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Should You Accept a Provincial Nomination if You Qualify for Express Entry Category Selection?

By October 18, 2023 November 21st, 2023 No Comments

Making the decision to accept a provincial nomination when eligible for Express Entry category selection is a challenging one. It’s a complex process that many potential immigrants grapple with. On one hand, you might forfeit your chance for selection through the Express Entry system. On the other hand, you could potentially enjoy several advantages not available within the Express Entry system. To help you determine the right path for you, we’ll closely examine the pros and cons of both options. We’ll explore various factors to consider and share the experiences of other immigration-seekers. Armed with this information, you can confidently decide whether accepting a provincial nomination is the best choice for you.

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is a vital Canadian immigration pathway, with the Canadian government aiming to welcome 117,500 newcomers annually through the PNP by 2025. It’s crucial to note that many of these admissions will include candidates from the Express Entry system. 

Express Entry recently underwent changes, introducing six new attribute-based categories. These categories provide eligible candidates in healthcare, STEM professions, trades, transportation, agriculture, and those with strong French language skills another opportunity to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) in an Express Entry draw. Now, eligible Express Entry candidates can receive ITAs through all-program, program-specific, or category-based selection draws.

So, should you accept a nomination from a province through the PNP? This is a pivotal question. Accepting a provincial nomination means potentially giving up your chance to be selected through the Express Entry system. However, it also opens up a range of benefits not available within the Express Entry system.

In the following sections, we’ll delve into the functionality of the PNP, why accepting a nomination might be advantageous, examples of PNP application fees, and whether there are any reasons to decline a provincial nomination. By exploring these factors and learning from other immigration-seekers, you can make an informed decision about whether accepting a provincial nomination is the right choice for you.

PNP Functionality

The Provincial Nominee Program is a crucial component of Canada’s immigration system, allowing the federal government to allocate nominations to provincial governments. These nominations serve as a pathway for skilled immigrants to settle in specific provinces or territories.

There are two types of nominations within the PNP: enhanced nomination and base nomination. An enhanced nomination grants an additional 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points, significantly increasing the chances of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency through the Express Entry system. On the other hand, a base nomination does not provide additional CRS points, but it still allows individuals to apply for permanent residency in the specific province.

Some PNP streams resemble the new category-based Express Entry draws, allowing eligible candidates in healthcare, STEM professions, trades, transportation, agriculture, and those with strong French language skills to receive an ITA. For instance, British Columbia routinely nominates candidates with healthcare occupations and frequently conducts draws for individuals in tech-related professions.

In addition to these category-based draws, other provinces offer specialized streams targeting candidates with work experience or employment in high-demand occupations within the provincial workforce. These streams are designed to attract skilled individuals who can contribute to the local economy and address specific labor market needs.

Overall, the PNP offers a range of opportunities for skilled immigrants to pursue permanent residency in specific provinces or territories. Whether through enhanced nominations or specialized streams, the PNP’s functionality plays a pivotal role in Canada’s immigration landscape.

Why Accept a PNP Nomination If You Qualify for Category-Based Selection?

Obtaining a provincial nomination through the PNP and receiving an additional 600 CRS points can be highly advantageous, even if you are already in the Express Entry pool and work in an occupation that falls within one of the new categories. While Express entry category-based selection draws offer eligible candidates another chance to receive an ITA, it’s important to note that IRCC has not indicated any plans to discontinue all-program or program-specific draws.

Since the introduction of category-based selection in May, the majority of candidates have still received invitations through all-program draws. This means that a candidate’s CRS score remains the primary determining factor in these draws, making it highly beneficial to have the highest possible CRS score.

Although the CRS scores are generally lower in category-based selection for Express Entry, surpassing the minimum score still remains advantageous. Accepting a PNP nomination not only increases your CRS score but also provides an opportunity to secure permanent residency in a specific province or territory. By accepting a provincial nomination, you can improve your chances of being selected for permanent residency and enjoy the benefits of settling in a specific province that matches your skills and goals.

Examples of PNP Application Fees

When considering whether to accept a provincial nomination, it’s essential to understand the potential financial implications. Application fees vary depending on the province and the specific stream you are applying through. In Nova Scotia, there are no fees imposed on PNP applicants, making it an attractive option for those seeking affordability.

However, in Ontario, the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) does have application fees that vary by program. For example, the Master’s Graduate, PhD Graduate, and Employer Job Offer: International Student streams have a fee of $1,500. On the other hand, the Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker and In-Demand Skills streams have a fee of $1,500 if the job offer is outside the Greater Toronto Area and $2,000 if the job offer is within the Greater Toronto Area.

Moving to British Columbia, application fees start at a minimum of $1,475 for skills immigration applications and can go as high as $3,500 for entrepreneur or strategic project streams. These fees reflect the range of opportunities and benefits that come with settling in the province.

Lastly, in Alberta, there is a consistent fee of $500 for all online applications. This makes it a more affordable option compared to other provinces.

Understanding the application fees associated with each province’s PNP is crucial when deciding whether to accept a provincial nomination. It allows you to assess the financial impact and weigh it against the potential benefits of permanent residency in that particular province.

Is There a Reason to Decline a Provincial Nomination?

For candidates with high Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores in the Express Entry pool, there may be reasons to decline a provincial nomination. The separate application process for Express Entry and the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) means that if an Express Entry Invitation to Apply (ITA) is not aligned with a PNP, only one application and fee are required to obtain permanent residence approval. Additionally, the processing time for Express Entry is typically six months or less.

On the other hand, if an enhanced nomination is received, the applicant must first apply and pay any applicable fees to the nominating province and adhere to their processing timeline. Once the nomination is approved, the applicant must then submit their permanent residence application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and pay the associated fee. This extended process can add more time to the immigration journey.

It’s also important to consider the cost implications. Submitting two applications may result in higher fees, depending on the province that nominates the applicant. Therefore, candidates with high CRS scores may find it advantageous to decline a provincial nomination if they believe they have a good chance of receiving an ITA through Express Entry without the need for additional points. Ultimately, the decision to decline a provincial nomination depends on each individual’s specific circumstances and goals.

Contact Immigrationway

If you have any questions or need further guidance regarding provincial nominations and Express Entry eligibility criteria, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at Immigrationway. Our experienced team is here to provide you with the information and support you need to make the best decision for your immigration journey. Contact us today, and let us help you navigate the complexities of the Canadian immigration system.