Published on

Ask Tito Mike by Michael Scott  

Express Entry and PNP work together

by Michael Scott

Many readers are aware that Canada set an ambitious target of admitting 403,000 new immigrants to Canada in 2021. The federal Express Entry for skilled workers program has been busy issuing invitations to apply. What about the various Provincial Nominee Programs across the country? Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program issued nearly 3,000 invitations to apply (ITA) in November 2021. This level of activity is indicative of the efforts of nearly every province and territory in Canada, except for Nunavut and Quebec, which has its own immigration program.

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), as set forth in the Regulations section 87(2) requires applicants to be named on a provincial certificate and show their true intention to reside in the province of nomination. The applicants must also demonstrate that they can become economically established in Canada in subsection (3). The provinces individually determine who they think will meet their local labour market needs and determine their own way of selecting foreign worker applicants. Since its inception in 1998, the PNP has become one of the main routes to permanent residence in Canada. It is projected that from 2021 to 2023 PNPs alone are expected to comprise 80,000 immigrants per year. The provinces have been active across the country.

Each provincial PNP program operates one stream that is aligned to the federal Express Entry program, which has become Canada’s main economic immigration path. Since mid-September, IRCC has been holding draws under the PNP category. There have been 23 PNP specific draws for the calendar year with over 13,000 ITAs being issued. For example, in November the Express Entry held two draws targeting PNP candidates. It issued 755 ITAs on November 10 and another 613 on November 24.

The provinces nominate applicants based on a base nomination that meets the selection standards of the particular PNP, or by coordination with the federal Express Entry. The PNPs have an opportunity to search the Express Entry EOI pool and identify those who match the specific criteria of the province. The province then invites these candidates to apply for provincial nomination. If the candidates are nominated, they are awarded an additional 600 Comparative Rating System (CRS) points, which practically ensures that they will receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence in a subsequent Express Entry draw. The federal provincial coordination can be seen in the provincial activity of the November 2021 for example.

Over the past month, British Columbia (BC-PNP) held six draws and invited 861 candidates to submit applications through “Express Entry British Columbia” and “Skills Immigration.” The numbers are consistent with invitations issued since the beginning of the year.

Manitoba held two draws from the following streams: “Skilled Workers in Manitoba,” “International Education Stream,” and “Skilled Workers Overseas.” The draws conducted on November 1 and November 18 issued 849 Letters of Advice to Apply, of which 143 declared a valid Express Entry profile.

In contrast, Alberta (AINP) held only one draw under “Express Entry Stream” on November 9 and issued 200 ITAs;

Saskatchewan (SINP) issued the largest number of invitations through its “Express Entry” and “Occupations in Demand,” for a total of 633 invitations. SINP also announced its intention to launch a pilot program to help local employers recruit workers in certain demand occupations. The list of occupations has not yet been announced by candidates for the new “Hard-To-Fill Skills Pilot.” Applicants must have a permanent full-time job offer, meet a minimum proficiency level in English or French, and minimum education and work experience.

One the smallest provincial nominee programs is that found in Prince Edward Island. The PEI-PNP held one draw on November 18 and issued 188 invitations, of which 172 were issued under “Express Entry” and “Labour Impact” candidates. PEI-PNP held 11 draws to the end of November and issued a total of 1,729 invitations.

Newfoundland and Labrador PNP (NL-PNP) released the total numbers of three “Priority Skilled Newfoundland and Labrador.” NL-PNP invited a total of 663 candidates.

Nova Scotia PNP issued 330 ITAs in October 2021. The provincial PNP added three new eligible occupations to their Occupations in Demand list in November: food & beverage servers NOC 6513, food counter attendants NOC 6711, and light-duty cleaners NOC 6731.

The coordination between IRCC and the various PNPs is helping Canada meet its yearly goal of 403,000 landings for 2021. The opportunities for skilled applicants have seen a sharp upturn because of the global pandemic. If Canada is to meet its ambitious goals, skilled immigration is needed. It is to the benefit of the country, and the various provinces, if we welcome more needed workers, especially those identified by provincial authorities as in-demand. It looks like a bright Christmas for skilled workers and immigration applicants in general. Now we wait and see if the lofty target will be met.

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:

Have a comment on this article? Send us your feedback