From coast to coast, Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) continue to allow workers, graduates, entrepreneurs, and their families with a pathway to Canada. The first half of the summer has seen plenty of activity, particularly from Ontario, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Alberta.
Through the PNPs, Canadian provinces can nominate individuals for immigration to their province. Some PNP streams, known as enhanced streams, are aligned with the federal Express Entry selection system. Streams that are entirely separate from Express Entry are known as base streams. An enhanced nomination results in the applicant receiving 600 additional points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence at a subsequent draw from the pool.
Under Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan for 2017, the government has set a target to bring in up to 54,000 new permanent residents this year alone.
The government of Ontario’s immigration department has been busy on the over the past few weeks, inviting a range of applicants to settle in the province via the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP).
A new strategy introduced towards the end of June for the Express Entry-aligned Human Capital Priorities stream allowed OINP officials to search the Express Entry pool for candidates with experience in an Information Technology (IT) occupation. This strategy lasted one week but may be rolled out again, either for IT professionals or with other occupations in mind.
Candidates with experience in one of the following occupations were prioritized for selection, even if they scored less than 400 points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Normally, Ontario only invites candidates with 400 or more CRS points.
All the while, under the Human Capital Priorities stream Ontario has continued to issue Notifications of Interest (NOIs) on a weekly basis to a broad range of candidates who may not necessarily have IT-related experience.
Moreover, the OINP continues to welcome applications under its other streams, which include options for French speakers, tradespersons, graduates, and entrepreneurs. On July 20, Ontario announced that foreign workers and international students/graduates could now apply for a base OINP nomination under the Employer Job Offer streams.
On July 5, Nova Scotia reopened its Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry stream. This was welcome news for candidates in one of the 16 target occupations, which includes occupations in finance, health care, engineering, information technology, academia, social work, and law.
For just a few hours after the stream reopened, certain Express Entry candidates in the following occupations were able to submit an application to the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) without a job offer.
The intake period closed the very same day, proving again the perpetual popularity of this particular immigration stream.
Over recent weeks and months, BC has joined the ever-growing group of provinces that are looking for IT/tech professionals. In BC’s case, the advent of tech-only draws through the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program(BC PNP) was announced after six such draws had taken place from May through to July. It should be noted that BC also continues to invite workers and graduates in non-tech occupations.
BC’s strategy may be seen as an effort to leverage the BC PNP into a wider goal to make the province, in particular the Greater Vancouver Area, one of the largest and most successful tech hubs in North America.
Skilled workers and business immigrants have been the big winners so far this summer under the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP). Most recently, on July 11, a total of 494 workers were issued a Letter of Advice to Apply (LAA). With this letter, an individual may submit an application for a provincial nomination certificate under the MPNP.
The MPNP for skilled workers includes two categories, one for overseas workers and one for workers in Manitoba. These immigration options may be attractive to individuals who may not necessarily be eligible under the federal Express Entry selection system, as the eligibility requirements are different. For example, the MPNP awards points for language proficiency equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 to candidates in certain occupations, a much lower threshold than what is required under the Federal Skilled Worker Class. Manitoba’s skilled worker stream operates on a unique points system, and potential applicants must first register an Expression of Interest before they may be invited to apply.
For entrepreneurs, earlier this month Manitoba announced that 90 LAA’s had been issued through May and June for its business stream (MPNP-B). This stream allows Manitoba to nominate qualified business people who have the intent and ability to make a significant investment in a new or existing business and hold an active managerial role in Manitoba.
At the time of writing, Alberta has issued 3,150 provincial nomination certificates so far in 2017 under the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP), which has an allocation of 5,550 nominations for the year. Though Alberta does not currently align any AINP with Express Entry, individuals with a nomination certificate may apply to the Canadian government for permanent resident status.
The AINP consists of three main streams: