The past few weeks have witnessed plenty of immigration activity among Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), as provinces across the country continue to welcome applications from a wide range of workers, graduates, and entrepreneurs.
The PNPs allow Canadian provinces and territories to nominate individuals for permanent immigration. Some PNP streams, known as enhanced streams, are aligned with the federal Express Entry selection system. An enhanced nomination results in the applicant receiving 600 additional points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence at a subsequent draw from the pool.
Streams that are separate from Express Entry are known as base streams. These streams may be of particular interest to individuals who may not currently be eligible to immigrate to Canada through Express Entry, though in many cases Express Entry candidates may also their immigration goals through a base PNP stream.
Under Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan for 2017, the government has set a target to bring in up to 54,000 new permanent residents through the PNPs this year alone. The government’s new Immigration Levels Plan is set to be unveiled within the next two weeks; this upcoming plan may provide even more room for provinces to nominate people for immigration to Canada.
Applicants must have valid temporary resident status at the time of the application, and must not be living or working in a province or territory other than Alberta. Applicants not working in a job supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) must have an exemption for workers covered under international trade agreements, workers transferred within a company, or people taking part in International Experience Canada (IEC), as determined by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Applicants must also prove English or French ability at or above Canadian Language Benchmark 4, as proven by a language test recognized by the government of Alberta. This is a lower requirement than for many other economic immigration programs in Canada, including the popular Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC). As of January 2, 2019, the test score required for English and French language skills will be increased to a minimum of CLB 5 in each language skill.
Since the previous CICNews PNP round-up, published mid-July, the province of Saskatchewan has made some notable updates to its skilled worker sub-categories, in doing so opening up those options to more potential applicants. Two popular sub-categories of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP), namely the International Skilled Worker – Express Entry and International Skilled Worker – Occupations In-Demand sub-categories, allow eligible individuals to apply without needing a job offer if they have work experience in an in-demand occupation.
In late July this list was expanded to include more than 40 occupations. At the same time, the Express Entry sub-category opened to receive 600 new applications. This intake was filled quickly, as is often the case. Soon afterward, on August 9, the Occupations In-Demand sub-category reopened to receive 1,200 new applications. This intake was filled within a day.
Applicants must have either a minimum of 12 months full-time work experience in their current occupation in Alberta within the last 18 months, or a minimum of 24 months of full-time work experience in their current occupation in Canada and/or abroad within the last 30 months (this work experience can be a combination of experience gained in Alberta, in another Canadian province or territory and/or abroad).