A promising outlook for Canada's Provincial Nominee Program

Updated: Jan 12, 2019 | Tags: Canada Immigration, Canada Entry Requirements


Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) was one of the top Canada immigration programs of 2018 and is likely to be just as important in 2019. The PNP gives provinces and territories the opportunity to welcome a set number of economic immigrants every year by offering them permanent residency.

Different nomination methods

Some economic immigrants are accepted through ‘enhanced’ nominations. This is where individuals can come to Canada as part of the Express Entry system and within an economic immigration program. Since these individuals are given additional points as part of their ranking score, they're almost certainly guaranteed an invitation to apply for permanent residency in Canada. Another class of nominations is known as 'base nominations', where provinces nominate individuals outside of the Express Entry system via PNP streams throughout the country.

An expanding program

As from 2018, in Canada, 9 provinces and 2 territories have been participating in the PNP. In 2018, provinces and territories had a combined 34,700 nominations, 1,300 higher than the previous year, 2017. It is anticipated that allocations will rise yet again this year (2019).

Created in 1996, the PNP has grown significantly. Back at the start, the program only admitted 233 individuals. However, the IRCC's 2018 target for PNP was 55,000 admissions as part of the multi-year immigration levels plan. This goal was up by over 4,000 on the previous year. It is thought that 2019 will see around 61,000 new admissions. By 2021, the number is expected to be 71,300.

The position in Ontario

Ontario has the highest population in Canada. Therefore, it had the greatest PNP allocation in 2018. Receiving 6,600 nominations last year, it's expected that this year will see 7,600 nominations.

The province has 3 Express Entry-linked streams:

  • The Human Capital Priorities Stream,
  • The French Speaking Skilled Worker Stream
  • The Skilled Trades Stream.

Using these streams, the province can invite individuals from the Express Entry pool as long as they meet federal and provincial criteria for eligibility.

The responses from Manitoba, Alberta and Nova Scotia

The provinces of Manitoba, Alberta and Nova Scotia have benefited from new Express Entry-linked streams. In Manitoba, the Express Entry stream is based around an Expression of Interest (EOI) system. Express Entry candidates wishing to apply within this stream must register an EOI profile within the province's Nominee Program. Profiles are then ranked based on different criteria and those with the top scores are invited to apply for nomination.

Alberta's Express Entry Stream was launched in June and initial Notifications Of Interest followed very soon after. This stream means the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program can look at candidates with the Express Entry pool with ranking points of over 300. Additionally, their occupation must be in line with Alberta’s economic goals. Priority is given to individuals with an employment offer, work experience, a Canadian degree or close family living in the province.

Nova Scotia benefitted from a newly-created 2018 PNP stream (effective in August 2018), the Labor Market Priorities Stream. As part of this, the Nova Scotia Nominee Program can choose candidates from the Express Entry pool if they have work experience in certain sectors where the province has labor shortages. So far, a draw as part of the Labor Market Priorities Stream comprised 314 invitations to individuals with experience working in early childhood education. However, targeted occupations are likely to change and evolve.

In addition to The Labor Market Priorities Stream, Nova Scotia also has the Demand and the Experience streams. These three streams awarded 1,095 applications in 2018.

Many invitations from Saskatchewan

From July last year, Saskatchewan began having draws at least every month. For example, from late August to early December 2018, the province sent out 1,763 invitations to Express Entry candidates and a further 2,317 invitations as part of the sub-category for Occupations In-Demand.

Candidates are selected from a pool, with an emphasis on criteria like education, work experience and proficiency in English or French. These give individuals a score and rank within the pool.

Changes for Prince Edward Island (PEI)

Finally, PEI changed its EOI system last year, welcoming EOIs from those within the federal Express Entry pool without an offer of employment in the province. Priority is given to those living and working in PEI. The province's Office of Immigration has also been in touch with Express Entry candidates who haven't yet registered an EOI with the province but who are thought to potentially meet the needs of the labor market.

These efforts show just how committed the entire country is to Canada immigration. While the Canada Visa and Canada ETA systems allow tens of thousands of individuals to spend short periods in Canada every year, a Canada Visa or Canada ETA doesn't grant permanent residency. Among the various routes to apply for permanent residency in Canada, the Provincial Nominee Program is a targeted effort to integrate economic immigrants into the country for a brighter future all round.