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Ask Tito Mike by Michael Scott  

Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Programs:

In concert with Invitations to Apply

by Michael Scott

Over the past few months Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has been widening the options for skilled worker, visitors and persons from Hong Kong. Each announcement brings with it new hope, new chances. What about the provincial alternative? Increasing numbers of people are using the provincial application streams to apply from inside and outside the country. Canadian provinces, except Quebec and Nunavut, operate their own Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP’s). Each province has developed their own criteria for selecting foreign workers for Canadian permanent residence under their PNP. The provincial programs select those candidates they feel will add to their economic growth and meet local labour market needs. The various PNP programs are expected to contribute over 80,000 immigrants per year over the next few years (2021-2023).

The PNP’s work individually and also in concert with federal immigration in meeting targets under skilled immigration by drawing on persons who have identified a province of choice on their Express Entry EOI (Expression of Interest). The candidates must meet the provincial pathway or selection stream, apply, and, if successful, receive a nomination certificate. Once candidates have a provincial certificate, they can include this in their submission for a permanent resident visa, from inside or outside Canada. There is also the link for other submissions from persons who have applied directly to the federal Express Entry. Once candidates are identified or self-disclose from the federal pool of candidates, they can apply for provincial nomination.

If candidates get provincial nomination through enhanced provincial streams, they are awarded an additional 600 Comprehensive Rating System (CRS) points, which often ensures selection from the pool of candidates and an invitation to apply (ITA) through the Express Entry. The advantage is significant because invited applicants can be processed for permanent residence in around six months. The interchange between immigration selection at the provincial and federal levels has resulted in some positive news in recent months, such as June 2021.

IRCC has been holding PNP-specific Express Entry draws at two-week intervals since the beginning of the year. During the month of June, IRCC selected a record number of Provincial Nominee Program candidates – 940 ITAs were issued on June 9 and another 1,002 on June 12. IRCC has now issued 88,715 ITAs for 2021, which included 12 PNP draws of 6,062 ITAs.

Ontario and the other provinces have also been busy inviting candidates to apply. The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) invited 986 candidates under their Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream in their June 1 draw, 940 candidates through the Employer Job Offer Foreign Worker Stream on June 19 and another 583 under targeted occupations.

During the same month the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) held two draws under its Express Entry Stream and selected 375 candidates. The province has recently announced that it is expanding selection to applicants not inside the province. The neighbouring Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) also held draws specific to the Express Entry pool of candidates an invited 225 to apply for provincial nomination.

June was a busy month for the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP), which held three draws from an online base of candidates. MPNP invited a record number of Express Entry candidates on their June 28 draw with 1,017 invitations being issued. The total number of invitations under this stream has now reached 4,722 since the beginning of the year. It is important to note that candidates must have a valid Express Entry ID and a job seeker validation code.

The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) invited 917 candidates through their Express Entry, Skills Immigration and Entrepreneur processing streams, which matched their selection number in the previous month.

It is important for candidates to consider both the federal Express Entry and the various provincial nominee programs. However, it is also important that candidates focus on the programs and destinations in Canada. The provincial nominee programs all discourage applicants from applying to different provinces. Be certain about your choice in Canada because your credibility is important in the selection process. There is nothing wrong with applying to Express Entry and then also to the nominee program in your province of choice. The selection process varies by province and program so ensure that you have done your research. 2021 promises to be a good year for immigration as Canada looks to meet its target of 400,000 landings.

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:

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