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Express Entry: If You Don’t Qualify for Category-Based Draws, Your Occupation Might Still Be in Demand

By October 2, 2023 November 29th, 2023 No Comments

As an Express Entry applicant who might not qualify for category-based draws, you may be concerned about your prospects. However, there’s good news – your job could still be in high demand in Canada. The Express Entry system serves as the primary gateway for individuals seeking permanent residence in Canada. While many draws focus on categories like job offers or provincial nominations, there are alternative routes to ensure your occupation remains desirable.

The introduction of category-based draws in the Express Entry program has expanded immigration opportunities. But if you find yourself ineligible for these draws, don’t despair. The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) could be your ticket to keeping your occupation in demand.

Understanding PNP Eligibility

Most PNPs maintain a list of high-demand occupations within their respective provinces. Even if you don’t qualify for a category-based draw, your occupation might still be in demand in a specific province. However, each PNP has its unique eligibility criteria. It’s crucial to review these requirements and assess how well your job aligns with your current role, which can be determined through your National Occupation Code (NOC). This evaluation can be pivotal in determining your success within the PNP program. So, take heart – your job could still be in demand through the PNP pathway.


Alberta does not have a formal list of targeted occupations like some other provinces. However, there are still plenty of opportunities to make your job in demand in Alberta. Occupations that are currently in high demand in Alberta include retail sales supervisors, registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses, transport truck drivers, retail and wholesale trade managers, and accounting and related clerks.

Alberta has also posted a list of ineligible occupations, so be sure to check if your occupation falls under this list.

Alberta holds targeted draws for healthcare workers and agriculture workers. If you work in the healthcare industry, you may be eligible for the Dedicated Healthcare pathway. If you work in the agriculture sector, you may qualify for the Priority Sectors and Farm streams.

These targeted draws provide additional opportunities for Express Entry applicants in specific occupations to receive a provincial nomination from Alberta.

British Columbia

For Express Entry applicants who are not eligible for category-based draws, British Columbia has plenty of opportunities. The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) is your bridge to ensuring your occupation remains in demand.

High-Demand Categories in British Columbia

BCPNP has identified four categories of targeted occupations that are in great demand in the province:

  1. Tech Occupations: This category encompasses roles such as software engineers, computer programmers, and information systems analysts. With the thriving tech industry in British Columbia, these jobs are highly sought after.
  2. Healthcare Occupations: This category includes various roles, such as nurses, physicians, and medical laboratory technologists. Given the increasing demand for healthcare professionals, these occupations have a promising future in British Columbia.
  3. Childcare Occupations: Focusing on early childhood educators and assistants, this category plays a vital role in providing quality care for children. These roles are highly esteemed in British Columbia.
  4. Other Priority Occupations: This category covers occupations such as veterinarians, animal health technologists, and veterinary technicians. These roles are pivotal in British Columbia’s strong agricultural sector and deep affection for animals. Thus, they remain in high demand.


Manitoba offers a plethora of pathways for Express Entry applicants to ensure their jobs are in demand. As the oldest PNP in Canada, the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) provides diverse opportunities for applicants with varying skill sets.

Diverse Categories of Targeted Occupations

MPNP boasts ten categories of targeted occupations, creating ample opportunities for applicants:

  1. Business, Finance, and Administration Occupations: This category includes roles such as accountants, financial analysts, and human resources professionals.
  2. Natural and Applied Sciences and Related Occupations: Here, you’ll find positions like chemists, biologists, and engineers.
  3. Health Occupations: Covering healthcare professionals like nurses, doctors, and physiotherapists.
  4. Occupations in Education, Law, and Social, Community, and Government Services: This category spans a wide range of options, from teachers to lawyers and social workers.
  5. Occupations in Art, Recreation, and Sport: If you’re a musician, actor, or sports coach, this category offers opportunities.
  6. Sales and Service Occupations: Sales representatives, customer service agents, and retail managers can find their place here.
  7. Trades, Transport, and Equipment Operators and Related Occupations: Electricians, plumbers, and truck drivers fall under this category.
  8. Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Related Occupations: This category features forestry workers, agricultural consultants, and mining supervisors.
  9. Occupations in Manufacturing and Utilities: Welders, industrial mechanics, and power engineers belong to this category.
  10. Rural In-Demand Occupations: These jobs are specifically in demand in rural Manitoba, such as agricultural service contractors, fishing vessel masters, and heavy equipment mechanics.

New Brunswick

New Brunswick, known for its scenic landscapes and vibrant culture, might be the ideal place to keep your job in demand. The New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) doesn’t maintain a list of targeted occupations like some other PNPs. Instead, it offers valuable insights into sectors with the highest job vacancies.

Sectors with High Job Vacancies in New Brunswick

As of July 2023, the sectors with the highest job vacancies in New Brunswick were:

Sales and Service: Occupations such as retail salespersons, customer service representatives, and food and beverage servers are in high demand.

Other Services: This sector includes occupations like hairstylists, estheticians, and janitors.

Business, Finance, and Administration: Roles such as administrative assistants, bookkeepers, and financial officers are sought after.

Trades, Transport, and Equipment Operators and Related: This sector encompasses occupations like electricians, carpenters, and truck drivers.

Education, Law, and Social and Community Government: Teachers, social workers, and administrative assistants are needed in these fields.

Health Occupations: From nurses to personal support workers, the healthcare sector in New Brunswick has numerous opportunities.

