This summer has been a bit busy for Canada’s Express Entry-linked Provincial Nominee Programs, with regard to developments in Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and Ontario leading the way.
Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) allow participating Canadian provinces and territories to nominate a particular number of immigrants for Canadian permanent residence each year.
Each of Canada’s 11 PNPs has at least one so-called “enhanced nomination” stream that allows it to invite candidates in the federal government’s Express Entry system to apply for a provincial nomination.
Express Entry manages the pool of candidates for Canada’s three Federal Economic Immigration Programs- the Federal Skilled Worker Class, the Federal Skilled Trade Class, and the Canadian Experience Class.
A provincial nomination obtained through an Express Entry-linked immigration category/stream awards candidates in the Express Entry pool an additional 600 points toward their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. The additional points effectively move candidates to the front of the line for an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence.
Collectively, Canada’s PNPs will be responsible for more than 30 per cent of planned economic immigration to Canada in 2018.
Nova Scotia’s introduces Labour Market Priorities Stream
The Atlantic Canada province of Nova Scotia also introduced a significant addition to its Express Entry-linked immigration pathways at the start of August with the creation of its Labour Market Priorities Stream.
This new stream allows Nova Scotia’s Office of Immigration to identify Express Entry candidates who meet “market-identified labour shortages” to apply for a provincial nomination.
Nova Scotia’s Office of Immigration put this new stream to use on August 8 when it issued Letters of Interest to 314 Express Entry candidates with at least 2 years of work experience in the form of early childhood educators and assistants (NOC 4214).
A spokesperson for Nova Scotia’s Office of Immigration told, “Attracting and retaining skilled workers will help increase access to important services such as early childhood education while helping grow our population”. He further said that ‘this will strengthen our communities and provincial economy- benefitting all Nova Scotians’.
The Labour Market Priorities Stream is described “flexible” and the specified occupations could vary from draw to draw depending on Nova Scotia’s needs.
In addition to the Labour Market Priorities Stream, Nova Scotia has two other immigration streams that tap the federal Express Entry system- the Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry Stream and the Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry Stream.
Manitoba, PEI, New Brunswick and BC Express Entry
Express Entry-linked PNPs in the provinces of Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, and British Columbia have also issued invitations this summer. Manitoba’s Express Entry Pathway held three draws in June and July- on June 22, July 6 and July 9- and issued a total of 448 Letters of Advice to Apply to candidates with scores as low as 519 under its unique points grid.
This EOI based pathway is open to candidates meeting the pathway’s eligibility criteria and have experience in one of the province’s in-demand occupations.
Prince Edward Island’s EOI based Express Entry Stream has issued invitations three times till the summer on June 21, July 19, and August 16. However, its Office of Immigration did not provide the breakdown of how many Express Entry EOI candidates were invited in each round.
On Canada’s West Coast, British Columbia continued its weekly invitations to Express Entry candidates.
Candidates in its Express Entry BC: Skilled Worker and Express Entry BC: International Graduates were targeted through weekly draws in June, July, and August.
BC did not mention how many Express Entry candidates were invited in each draw, but scores ranged from 87 to 96 under the Skills Immigration Registration System’s points grid.
Alberta Express Entry announced
Technically, it happened before summer’s official arrival, Alberta announced the long-awaited arrival of its Express Entry Stream on June 14 along with its new Alberta Opportunity Stream.
In the announcement of Express Entry Stream, the AINP said, “Candidates who have demonstrated strong ties to Alberta and who can help support government’s economic development and diversification priorities will be invited to apply”.
Qualified candidates with profiles in the Express Entry pool will be directly selected by the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP).
Express Entry candidates can only apply after being invited by the AINP.
Like all other Express Entry linked Streams, the first step toward pursuing this new Alberta stream is to enter the Express Entry pool.