According to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), nearly 6,500 invitations were issued to the applicants of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) in September 2021. Except for Quebec and Nunavut, all 11 Canadian provinces and territories have their own separate PNPs that allow the provincial and territorial governments to nominate candidates with relevant skills and experience that can benefit their separate labor markets. Every province or territory has its criteria and procedures to nominate eligible applicants for Canadian permanent residence.
While the federal government makes the final decision on the PNP applications, immigration levels, etc. PNPs play a key role in encouraging economic immigration and spreading talented foreign skilled workers across the country.
How Does the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Work?
First launched in 1998, the PNPs have become the second most important pathway for Canadian permanent residence. For Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan for 2021-23, the Canadian government has set the target of inviting 80,000 new immigrants through PNPs every year.
Essentially, there are 2 types of PNP streams:
Base PNP Streams:
Base PNP streams are managed by the provincial governments. The provincial governments set the criteria for nominations for base streams. To obtain permanent residence through base streams, there is a 2-step process. Candidates have to gain provincial nomination to get an invitation to apply for permanent residence.
Enhanced PNP Streams:
Enhanced PNP streams are linked with the Express Entry system. Candidates have to meet the provincial requirements and also qualify for one of the 3 federal economic programs:
- Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)
- Federal Skilled Trades (FST)
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
Eligible candidates will receive 600 additional points on their Express Entry profile, practically guaranteeing their invitation to apply for permanent residence.
How Did the Enhanced PNPs Perform in September 2021?
Every PNP has at least one enhanced stream that is aligned with the Express Entry system. Receiving a provincial nomination through this stream will earn you an additional 600 points to qualify for Canadian permanent residence. The IRCC conducts Express Entry draws every two weeks to invite eligible applicants from different federal and provincial streams to apply for permanent residence.
In September, IRCC only conducted Express Entry draws for applicants to the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and PNP streams. So far, IRCC has held 18 PNP-specific draws this year, inviting nearly double the number of applicants compared to last year.