal.
“More importantly, PNPs are exhibiting a new level of transparency as to the kind of candidates they are after. This information is vital and allows immigration candidates to know which provinces may be looking for their specific skills and experience.”
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