Monthly Roundup: An August 2021 Review of Nominee Draw Trends

Published on: August 31st, 2021

This August 2021, Canadian provinces continued to invite candidates to apply for nomination under Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP). Through these programs, Canada steadily works toward meeting this year’s 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

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) issued over 1,400 invitations through their Skills Immigration and Express Entry streams this August.

This month’s non-Tech draws invited candidates with some of the lowest scores selected this year.

Skills Immigration draws have continued to target NOC codes 0621 and 0631 in separately with a higher minimum points requirement. This follows a pattern seen since February 2021. 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, inviting 125 candidates. The minimum score selected in these draws remains at 80. This is the same score targeted by BCPNP in all but one Tech Draw this year.

Alberta

This month. Alberta held three of their largest rounds of invitations yet this year. The largest August 23rd draw invited 450 candidates. The lowest ranking candidate invited had a CRS score of just 300.

As the province does not release information on the criteria used for each round of invitations, it can only be found by looking at the kind of profile who received a Notification of Interest (NOI). In the case of AINP’s August 10th draw, this was a 31-year-old Medical Laboratory Technician with a master’s degree, strong language results, and no connection to Alberta.

The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) has issued a total of 4,007 invitations to Express Entry candidates this year. Last year, Alberta had issued a total of just 1,785 invitations under the same stream. AINP issued about 1/3 fewer nominations than what had been allocated 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) issued a total of 948 invitations in four Occupations In-Demand and Express Entry draws this month.

This amount increased significantly from last month, which saw a total of just 575 invitations issued.

Meanwhile, the points cut-off has continued to decrease from the last couple of months. While draws held in July targeted candidates with minimum scores between 77 and 80, this month, SINP has targeted scores ranging between 70 and 73.

The latest rounds of International Skilled Worker invitations also diverged from recent trends in that their Express Entry draw targeted nearly 20 fewer NOC codes than the Occupation In-Demand stream draw. The points cut-off was also one point lower for Occupation In-Demand candidates.

Manitoba

Following Manitoba’s two massive record-breaking draws in June and July, the province has invited just 275 candidates in the month of August.

In July 2021, the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) invited 1,140 Skilled Worker Overseas candidates in a single draw. This month, just 6 Skilled Worker Overseas candidates received an invitation.

The points requirement for Skilled Workers in Manitoba also increased slightly this month, inviting candidates with a minimum score of 454. In the previous month’s draws, Manitoba targeted the same candidates with a score range between 400-445.

Ontario

This August, Ontario’s Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) held their first draw for the Masters and PhD Graduate streams since moving these programs to an Expression of Interest system. OINP held another draw just for the Master’s Graduate stream just one week after the program’s first round of invitations.

After issuing 1,235 invitations under the Foreign Worker stream last month, Ontario invited just one candidate under the same stream this August. This draw targeted a candidate eligible under the Economic Mobility Pathways Project, a pilot program aimed at bringing skilled refugees through various existing economic programs.

OINP also held another In-Demand Skills draw this August, again targeting select health, manufacturing, and agricultural occupations. This draw invited 48 candidates, 6 less than the previous month. So far, there has not been a minimum targeted score for these draws.

Most recently, Ontario also invited candidates eligible under the Entrepreneur Stream. A total of 20 invitations were issued to applicants with a score range between 142 and 200.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island (PEI) Nominee Program held one draw this August, issuing 152 invitations to eligible 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.

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