The high level of activity in Canada’s provincial nominee programs provides a good reminder that PNPs occupy a key position in Canada’s immigration process.
Nearly every Canadian province and territory, except Quebec and Nunavut, operates its own Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Having their own immigration programs allows provincial governments to select the most suitable candidates to meet their local labour market needs and to manage the regional settlement of the immigrant population within their jurisdiction. Each province adopts its own criteria for selecting foreign workers eligible for Canadian permanent residence under its respective PNP.
While the federal government oversees main immigration pathways, immigration levels, and all aspects of permanent residence and citizenship regulations, Canada’s provinces have a key role to play, through the PNP, in selecting immigrants.
Since its launch in 1998, the PNP has become the second most important route to permanent residence in Canada. Between now and 2023, PNPs alone are expected to result in more than 80,000 immigrants per year being admitted as permanent residents.
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Most participating provinces and territories have at least one PNP stream that is aligned with the federal Express Entry system—Canada’s principal source of economic immigration.
So far this year, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has been holding PNP–specific Express Entry draws, on average, every two weeks.
In October, IRCC conducted two Express Entry draws targeting PNP candidates, issuing 681 ITAs on October 13, and another 888 on October 27.
For almost two months now, IRCC has been holding draws under the PNP categories only. There have been 21 PNP-specific draws so far this year and the number of invitations to apply via Express Entry far exceeds the numbers at this time last year.
The province held a total of seven draws last month through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP).
After a two-month hiatus, Ontario held a new Human Capital Priorities Stream (HCP) stream draw on October 6 and invited 486 immigration candidates to apply for provincial nomination.
A day later, on October 7, the province invited 162 Express Entry candidates to apply for a provincial nomination through the French-Speaking Skilled Worker (FSSW) stream. Candidates needed to have a profile in the Express Entry System with a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score between 461 and 467.
On October 21, Ontario held a round of invitations for the Masters Graduate, PhD Graduate, and Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker streams. The province invited a total of 546 immigration candidates through those streams.
More recently, on October 27, the province held another Human Capital Priorities Stream (HCP) stream draw and invited a record 1,406 immigration candidates. Candidates needed to have job offers in sectors listed as targeted.
Ontario also held an Entrepreneur stream draw on October 28, issuing 20 invitations with a minimum score of 147.
In total, the province of Ontario invited 2,620 immigration candidates to apply for a provincial nomination in October, significantly more than the previous month.
Over the past month, British Columbia held a total of six draws and invited 960 candidates to apply for a provincial nomination through the Express Entry British Columbia and Skills Immigration streams closely matching the number of invitations issued every month since the beginning of the year.
The province of Manitoba held two draws through the following three streams: Skilled Workers in Manitoba, International Education Stream, and Skilled Workers Overseas this past month. The draws were held on October 7 and October 21 with a total of 885 Letters of Advice to Apply issued of which 179 were issued to candidates who declared a valid Express Entry profile.
So far in October, the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)’s Express Entry Stream held only one invitation round. The AINP held the draw on October 12 and invited 293 candidates with CRS scores of at least 300.
Prince Edward Island held a large pre-scheduled draw on October 21 and issued a combined 204 invitations to immigration candidates. Most of the invitations, 195, were issued to Express Entry and Labour Impact candidates. The remaining nine invitations went to Business Impact candidates who had a minimum point threshold of 72. PEI held 10 draws so far this year, bringing the total number of invitations issued to 1,541.
PNPs allow Canadian provinces and territories to nominate individuals for permanent immigration.
There are two types of PNPs: base and enhanced.
Base nomination streams work outside of the Express Entry system, as they are managed by the provinces themselves. These types of nominations are subject to the processing standards of the specific PNP stream.
In order to go from a successful base nomination to permanent residency, candidates will generally have to go through a two-step process. First, candidates determine that they meet the criteria for a PNP stream, apply, and if successful, receive a nomination certificate. Once they have this certificate, they will be can apply for permanent resident status with the federal government.
Enhanced nomination streams, on the other hand, are linked with the Express Entry system. They allow provincial immigration officials to search the Express Entry pool of candidates for applicants who match specific criteria. The provinces then invite these candidates to apply for a provincial nomination.
The Express Entry system manages the pool of candidates for Canada’s three main federal-level economic immigration programs — the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class.
If candidates get a provincial nomination through an enhanced provincial stream, they are awarded an additional 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. This practically guarantees that they will receive an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence in a subsequent Express Entry draw.
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