Canada

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) immigrants who came to Canada in the 15 years that ended just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic earned more in some provinces than others, a Statistics Canada report concludes.

“The highest earnings, both at landing and at five to six years after landing, were observed in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia, and the lowest in the Atlantic provinces, Manitoba and Saskatchewan,” notes the statistical and demographic services agency. 

Canada operates a two-tier immigration system which allows foreign nationals to gain their permanent residency through the federal Express Entry system’s Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program, Federal Skilled Trades (FST) program and Canadian Experience Class (CEC), as well as the PNPs of the 10 Canadian provinces.

While a big part of the differences in earnings was due to particular economic conditions of each province and the background characteristics of the PNP principal applicants, Statistics Canada also found that the type of immigration program also played a part in an immigrant’s long-term prospects for earning a living in Canada.

“Among the 2005-to-2014 landing cohorts, entry earnings (one to two years after landing) were higher among provincial nominees than immigrants in the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), but the latter group had faster earnings growth and surpassed provincial nominees after five years,” notes Statistics Canada.


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Strangely enough, the entry earnings advantage of PNP applicants over FSWP immigrants was reversed in the following five years with higher entry earnings reported by those under the federal program rather than the provincial ones.

“For the 2015-to-2019 cohort … average entry earnings among provincial nominees were $50,100 …  compared with $56,600 among federal skilled workers,” notes Statistics Canada. 

“Entry earnings of Canadian Experience Class (CEC) immigrants were significantly higher, at $72,000, while those of immigrants in other economic programs were considerably lower, at $38,900.”

Through the Express Entry system, FSW candidates across 370 eligible occupations who meet minimum entry criteria, submit an expression of interest profile to the Express Entry pool. 

FSW Candidates’ Profiles Ranked Using CRS Under Express Entry

The profiles of candidates in the pool are ranked under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The highest-ranked candidates are considered for an Invitation To Apply (ITA) for permanent residence.  Candidates receiving an invitation must then submit a complete application within 60 days.

The CEC immigration program recognizes the benefits to Canada of candidates who have spent significant amounts of time pursuing their studies and careers in the country. 


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It recognizes their contributions to the Canadian economy and the creation of strong links to Canadian Under the CEC, the primary criteria are:

  • 12 months of full-time work experience in an occupation categorized as TEER categories 0, 1, 2 or 3 of the National Occupation Classification (NOC). Qualifying occupations are those of a managerial, professional, technical or skilled trade nature;
  • qualifying Canadian work experience acquired within 36 months immediately preceding the date of application;
  • proficiency in one of Canada’s official languages. The level of proficiency required is determined by the occupation in which the candidate gained qualifying Canadian work experience.

The qualifying work experience must be full time and skilled. Full-time refers to 30 hours per week. Part-time work is considered but only on a pro-rata basis. 

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