Monthly Roundup: September Provincial Nominee Draw Trends

Published on: September 29th, 2021

This September 2021, provinces across Canada continue to invite potential newcomers under Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP). As more candidates receive invitations through PNPs, Canada steadily works toward meeting ambitious 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

This September, the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) invited nearly 1,000 candidates through their Skills Immigration and Express Entry streams.

Once again,  BCPNP invited candidates with some of the lowest scores seen this year in general draws.

B.C. has continued to target the occupational codes for retail and wholesale trade managers and restaurant and food service managers separately with a higher minimum score requirement. These targeted draws began in February 2021 in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on B.C. businesses.

British Columbia held two Tech Draws this September, inviting a total of 108 candidates. The minimum score selected for BCPNP Tech candidates remains at 80 – the same score targeted by BCPNP in all but one Tech Draw this year.

Alberta

On September 7th, Alberta held their largest Express Entry stream draw of all time. The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program invited 500 candidates directly from the Express Entry pool. Invited candidates had a CRS score of at least 300.

In total this September, the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) issued 1,335 invitations in three Express Entry stream draws. Alberta has been issuing invitations at a high rate in recent draws. About half of all invitations sent this year were issued within the last two months.

To date this year, the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program  has issued a total of 5.342 invitations to Express Entry candidates. In 2020, Alberta issued a total of just 1,785 invitations under the same stream – about a third fewer nominations than what had been allocated to them by IRCC. This was part of the province’s Economic Recovery Plan post-pandemic. The number of nominations allocated to Alberta for 2021 has not yet been announced.

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) held two draws under the International Skilled Worker program this September. The province issued a total of 919 invitations this September under four Occupations In-Demand and Express Entry draws this month.

The number of invitations issued has decreased slightly from the month before. The minimum score requirement has also continued to decrease from the last couple of months. While draws held in August targeted candidates with minimum scores between 70 and 73, this September SINP has targeted scores ranging between 66 and 71.

Manitoba

The number of invitations issued by Manitoba this September has increased significantly from the previous month. While the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) issued just 275 invitations in August, a total of 1,252 candidates were invited in September.

Earlier in the summer, the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) invited a record breaking number of Skilled Worker Overseas candidates. The number of invitations issued to these candidates has since decreased in recent draws.

The points requirement for Skilled Workers in Manitoba decreased slightly from August, targeting a range between 401-445. In the previous month’s draws, Manitoba targeted the same candidates with a minimum score of 454.

Ontario

Ontario’s Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) issued a total of 1,758 invitations in Expression of Interest draws this September. Invitations were issued under all three Employer Job Offer streams as well as the Masters and PhD Graduate streams.

Ontario has continued to hold separate targeted Employer Job Offer draws for the Regional Immigration Pilot, with no minimum score requirement. The Regional Immigration Pilot seeks to attract and support the settlement of newcomers to smaller Ontario communities. To qualify for the program, a candidate’s job offer must be from an employer located in one of the participating pilot communities.

This month’s In-Demand Skills stream again targeted select health, manufacturing, and agricultural occupations. This draw invited 73 candidates, 25 more than the previous month. There has not been a minimum targeted score for these draws since they began in July 2021.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island (PEI) Nominee Program held one draw this September, issuing 129 invitations to candidates eligible under the Express Entry & Labour Streams. The province also issued 14 invitations to candidates eligible under the Business Work Permit Entrepreneur stream.

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.

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