Last Updated on December 31, 2020

Newfoundland and Labrador is planning to issue up to 350 Invitations to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence under the Atlantic Canadian province’s new Priority Skills NL Provincial Nominee Program.

It kicks into gear on Jan. 2.

In a guidebook released in late December, Newfoundland revealed it plans to issue between 250 and 350 ITAs annually under the program. 

“While the final decision to extend invitations rests with the Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism (OIM), your questionnaire score, language ability, education, and work experience, along with your three supporting documents, will be viewable by employers that have accounts with OIM,” notes the Priority Skills NL guide.

“Employers can use this information to vote on whether they feel candidates would be successful or not in their companies and/or Newfoundland and Labrador.”

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The new PNP stream is intended for highly-skilled foreign nationals and international students eyeing tech sector jobs.

“Employers have been asking for a new immigration pathway flexible enough to help them meet the growing demand for highly-skilled workers in sectors where they are challenged to hire locally, such as technology,” said Immigration, Skills and Labour Minister Gerry Bryne.

“The new Priority Skills Newfoundland and Labrador pathway has wide-reaching potential and I look forward to working with our partners to ensure its maximum benefit,” he said.

The new program is open to anyone with an advanced academic or specialized qualification in information and communications technology, oceans technology, health care, agriculture or aquaculture.


That includes masters or doctoral graduates from the province’s Memorial University whose studies have been completed within the last three years. It also includes exceptionally-qualified individuals who have worked in a specialized, highly-skilled, in-demand occupation for at least one year.

“We have exciting opportunities in emerging and traditional industries and we are working to recruit the necessary talent and skills to bring these opportunities to fruition,” said Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey. 

“This new focus in Priority Skills for immigration builds on the gathering momentum to attract and retain more newcomers with fresh ideas and perspectives for growth.”

Although travel restrictions imposed throughout the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic slowed immigration to a crawl in 2020, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador remains committed to meeting its 2022 immigration targets. The current plan is to increase immigration to 2,500 new permanent residents annually.

Programs similar to the Priority Skills Newfoundland and Labrador pathway already account for 70 per cent of all immigration applications approved in other provinces.

Under the new pathway to immigration, anyone meeting the eligibility criteria may be invited to submit an application for positions noted in a regularly-updated list of in-demand occupations.

Among the jobs deemed to be in-demand for the purposes of this new program are engineers and developers, including:

  • software developers;
  • biomedical engineers;
  • UI/UX developers;
  • electrical engineers;
  • AI developers;
  • mechanical engineers;
  • python developers;
  • .NET developers, and;
  • infrastructure engineers.

Technical specialists are also considered to be in demand, including:

  • security specialists;
  • cloud specialists;
  • bioinformaticians, and;
  • computer network support specialists.

All applicants to the Priority Skills Newfoundland and Labrador program need to be at least 21 years old. They also need to have scored level 5 or higher on either the International English Language Testing System or the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program language tests.

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