This July, provinces continued to issue a high volume of invitations in nominee program draws as Canada works toward meeting increased immigration targets.
What are Provincial Nominee Programs?
Provincial Nominee Programs allow each province and territory to set the requirements for their own immigration streams. Each province and territory have different nominee programs that operate in different ways. Many have programs that target students, businesspeople, skilled workers, or semi-skilled workers. Additional targeted factors usually depend on labour market gaps or other needs of the province. For example, some provinces target skilled workers with strong proficiency in French to help increase their Francophone population.
Immigration through Provincial Nominee Program makes up a large chunk of Canada’s total economic immigration. Of a total 232,500 economic immigrants targeted for 2021, 80,800 are reserved for those applying under a Provincial Nominee Program.
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 scores with their unique 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, language results, education, and CRS score. Candidates must indicate their interest in a province on their Express Entry profile to be visible to these programs.
British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) issued a total of 885 invitations in six separate draws this month through their Skills Immigration and Express Entry streams
This is an decrease from last month, which saw 960 invitations extended.
Nevertheless, this month’s non-Tech draws continued to lower the minimum points required, again seeing some of the lowest scores selected in these draws this year.
Continuing a pattern seen since February, Skills Immigration draws have continued to target NOC codes 0621 and 0631 in separately with a higher minimum points requirement. BCPNP had initially excluded these NOC codes from nominee draws due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on B.C. businesses.
This month, BCPNP held two Tech Draws. The. minimum score selected in theses draws has remained at a consistent minimum score of 80. This is the same score BCPNP has targeted in all but one Tech Draw this year.
Alberta’s Express Entry PNP stream issued 181 invitations in one draw this month. The CRS score of the lowest ranked candidate was 301.
To date this year, the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) has issued a total of 2,613 invitations to Express Entry candidates. Last year, AINP issued just 1,785 invitations. As part of Alberta’s Economic Recovery Plan, AINP issued about 1/3 fewer nominations than what had been allocated by IRCC. AINP has not yet announced the number of nominations they can issue in 2021.
While Alberta does not release information on the additional factors targeted in their draws, they have indicated that having ties to the province can increase one’s chances. A tie may include one of the following:
- a job offer and/or work experience in Alberta
- completion of education at a Canadian post-secondary institution,
- a family member in Alberta (parent, child, sibling that is a permanent resident or citizen living in the province)
Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) issued a total of 575 invitations in four Occupations In-Demand and Express Entry PNP draws this month.
The points cut-off lowered from the past month’s draw, which targeted candidates with a minimum of 82 points. This July’s draws targeted candidates with minimum scores between 77 and 80, and work experience in select NOC codes. All invited candidates must have an Education Credential Assessment to demonstrate the Canadian equivalence of their foreign credentials.
Following last month’s record-breaking draw, Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) has once again broken records, issuing the largest number of invitations ever in a single draw.
After issuing 277 total invitations through all three streams on July 9th, Manitoba held another draw on July 27th. This draw invited 1,140 Express Entry Skilled Worker Overseas candidates with scores as low as 557.
This trend is great news for Skilled Worker Overseas candidates that do not necessarily have strong ties to the province. The points cut-off for draws in this category earlier in the year were within a very high range; to meet the minimum scores for these draws, candidates required additional points from strong ties to Manitoba or recruitment initiatives.
Ontario’s Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) has continued to hold some of its largest ever Employer Job Offer draws this month since moving to an Expression of Interest system. OINP has also held their first In-Demand Skills stream draw, targeting select occupations in health, manufacturing, and agriculture. These Employer Job Offer streams allow candidates with arranged employment in Ontario the chance to be invited to apply for nomination. Theses draws have also maintained a pattern of inviting Employer Job Offer candidates eligible under the Regional Pilot with no minimum required score.
This was also a big month for Ontario’s Human Capital streams. This July, Ontario invited Express Entry candidates through both their French-Speaking Skilled Worker and a Human Capital Priorities streams. In this year’s largest Priority Occupations draw, Ontario also lowered the targeted CRS range and added 11 additional occupations.
OINP’s Entrepreneur stream also held a draw this July, issuing a total of 21 invitations to eligible candidates.
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island (PEI) Nominee Program held one draw this July, issuing 118 invitations to candidates under the Express Entry & Labour Streams.
Though PEI does not release detailed criteria of their draws, they have indicated that priority will be given to those living and working in the province.
This draw adhered to Prince Edward Island’s published draw schedule, which plans a draw for approximately the same time every month.