Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) issued nearly 6,500 invitations to apply for provincial nomination during the month of September.
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.
September 2021 PNP-Focused Express Entry Highlights
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.
In September, IRCC conducted three Express Entry draws targeting PNP candidates, issuing 635 ITAs on September 1, another 521 on September 15, and lastly 761 on September 29. The number of PNP Express Entry invitations issued over the last month is therefore slightly higher compared with previous months.
Since the beginning of 2021, IRCC has been holding draws under PNP and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) categories only. There have been 18 PNP-specific draws so far this year and the number of invitations to apply via Express Entry has nearly doubled from this time last year.
The province held a total of five draws last month through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP).
On September 14, 2021, Ontario held a round of invitations for the Masters Graduate and PhD Graduate streams. The province invited 691 international student graduates to apply for a provincial nomination. More specifically, Ontario invited 627 candidates to apply under the Masters Graduate stream who needed Expression of Interest (EOI) scores of 35 and above. Invited as well, were 64 candidates with EOI scores of 16 and above under the PhD Graduate stream.
The following week, the province issued invitations under the Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker and Employer job offer: International Student streams. The new rounds of invitations were held on September 21 and 995 candidates were invited to apply for a provincial nomination. A total of 66 of these invitations went to immigration candidates who were registered for the Regional Immigration Pilot.
On September 22, the province held another In-Demand Skills stream draw under its new intake system and invited 65 immigration candidates. Candidates needed to have job offers in sectors listed as targeted.
In total, the province of Ontario invited 1,751 immigration candidates to apply for a provincial nomination in September, significantly more than the 875 invited the previous month.
In September, the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)’s Express Entry Stream held three large invitation rounds. Most notably, the AINP held its largest draw to date on September 7 and invited 500 candidates with CRS scores of at least 300. There were two other AINP draws on September 14 and September 21, where a total of 835 immigration candidates were invited to apply for a provincial nomination.
These three draws bring the total of invitations issued through the AINP to 1,335 in September.
The province of Manitoba held two draws through the following three streams: Skilled Workers in Manitoba, International Education Stream, and Skilled Workers Overseas last month. The draws were held on September 2 and September 23 with a total of 1,252 Letters of Advice to Apply issued of which 236 were issued to candidates who declared a valid Express Entry profile.
Over the past month, British Columbia held a total of six draws and invited 994 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 Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) held invitation rounds through the Express Entry and Occupations In-Demand sub-categories of the International Skilled Worker Category on September 8 and September 27. The province issued a total of 919 invitations to apply for a provincial nomination last month.
Saskatchewan also held its second Entrepreneur stream draw of the year on September 2, issuing 41 invitations with a minimum score of 110. The next round of Entrepreneur stream invitations is expected to be held on November 4, 2021.
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island held a pre-scheduled draw on September 16 and issued a combined 143 invitations to immigration candidates. Most of the invitations, 129, 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.
Nova Scotia conducted new business immigration draws in September, issuing a total of 30 invitations through two streams of the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP). The two draws were held on September 13. One round resulted in 28 invitations in the Entrepreneur stream, with a minimum score of 120 points. Two invitations were also issued in the International Graduate Entrepreneur stream, this one with a minimum score of 57 points.
What are PNPs?
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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