Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) are off to a strong start in 2022 with more than 4,500 invitations to apply for provincial nomination issued last month.
The PNP is an immigration program jointly administered by the federal, provincial, and territorial governments. It offers Canadian provinces and territories the opportunity to create their own immigration streams to better meet their labour market needs and economic development objectives.
Canada introduced the PNP in 1998 to spread the benefits of immigration more evenly among provinces and to encourage immigration to smaller provinces and less populated areas of the country. Today, the PNP accounts for a significant share of economic immigration to most provinces and territories in Canada. In fact, many smaller Canadian provinces such as Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan depend on this program to meet their demographic and labour force needs. Between now and 2023, PNPs alone are expected to result in more than 80,000 immigrants per year being admitted as permanent residents.
Most participating provinces and territories have at least one PNP stream that is aligned with the federal Express Entry system, which is Canada’s management system for three immigration programs: the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).
Express Entry-linked PNP streams, also known as “enhanced” PNPs, allow a province to select candidates who have profiles in the Express Entry pool and invite them to apply for a provincial nomination.
In an effort to reduce the backlog and processing delays currently affecting permanent resident applicants, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has temporarily paused issuing Express Entry invitations to FSWP, CEC, and FSTP candidates. However, given the importance of the PNP for the provinces and territories, IRCC has ensured that Express Entry invitations for PNP candidates continue to be issued, as usual, every two weeks. Last week, Canada’s Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser, reiterated the government’s commitment to continue inviting PNP candidates.
In January, IRCC held two draws and invited 1,428 PNP candidates in total under Express Entry. The latest draw, held on January 19, issued a record of 1,032 Invitations to Apply to provincial nominee candidates.
In January, Alberta released the results of two draws held through the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program. The province invited 150 candidates to apply for a provincial nomination on December 14, and another 250 candidates on January 5 under the Alberta Express Entry stream.
On January 13, the Government of Alberta also introduced a new Accelerated Tech Pathway for tech professionals from Canada and overseas. Candidates need to have a job offer or be currently working for an Alberta-based company in an eligible tech occupation, and they have to meet the criteria for the Alberta Express Entry stream.
Through the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program, the province invites the top-scoring provincial candidates on a weekly basis. Invited candidates may apply to Express Entry British Columbia, Skills Immigration, as well as the Tech stream. These programs are some of the most active in the country.
In January, the province invited a total of 714 candidates to apply for a provincial nomination.
Manitoba issues invitations regularly through the following three streams: Skilled Workers in Manitoba, Skilled Workers Overseas, and International Education Stream. Last month, the province held draws on January 14 and January 27 with a total of 758 Letters of Advice to Apply issued of which 166 were sent to candidates who had a valid Express Entry profile.
Ontario’s Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) held three large draws last month. The first draw took place on January 11 with the province issuing 1,084 invitations to apply under the Employer Job Offer Category to Foreign Worker, International Student, and In-Demand Skills stream candidates. The following day, on January 12, the province held another draw inviting 502 candidates with work experience in 18 targeted occupations and who may qualify for Ontario’s Express Entry Human Capital Priorities stream. Lastly, on January 27, Ontario invited 1,032 candidates through the Ontario Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream.
In total, Ontario invited 2,618 candidates to apply for a provincial nomination, more than any other province.
Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP) draws are prescheduled and held once a month. This year’s schedule was released by the province on January 1. The first PEI PNP draw was held on January 20 and invited 121 candidates from the Labour Impact and Express Entry streams and 11 from the Business Impact stream.
On January 6, Saskatchewan held a draw in the Entrepreneur category inviting 51 candidates. The following week, on January 13, the province held a draw through two sub-categories of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) Express Entry and Occupations In-Demand issuing a total of 104 invitations to apply for a provincial nomination.
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