Since 2022, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) has been one of the major immigration routes to Canada. The success of the program is projected to continue, as outlined in Canada’s Immigration Level Plan for 2023-2025.
The PNP allows every province or territory – except Quebec and Nunavut – to enroll international workers for permanent residency. People selected to immigrate to a particular province or territory are selected based on the applicant’s ability to address local labor shortages and support economic development by taking advantage of their education, skills, and work experience.
Applying for PNP outside Express Entry
There are two ways to apply for PNP. There is a non-Express Entry application process known as Aadhaar Provincial Enrollment. This process involves applicants deciding where they want to live in Canada and applying for enrollment directly with that province or territory. Applicants who receive a nomination from a province or territory can apply for permanent residence through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in that territory.
Applying for PNP through Express Entry
Another option is to apply for PNP through Express Entry. Candidates must be eligible for at least one of the three programs managed under the Express Entry System.
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
- Federal Skilled Trade Program (FSTP)
- Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
While the minimum admission criteria are different for each of these programs, once a candidate is eligible and creates an Express Entry profile, they are invited to apply based on their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. Will go
Some of the factors affecting the CRS score cannot be changed. For example, age, which a candidate cannot explicitly change, is factored into the CRS score. However, a candidate can influence some areas that are included in the CRS score, such as education. To provide details about their international education, a candidate may obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).
An ECA is a document that the IRCC reviews to understand how internationally earned educational credentials such as degrees and diplomas compare to Canadian standards. An ECA makes a substantial difference to a candidate’s chances of obtaining permanent residence through Express Entry as it can add points to a candidate’s CRS score. An ECA can be obtained from an IRCC designated provider such as World Education Services (WES).
Comment: WES is one of five organizations designated by the IRCC to provide ECAs in Canada (excluding physicians and pharmacists).
Value of an ECA for the Provincial Nominee Program
When a candidate creates an Express Entry profile, they will be able to identify any specific provinces and territories they are interested in visiting. Doing so will signal to elected regional governments that the candidate is interested in obtaining permanent residency in that province or territory.
The provinces and territories that operate the PNP will periodically review Express Entry profiles and offer nominations to potential immigration in that territory.
In either case, an ECA from WES will result in a higher CRS score and an Express Entry will make the candidate more attractive to provinces and territories, increasing their chances of obtaining PNP nomination.
PNP streams that require ECA
For some PNP streams, it is necessary to obtain an ECA to meet the minimum requirements. For example, if a candidate’s educational credentials were earned in another country, the candidate will need to obtain an ECA to meet the minimum admission criteria required to apply under the federal Skilled Worker Program.
Comment: This condition applies solely to candidates who are eligible to be assessed for Express Entry through the federal Skilled Worker Program. If the candidate can be assessed for Express Entry eligibility through the Canadian Experience Class or the Federal Skilled Trades Program, the above condition is void.