More Immigrants Welcomed by Canada’s Western Provinces
Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia (BC), and Alberta have all seen significant activity in their Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) in recent weeks, as more than 2,500 individuals have either submitted an application for a provincial nomination certificate, or have been invited to do so.
The past month has seen the following PNP events take place.
After two months of inactivity in its Skilled Worker categories, the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) recently issued more than 600 Letters of Advice to Apply (LAA) for provincial nomination to individuals who had expressed an interest in the province.
Saskatchewan opened two of its popular immigration categories, receiving 1,200 applications from skilled workers, including 600 from individuals in the federal Express Entry pool.
BC also conducted two draws in the past month, inviting a range of skilled and semi-skilled workers, as well as international graduates, to apply for provincial nomination.
Alberta continues to receive and process applications, finalizing more than 2,800 applications so far in 2017.
A detailed outline of recent PNP activity among Western provinces can be found below.
The Skilled Worker Stream of the MPNP has seen renewed activity in the past three weeks, as two Expression of Interest (EOI) draws have occurred in quick succession. On May 30, a total of 401 skilled workers in Manitoba and overseas were invited to apply for provincial nomination. On June 16, a further 204 skilled workers were invited.
This stream has two categories — one for temporary foreign workers in Manitoba, and one for skilled workers overseas. The former category targets skilled workers in Manitoba who have a job offer and work experience in the province (workers in any skilled occupation at level 0, A or B of the National Occupational Classification [NOC] may be eligible). The latter category targets eligible skilled workers who are outside Canada and can demonstrate a connection to Manitoba.
Both categories use a points-based system to rank candidates in the MPNP’s unique EOI pool. The province periodically issues LAAs to the top-ranking candidates, who may then apply for provincial nomination. After receiving a nomination, candidates may then apply to the federal government for permanent resident status. These are ‘base’ PNP streams, not aligned with the federal Express Entry system.
Within the last month, two sub-categories of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) have opened to receive applications.
On May 24, the International Skilled Worker — Express Entry sub-category reached its intake limit of 600 applications. That intake period, which opened on May 16, represented the first time the sub-category had opened in three months. A job offer is not required in order to be eligible to apply to this sub-category.
The International Skilled Worker — Occupations In-Demand sub-category opened on June 12, and received 600 applications. This sub-category of the SINP offers a route to Canadian permanent resident status for eligible foreign workers in any of 17 occupations listed as in-demand in Saskatchewan. Like the Express Entry sub-category, a job offer is not required in order to be eligible to apply to the Occupations In-Demand sub-category.
Moreover, the Occupations In-Demand sub-category is a ‘base’ category. Consequently, a potential applicant who may not be eligible for one of the three federal programs managed through Express Entry may still be able to apply for permanent resident status through the Occupations In-Demand sub-category. As is often the case with this popular sub-category, the intake cap filled quickly — within hours — demonstrating again that individuals who had prepared in advance were in the best position to take advantage of the opening.
The list of in-demand occupations for both the Express Entry and Occupations In-Demand sub-categories of the International Skilled Worker Category recently changed, affecting the two intake periods outlined above. To view the full list of in-demand occupations, as well as full eligibility requirements.
In the past month, 711 workers and graduates have been invited to apply to BC over the course of two draws, on May 25 and June 8. The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) conducts draws to invite eligible individuals to apply for provincial nomination. Individuals interested in immigrating to BC may register a profile in the Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS), and enter a pool of candidates, at which point they receive a score based on various factors including work experience, education, age, and language ability. BC periodically issues Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to the top-ranking candidates in each sub-category to apply for provincial nomination.
There are five sub-categories managed through the SIRS:
- Express Entry BC — International Skilled Worker
- Express Entry BC — International Graduate
- Skills Immigration — Skilled Worker
- Skills Immigration — International Graduate
- Skills Immigration — Entry-level and Semi-skilled
Interestingly, the SIRS is used to manage both base and Express Entry-aligned sub-categories. Upon entering the SIRS pool, candidates select which sub-category under which they wish to be considered. Candidates who enter themselves for a base sub-category are not required to be in the federal Express Entry pool. However, candidates who enter themselves for an Express Entry-aligned sub-category are required to be in the federal Express Entry pool.
It is important to note that the ITA with respect to the BC PNP is different to the ITA issued at the federal level in an Express Entry draw.
The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) has an annual intake limit of 5,500 applications for 2017, and more than 2,850 nomination certificates have been issued as of June 19. Individuals who have received a nomination certificate may apply to the Canadian government for permanent resident status.
The AINP consists of three main streams. The Strategic Recruitment Stream provides a route to permanent resident status for qualifying trades persons, engineers, and post-graduate workers. Alberta employers can nominate workers through the Employer-Driven Stream, which comprises three categories for skilled workers, international graduates, and semi-skilled workers. The Self-Employed Farmer Stream is a way for individuals to purchase and develop a farm in Alberta.