Newfoundland and Labrador 

The Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP) is an excellent choice for Express Entry applicants who aren’t eligible for category-based draws. This program categorizes in-demand occupations into four categories, providing diverse opportunities.

In-Demand Occupational Categories in Newfoundland and Labrador

Healthcare Occupations: If you’re a healthcare professional, Newfoundland and Labrador might have a high demand for your skills. Professions like physicians, nurse practitioners, licensed practical nurses, and clinical psychologists are examples of sought-after roles in this category.

Information Communications Technology Occupations: Given the rapid technological advancements, the need for IT professionals is continually increasing. Newfoundland and Labrador values professionals like software developers, biomedical engineers, UI/UX developers, and AI developers.

Technical Specialist Occupations: Technical specialists play crucial roles in various industries. In Newfoundland and Labrador, you can find demand for security specialists, cloud specialists, bioinformaticians, data analysts, and offshore technicians.

Aquaculture Occupations: Given the province’s strong connection to the sea, aquaculture occupations are highly sought after. These roles include captains (requiring a fishing master class-4 certificate), farming and feeding managers, facility technicians, and assistant managers. 

Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories Provincial Nominee Program (NTPNP) might not maintain a list of targeted occupations, but it offers valuable information to help ensure your job remains in demand. Instead of specific occupations, NTPNP provides a forecast of the top in-demand jobs for the next 15 years, categorized by required education or experience level.

Top Job Vacancies in Northwest Territories

From now until 2034, the NTPNP forecasts job vacancies in several categories, including:

Roles Requiring Less than a High-School Level of Education: Occupations like food counter attendants and hotel front desk clerks are in demand.

Roles Requiring a High-School Level of Education: Administrative assistants and retail salespersons are sought after.

Roles in Skilled Trades Requiring an Occupational Certification Level of Education: These roles offer diverse opportunities.

Roles Requiring a College Diploma Level of Education: Licensed practical nurses, social and community service workers, and early childhood educators are in high demand.

Roles Requiring a University Degree Level of Education: Opportunities exist for financial auditors and registered nurses.

Roles Requiring Management-Level Experience: Retail and wholesale trade managers, financial managers, and health care managers are in demand.

Nova Scotia 

The Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) provides a great option for Express Entry applicants. NSNP focuses on targeted occupations within the province that are experiencing high demand.

High-Demand Occupations in Nova Scotia

In Nova Scotia, targeted occupations are classified into Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibility (TEER) levels 3, 4, and 5. These TEER codes range from 0 (most responsibility-intensive) to 5 (requiring the least education and experience). In Nova Scotia, the following occupations fall within these TEER levels:

– Nurse’s aides

– Food and beverage servers

– Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers, and related support occupations

– Light-duty cleaners

– Transport truck drivers

– Heavy equipment operators

– Construction trades helpers and laborers

These occupations provide a wide range of opportunities for Express Entry applicants looking to make the jobs in demand in Nova Scotia.


The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) offers Express Entry applicants the chance to make their job in demand through the OINP Employer Job Offer stream. This stream is open to individuals with an employer job offer and skills in an in-demand position.

In-Demand Jobs in Ontario

Ontario has two types of in-demand jobs: those for positions anywhere in Ontario and those for positions outside of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

In-Demand Jobs for Positions Anywhere in Ontario: This category includes roles such as home support workers, caregivers, meat cutters, fishmongers (retail and wholesale), and construction trades helpers and laborers.

In-Demand Jobs for Positions Outside of the GTA: This category encompasses occupations like machine operators in mineral and metal processing, metalworking and forging machine operators, and mechanical assemblers and inspectors.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island’s Provincial Nominee Program (PEIPNP) offers another pathway for Express Entry applicants to make the jobs in demand. PEIPNP focuses on specific occupations that are in high demand in the province.

In-Demand Occupations in Prince Edward Island

Suppose you’re a nurse’s aide, orderly, patient service associate, transport truck driver, construction trades helper and laborer, light-duty cleaner, material handler, process control, or machine operator for food and beverage processing, or an industrial butcher or meat cutter, poultry preparer, or related worker. In that case, your skills are in high demand in Prince Edward Island.

Don’t overlook Prince Edward Island as a potential destination for making your job in demand. Explore the opportunities offered by the PEIPNP and start your journey toward permanent residence in this beautiful province.


Saskatchewan’s Provincial Nominee Program (SINP) might not maintain a targeted occupation list, but it targets occupations in TEER levels 0, 1, 2, and 3, excluding those on the excluded occupation list. Keep in mind that professions on the excluded occupation list are not eligible to apply to the SINP through the Express Entry and Occupations in Demand streams. So, don’t lose hope – there may still be a pathway for you in Saskatchewan!


Yukon’s Provincial Nominee Program (YNP) is an excellent option for Express Entry applicants not eligible for category-based draws. Unlike other PNPs, the YNP doesn’t maintain a list of eligible occupations. Instead, it offers two streams: the Skilled Worker stream and the Critical Impact Worker stream. The Skilled Worker stream targets individuals in TEER levels 0, 1, 2, and 3, while the Critical Impact Worker stream targets individuals in TEER levels 4 and 5. Both employers and employees (with a Yukon job offer) must apply to the program.

Contact Immigrationway

For personalized guidance and assistance with your Express Entry application, reach out to Immigrationway. Our experienced team of immigration experts can help you navigate the different pathways and options available to ensure your job remains in demand. We can provide you with up-to-date information on specific PNPs, eligibility criteria for immigration, and the application process. Don’t hesitate to contact us today and take the next step toward achieving your goal of permanent residence in Canada.