Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has updated its processing instructions to clarify how it evaluates an applicant’s capacity to become economically established under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).
The PNP is the primary entry point for economic immigrants to Canada. Annually, IRCC publishes an Immigration Levels Plan outlining admissions targets for permanent residence by immigration class and program. The plan anticipates 105,000 new permanent residents through the PNP in 2023.
According to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), a candidate must meet certain requirements to be eligible for provincial nomination.
- The candidate must be able to establish themselves economically in Canada.
- The candidate should be named in a nomination certificate issued by a province or territory’s government.
- The candidate should intend to reside in the nominating province or territory.
If a PNP applicant meets the stated economic criteria, his or her spouse and minor children may also be eligible for permanent residency.
When IRCC states that a candidate must be able to establish themselves economically, this means the candidate must be able to financially support themselves and any eligible dependents.
Obtaining a provincial nomination is typically regarded as sufficient evidence of this ability, as PNP applications contain many of the same details and eligibility requirements as an application for permanent residence to IRCC, despite the fact that they are two separate applications.
In cases where an immigration officer has doubts about a candidate’s capacity to establish themselves economically, they may need to look beyond the provincial nomination and consider additional factors. For instance, the candidate’s current position or job offer, language proficiency test results, language of work experience, and interview performance, overall work experience, and education. If the officer discovers anything that raises red flags, it could lead to additional inquiries.
Officers will evaluate a candidate’s capacity to establish themselves economically on a case-by-case basis. For example, IRCC might have questions about a highly educated nominee for a job requiring only moderate training.
This may appear to be a contradiction, according to IRCC, but it may adequately explain the candidate’s application. If the same candidate is offered a position for which they are neither qualified nor experienced, the officer may query the candidate’s intentions in the labour market.
Officers will compare the candidate’s National Occupational Classification (NOC) code and the provided information to determine their capacity to retain the job. The candidate will be asked to address any concerns raised by the officer.
An additional example would be if the applicant relies solely on the financial guarantee of a relative who already resides in the province.
Intention to reside in a province
The applicant’s intent is a crucial factor for those seeking permanent residence through a PNP. Before issuing a permanent resident visa, the immigration officer must be convinced that the applicant intends to reside in the nominating province or territory.
Prior to designating a candidate, the province or territory will evaluate this. Nonetheless, when IRCC has reason to doubt a candidate’s intent to reside, they will permit the candidate to resolve their concerns. This is in accordance with procedural equitable principles.
The expansion of the PNP
Immigration is a shared responsibility between the federal and provincial administrations in Canada. PNPs were created in 1998 to help disperse the economic benefits of immigration across the nation. Provincial governments are able to target local labour shortages and recruit candidates they deem most qualified to contribute to the provincial economy.
Canada’s PNP admitted only 400 permanent residents in its first year. Since the program’s success, 117,500 will be admitted to Canada annually by the end of 2025.
Standard and augmented nominations
There are two distinct categories of PNP applications: standard and enhanced.
Candidates register directly through a PNP stream that is not aligned with Express Entry for a base nomination. If a candidate is approved, they must submit their provincial nomination certificate along with their permanent residence application to IRCC.
Enhanced nomination occurs when Express Entry candidates receive a provincial government nomination to register through an Express Entry-aligned PNP stream. Provincial governments can view the profiles of Express Entry candidates even if they did not register for the PNP because their profiles are visible in the federal pool.
They may extend an invitation to apply for a PNP to a candidate they deem well-suited to establish themselves economically in the province.
The Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program are administered by Express Entry, which is a system for managing applications. The candidates for these programs are evaluated using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and granted points based on language proficiency, education, work experience, and other human capital factors. Those with the highest scores are most likely to be invited to submit a permanent residence application.
If a candidate is invited to register for a provincial nomination and subsequently has their application approved, they will receive an enhanced nomination and 600 additional CRS points. These factors significantly increase the likelihood that a candidate will be invited to register for permanent residence.
- In 2023, the PNP accepts 105,000 economic class immigrants.
- Candidates must establish themselves economically in Canada and want to live in the nominated province or territory.
- PNP applications show economic establishment.
- Immigration authorities may evaluate a candidate’s economic stability and labour market goals based on work, language, and education.
- IRCC may analyze applicants’ intent to live in a province before designating them.