All through the COVID-19 crisis, one activity has not ceased to give international migrants hope and ambition. This is the continued Canada immigration program that works out through federal Express Entry and Provincial Nomination Programs (PNP).
Several provinces of Canada have continued to conduct PNPs even while the preventive measures and restrictions for combating COVID-19 were implemented at the borders. With great resolve, the PNP programs have especially addressed the provincial requirements in the various economic sectors of each province. The PNPs have invited skilled international workers to come and settle in Canadian provinces. It has also served those who have worked and studied in Canada with opportunities for a better future.
The Canada immigration visa has become more in-demand lately. This is because of the welcoming mentality of the Canadian government. The provinces have kept the PNP pathway open. They have conducted invitation rounds that call for the right people for the right jobs and permanent residence.
In the months from March 2020, the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) has held PNP draws. They have aimed at candidates including entrepreneurs and French-speakers. Notifications of Interests (NOI), simply called ‘invitations’ have been sent in the following manner in 2020 so far:
- 549 candidates via the French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream
- 1,440 principal applicants via the Human Capital Priorities Stream
- 190 candidates through the Skilled Trades Stream
The province’s PNP results of 2019, released recently, make it clear that the majority of nominations went to candidates with their profiles in the federal Express Entry system. An increase in the number of nominated applicants was also seen. This was the scorecard for 2019:
Principal applicants: 7,391
Spouses and dependents: 6,340
Total new immigrants: 13,731
With 8 draws so far in 2020, the Alberta immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) has performed remarkably. 3 out of the 8 draws were conducted after COVID-19 measures were implemented.
The Alberta Express Entry Stream has invited federal Express Entry candidates via its PNP draws. The Alberta Express Entry Stream is managed by the AINP. Another interesting factor of the draws has been the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores. The scores have come down to as low as 300 points to apply for a provincial nomination.
The AINP has also allowed certain flexibilities for candidates with regard to the submission of applications.
The SNIP (Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program) has held 5 immigration draws tin 2020 so far. It has invited candidates from the Occupation in Demand and Express Entry streams.
The draws held by the province after the COVID-19 outbreak targeted Occupation In-Demand candidates only. In this way, 205 people from 71 occupations were invited to apply for a nomination.
In special measures introduced by the SNIP, the facility of requesting a 6-month extension to apply for Permanent Residence was given to SINP nominees.
British Columbia (BC)
The BC PNP has carried on with issuing invitations via draws it holds regularly. The jobs offered in the province are majorly in the tech industry. This is also the reason why BC conducts weekly Tech Pilot Draws. Under this, jobs are offered in 29 occupations.
In some weeks, candidates chosen via the Tech Pilot were also invited in the regular BC Express Entry and Skills Immigration invitation rounds.
The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) has conducted 3 draws ever since travel restrictions due to COVID-19 have been implemented. Regular draws in the following immigration categories have been conducted by the province in 2020:
- Skilled Worker Overseas
- Skilled Worker in Manitoba
- International Education
1,808 Letters of Advice to Apply (LAA) has been issued to candidates in these categories in 2020 so far.
The Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NSPNP) conducted its first draw of 2020 on April 27. The draw invited French-speaking Express Entry candidates to apply for a provincial nomination in the April 27 invitation round.
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