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Ask Tito Mike by Michael Scott  

Provincial Nominee Programs

move to multi-level planning

by Michael Scott

CIC Immigration News recently reported that they have obtained information from Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship (IRCC) outlining new guiding principles for how the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) will be issued allocations by the federal government department. The provinces have limits on the number of candidates they can nominate annually.

Provincial and territorial signatories (PTs) to the Provincial Nominee Program have the authority to nominate workers who have the skills, education, and work experience to contribute to the economy of the specific province they want to live in and become permanent residents of Canada. Each PT has its own immigration stream (programs) with certain groups and requirements. Provincial or territorial signatories may target international students, business people, skilled and semi-skilled workers.

Applications can come through non-Express Entry or through Express Entry. In the first case the applicants will apply directly to province or territory. If you are nominated, you can apply for permanent residence online and also obtain necessary medical examinations and provide evidence of police checks. The applications are longer than direct Express Entry (intention of six months of processing as a target).

Both the provincial direct way and the direct Express Entry use the 2021 version of the National Occupational Classification and are dependent upon numeric assessments. Interested parties are encouraged to check both the requirements of Express Entry (Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, or the Canada Experience Class) and the particular requirements of the nominee programs in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan and the Yukon.

The current PNP program puts limits on the number of candidates a PT can invite each year. The provinces and the federal authority share responsibility for immigration. Applicants who receive a provincial nomination can submit their permanent residence application to IRCC and receive an additional 600 points under the Comprehensive Ranking System, which will virtually guarantee that the federal authorities will issue them an Invitation to Apply in an Express Entry draw.

The federal authorities decide on who will be issued an invitation to apply based on a systematic, evidence basis framework. IRCC uses both qualitative and quantitative methods to predict success at integration of the candidates to the Canadian work force.

The recent report to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship aims to enhance their predictability to ensure that the allocations are more efficient and reduce the number of requests from the provincial and territorial counterparts for more allocations. The federal department is seeking a more qualitative assignment of numbers to ensure that economic allocations match both the population share of the provinces and territories as well as the retention rates for each. This approach makes more sense than just looking at quantitative measures, or numbers alone.

The suggestion for change in the report is that guidelines be developed for multi-level yearly plans for the PNP for each of the signatories. The intention is to replicate the federal system of the Immigration Levels Plan and give the PT partners allocations for three years in advance, although allocations can change. At present allocations are only one year at a time, which creates challenges for the PT authorities in planning infrastructure such as housing or preparing healthcare and provides settlement services.

A new Immigration Levels Plan for 2024-2026 is expected to be released in November 2023 so all can be aware of the permanent admission targets for the next three years and start making the necessary service changes. Immigration Minster Marc Miller has advised all PT partners that the number of arrivals will not be going down in the next three years, so they can transition to multi-year planning to help meet the country’s targets for arrivals. It is an exciting time, stay tuned.

Michael Scott is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC, R525678) who has 30 years of experience with Immigration Canada and the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. He currently works as a licensed consultant with Immigration Connexion International Ltd. Contact him at 204-691-1166 or 204-227-0292. E-mail: