Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program:
A look back at Key changes took place in 2018 and what could be in store for 2019
Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) kept affirming itself as the rising star of Canada’s economic immigration programs in 2018 and is anticipated to play an even more significant role this year as well.
PNP enables participating Canadian provinces and territories to nominate a certain number of economic immigrants for Canadian permanent residence each year. A part of these nominations are known as ‘enhanced’ nominations and allow a province or territory to nominate candidates in the federal Express Entry system.
Express Entry candidates who receive a provincial nomination by a Canadian province or territory are awarded an additional 600 points toward their Express Entry ranking score, which directly increase their chances to receive an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence in a subsequent Express Entry draw.
Provincial nominations are also issued outside the Express Entry system through various PNP streams across Canada, which are known as base nominations.
The nine Canadian provinces and two territories that take part in the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) started 2018 with a joint target of 34,700 nominations, which was an increase of 1,300 over 2017.
For 2018, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) had a set target of 55,000 admissions of new permanent residents through the PNP under its multi-year immigration levels plan. This was an increase of 4,000 over 2017 — a year that observed the maximum admissions ever through the Provincial Nominee Program.
Admissions through the PNP are anticipated to rise again to 61,000 new permanent residents this year and reach 71,300 in 2021.
Three new Express Entry-linked PNP streams were created and others were improved
New Express Entry-aligned streams in Manitoba, Alberta and Nova Scotia
Another prominent PNP development in 2018 was the introduction of new Express Entry-linked streams in the provinces of Manitoba, Alberta and Nova Scotia. Both Manitoba as well as Alberta introduced their Express Entry-linked streams as part of a general revamping of their PNP in 2018.
Similar to the Express Entry system itself, Manitoba’s Express Entry stream follows an Expression of Interest (EOI) system. Interested Express Entry candidates who want to be considered under this stream have to first register a separate EOI profile with the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP).
The MPNP sent a total of 1,155 invitations to Express Entry candidates to apply for a provincial nomination in seven draws held between January 11 and July 9, 2018.
The Alberta Express Entry Stream was created in the month of June and issued its first Notifications of Interest (NOIs) less than a month later, on July 6.
The stream allows the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program to find eligible Express Entry candidates with a minimum CRS score of 300 who are working in an occupation that supports Alberta’s economic development and diversification goals, among other criteria.
In 2018, The Alberta Express Entry Stream issued a total of 596 Notifications of Interest (NOIs) to Express Entry candidates over the course of seven draws.
The third Express Entry-linked PNP stream unveiled in 2018 was Nova Scotia’s Labour Market Priorities Stream.
Introduced in August, 2018, the stream allows the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) to find the Express Entry pool for candidates with work experience in certain occupations that are facing labour/skill shortages in the province.
The only draw that took place till date through the Labour Market Priorities Stream issued 314 invitations to Express Entry candidates with eligible work experience as early childhood educators and assistants.
According to NSNP, occupations targeted through the Labour Market Stream can face changes as the province’s labour market requirements are evolving with time.
The province of Saskatchewan changed its popular International Skilled Worker Express Entry and Occupation In-Demand sub-categories to an Expression of interest (EOI) system in July, leading to draws at least once a month.
Saskatchewan issued 1,763 invitations to Express Entry candidates and another 2,317 invitations to candidates in Occupation In-Demand sub-category through the draws held between August 21st and December 6th, 2018.
PEI revamps PNP
The Atlantic Province of Prince Edward Island (PEI) also overhauled its EOI system in 2018.
PEI welcomes EOIs from candidates in the federal Express Entry pool without a job offer in the province. However, those living and working in PEI are given priority over other candidates.