Express Entry or Provincial Nominee Program - Which to Choose

12 April, 2024

Express Entry or Provincial Nominee Program - Which to Choose

The Express Entry system and Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) are the two primary immigration pathways managed by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for new permanent residents arriving in Canada each year.
In 2024, these two channels are expected to facilitate the arrival of 220,770 new immigrants out of the 485,000 individuals that Canada aims to welcome.
For those considering immigration to Canada, a common question arises: should I apply through the Express Entry system or pursue a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)? Each pathway offers its own advantages. Keep reading to explore how to make this decision, the distinctions between Base and enhanced PNPs, and more.


What is Express Entry


The Express Entry application management system stands as a principal pathway for economic immigrants to Canada.
Express Entry oversees the intake of three immigration programs:
1. The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP);
2. The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP); and
3. The Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
In 2024, Express Entry is anticipated to remain the leading pathway for newcomers to the country, with Canada aiming to welcome 110,700 permanent residents through these programs.
Each of these programs has specific eligibility criteria, with at least one requirement that individuals must fulfill before they can submit a profile to the Express Entry pool of eligible candidates. Upon meeting the eligibility criteria and submitting their profile under one of the Express Entry programs, individuals become official Express Entry candidates with a profile in the pool.
Once a profile is entered into the Express Entry pool, all candidates receive Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores. These scores are determined based on factors such as human capital, work experience, and other relevant characteristics.
Candidates are required to wait for an Express Entry draw, which could be either specific to a program or a general draw. They must have a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score that meets the minimum threshold set for that draw to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence (PR). After successfully submitting an Express Entry profile, it remains valid for one year. Candidates have the option to resubmit their profile once it expires.
Upon receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA), candidates transition into applicants and are required to submit a permanent residence (PR) application to IRCC within 60 days of receiving the invitation. Upon approval of this application, newcomers are granted permanent residence (PR) status, allowing them to settle and reside in Canada. For more information on Express Entry, visit our dedicated webpage.
In addition to the Federal Express Entry pool, Canadian province and territory can also extend invitations to candidates. This can be done through special Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) streams known as enhanced streams.
To be nominated under an enhanced stream, individuals must receive invitations either from the Federal Express Entry pool or from the provincial/territorial pool of eligible candidates. They then submit an enhanced PNP application to the respective province or territory. Candidates who receive a provincial nomination are awarded an additional 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points, significantly improving their chances of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) from the Federal Government.


What are Provincial Nominee Programs?


Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) are streams that are not aligned with Express Entry and are managed by provincial or territorial governments. These streams require separate applications and have their own distinct eligibility criteria (more details on this will be provided later).
Initially established to address local demographic and labor market needs, Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) allow provincial and territorial governments to nominate eligible newcomers to settle and reside in their respective jurisdictions.
Each province and territory in Canada (except Quebec, which has its own specialized immigration programs, and Nunavut) operates its own PNPs. Eligibility criteria can vary depending on the specific program, but commonly include factors such as residency, education, or employment within the province or territory, occupation in demand, or possession of human capital attributes deemed beneficial to the local economy.
PNP represents Canada's second-largest pathway for newcomers this year and aim to distribute the benefits of immigration across the country. While PNPs may not match the scale of Express Entry in 2024 in terms of newcomer intake, projections suggest that in 2025 and 2026, they will surpass all other immigration pathways, becoming the primary pathway for newcomers to Canada.
If you have further questions, please contact our team and schedule a consultation with our specialists! e-Visa Immigration is ready to assist you at any stage of your process.
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