This June 2021 brought good news for Canadian Provincial Nominee Programs; Ontario is now accepting Expressions of Interest through their In-Demand Skills stream; British Columbia draws saw some of the lowest points cut-offs this year; meanwhile, Manitoba has held their largest draw ever for Skilled Workers Overseas.
Canada’s Express Entry draws have also continued to target Provincial Nominee Program candidates, issuing the highest number of invitations ever seen in PNP specific draws. While travel restrictions remain in place, provinces are continuing to fill labour market gaps using nominee programs.
How do Provincial Nominee Programs operate?
Each province sets its own criteria for their nominee programs. Some programs require candidates meet the minimum requirements to apply to the province for nomination. Other programs operate with an Expression of Interest (EOI) system. Provincial Expression of Interest systems operate similar to Express Entry; candidates submit a profile that the province gives a score. Each province has their own points system. Provinces use a candidate’s scores to decide who receives an invitation in their draws; those who meet the minimum points cut-off (often in addition to other criteria) will receive an invitation to apply for nomination.
Other programs invite candidates directly from the Express Entry pool. These streams generally target candidates based on some combination of work experience in their primary NOC code, language results, highest level of education assessed, and CRS score. Candidates must indicate their interest in a province on their Express Entry profile to be visible to these programs.
British Columbia’s Skills Immigration and Express Entry streams issued a total of 960 invitations in seven separate draws this June. This month’s draws saw some of the lowest points cut-offs selected in non-Tech draw this year.
Skills Immigration draws have continued to target NOC codes 0621 and 0631 separately. BCPNP had initially excluded these NOC codes due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on B.C. businesses. Since February, they have been targeted separately with a higher minimum points requirement.
The minimum score selected in this month’s Tech Draws has remained at a consistent minimum score of 80. BCPNP also held their first Tech Draws since the province announced that the PNP Tech Pilot will remain as a permanent feature of their immigration program.
This June, BCPNP also released their statistical report on their nomination program in 2020. The report showed a total of 6,251 nominations issued in 2020 under the Skills Immigration Stream. BCPNP received a total of 8,148 applications under this stream. This means about 77% of applications submitted resulted in nomination.
Alberta’s Express Entry PNP stream held two draws this month, issuing a total of 375 invitations. The CRS score of the lowest ranked candidates to receive a Notification of Interest from the province was 300 in both draws. This time last year, Alberta had paused draws through their Express Entry stream due to the impact of COVID-19.
Alberta does not release information on the additional factors targeted in their draws, but have indicated that having ties to the province can increase one’s chances. A tie may be a job offer and/or work experience in Alberta, having graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution, or having a family member in Alberta (parent, child, sibling that is a permanent resident or citizen living in the province).
Saskatchewan held two draws through their Occupations In-Demand and Express Entry PNP streams this June. Through these draws, the province invited 255 candidates to apply for nomination. These draws targeted candidates with a minimum score of 82 and work experience in select NOC codes.
This June, Manitoba broke records, issuing the highest number of invitations in a single Skilled Worker Overseas draw; 1,017 overseas candidates with Express Entry profiles were invited.
The province held a total of three draws through their Skilled Worker PNP Streams and International Education Stream, inviting a total of 1,300 candidates to apply for nomination.
Draw #117 was held in late May, but MPNP posted the results June 1; this draw invited 404 candidates with Express Entry profiles. This was the higher than usual number of invitations issued to Express Entry candidates.
The first two Skilled Worker Overseas draws invited candidates selected through a Strategic Recruitment Initiative. These initiatives allow employers to be actively involved in recruiting skilled workers to fill labour gaps in the province. Recruitment campaigns are held in select locations abroad and are announced in advance on MPNP’s website.
Manitoba has focused many of their Skilled Worker Overseas draws on candidates with an Express Entry profile. Candidates with an Express Entry profile are eligible to submit their subsequent permanent residence application through the online IRCC portal, and are eligible for a faster processing time.
Ontario’s Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) has held some of its largest ever Employer Job Offer draws this month since moving to an Expression of Interest system. OINP has also recently announced that their In-Demand Skills stream is now accepting Expressions of Interest from eligible candidates. These Employer Job Offer streams allow candidates with arranged employment in Ontario the chance to be invited to apply for nomination.
OINP also invited candidates through the Human Capital Priorities Stream (HCP) this month. This is the first draw the HCP stream has seen since April, and the first non-Tech draw seen since March. The draw targeted candidates with a CRS range of 464-467 in select occupations.
This month, Ontario also announced their nomination allocations for 2021 – a total of 8,600, including 250 nominations specifically for temporary foreign workers in intermediate skilled occupations (National Occupational Classification – Skill Level C).
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island (PEI) PNP held one draw in the month of June, issuing 101 invitations to candidates under the Express Entry & Labour Streams. PEI does not release detailed criteria of their draws, but has indicated that priority will be given to those living and working in the province. This draw followed Prince Edward Island’s published draw schedule, which plans a draw for approximately the same time every month.