Report: A lot more Provincial Nominees were invited through Express Entry in 2019

Express Entry

Canada issued nearly 15,000 Express Entry invitations to candidates with a provincial nomination in 2019, representing 18 percent of the total.

In 2018, only 12 percent of invited candidates had secured a provincial nomination through one of the many Express Entry-linked Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) streams. Getting a provincial nomination gives candidates 600 additional points under the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), effectively guaranteeing that they will be invited to apply in a subsequent draw from the pool.

As Express Entry moves through its sixth year of operation and the range of PNP streams continues to grow and diversify, the latest Express Entry data highlights the importance of PNPs for candidates who need to increase their CRS score in order to be invited to apply.

That said, 45 percent of invitations were issued to candidates in the Federal Skilled Worker Program. However, FSW invitations moved into minority territory for the first time in the history of Express Entry. Moreover, when data for 2020 comes out it will almost definitely show further reductions in FSW invitations due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused Canada to pause FSW invitations since early March.

The number of Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates invited was nearly the same in 2019 as in 2018, at just over 30,000, while only 1,000 invitations were issued to Federal Skilled Trades candidates, all of them in two dedicated draws.

About the Federal Skilled Worker Program

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is one of three federal economic immigration programs aligned with Express Entry, the other two bring the Federal Skilled Trades Program and the Canadian Experience Class.

For candidates without experience in a trades occupation and without at least one year of recent skilled Canadian work experience, the Federal Skilled Worker Class remains the only Express Entry program available. Even provincial nominees must first be eligible for one of these programs first in order to qualify for Express Entry.

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is a points-based program through which skilled workers from around the world and their families may immigrate to Canada quickly.

The process of immigrating to Canada as a federal skilled worker may be considered in two steps. First, candidates are assessed according to the FSW points system. You must score at least 67 points (out of 100) on this grid in order to be eligible.

In addition, you must:

  • Have at least one year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the past 10 years in a skilled occupation (National Occupational Classification skill level 0, A or B); and
  • Prove language ability in English and/or French by taking a standardized language test recognized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

If eligible, you may create an Express Entry profile and enter the Express Entry pool, where you are assigned a points total under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and ranked against other candidates in the pool. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) conducts draws from the Express Entry pool, where the highest-ranked candidates will each be sent an invitation to apply (ITA). With an ITA, you have 60 days to submit a complete application for permanent residence (this has been extended to 90 during the coronavirus pandemic).

Provincial nominees need to be eligible under one of the FSW, FST, or CEC programs in order to enter the pool in the first place. Therefore, the true share of FSW-eligible candidates invited was likely higher than 45 percent.

The information in this article is from the year-end 2019 Express Entry report, which was published by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in June, 2020.

See our other summaries from the 2019 Express Entry Year-End Report, including:

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