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27 February 2024

Immigration Alert: Latest on Canada provinces new schemes

By Majorie van Leijen

The various paths aspirant migrants can take to end up as a resident in Canada are increasing, as several provinces are offering immigration routes that integrate with the newly developed Express Entry system.

From January this year Canada applies the Express Entry system in order to select new immigrants to the country.

Applicants can express their interest to migrate by submitting their file to the federal government, hence adding their name to the Express Entry list.

Once they are on the list, they may receive an invitation to apply based on the points they have earned through various criteria.

Although immigration on the federal level has been completely submerged under this system, the individual provinces are free to develop their own selection and recruitment procedure, albeit residency is eventually provided by the government of Canada.

Several provinces are now offering immigration routes where the procedures of application through the federal and provincial channel are integrated, making it easier for the applicant to reach their ultimate goal of living in Canada.

In general, nomination through a provincial programme earns the applicant 600 points in the Express Entry system, which will most likely lead to an invitation to apply.

British Columbia

The Canadian province of British Columbia has added a new stream to its Provincial Nominee Programme (PNP) called Express Entry British Columbia (EEBC).

This stream allows the province to nominate 1,350 more candidates for Canadian permanent residence than in the previous year.

Under the EEBC, applicants are required to apply under the Express Entry system, as well as the provincial programme, each with its own requirements.

In order to apply under the Express Entry system, the applicant must be eligible for one of the three running immigration streams; the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) or the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

For more information on these programmes, click here.

Once on the list, the applicant can apply for the EEBC, which runs three immigration streams: the Skilled Workers, International Post Graduates and International Graduates stream.

The Skilled Worker category is for international skilled workers who have post-secondary education or training and employment experience in a professional, management, technical, trade or other skilled occupation.

Candidates applying under this category must have a full-time permanent qualifying job offer in a skilled occupation from an employer in British Columbia.

Candidates with a job offer in a regulated occupation that requires mandatory certification or licensing must demonstrate that they meet provincial requirements for the particular occupation when they make their application under this category.

Specific interest goes out to health care professionals, with a direct demand for physicians, specialists, nurses or allied health professional such as diagnostic medical sonographers, clinical pharmacists, medical laboratory technologists, medical radiation technologists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists.

Application for the provincial programme is also possible without job offer, provided the applicant has completed studies in British Columbia.

Individuals with a master’s or doctoral degree in the sciences received within the past two years from an eligible program at a post-secondary institution in British Columbia may be eligible to apply under the International Post Graduate category.

International graduates who have graduated from a Canadian university or college within the past two years may be eligible to apply under the International Graduates category


Saskatchewan has developed a new Express Entry sub-category allowing for the selection of 775 applicants without a job offer at hand.

Similar to the EEBC, applicants must apply for the Express Entry system, requiring they are eligible under one of the three federal immigration programmes. Once this is done, the applicant may apply for  provincial nomination.

The Saskatchewan provincial programme adopts a point-based system, requiring the applicant to earn at least 60 points based on education and training, skilled work experience, language ability, age and connections to the Saskatchewan labour market.

When eligible under these criteria and nominated by the province, the applicant will earn 600 points on the Express Entry System and likely receive an invitation to apply.

Newfoundland And Labrador

Newfoundland And Labrador has said that it will announce the details of a new provincial programme later this month, but has already revealed that it caters to applicants with a job offer from an employer in the province, and will be integrated with the Express Entry system.

The applicant will have to be eligible under one of the three federal immigration programmes and submit an application for the Express Entry system. Then, application for the provincial programme can be submitted, and nomination will earn the applicant 600 points, which will most likely lead to an invitation to apply for Canadian residency.

Currently the province runs a Skilled Worker and an Internation Graduate stream. In order to apply for the Skilled Worker stream, the applicant must have a full-time job offer from a Newfoundland and Labrador employer, or a job or job offer that has compensation in the form of a salary and benefits package that meets provincial employment standards and prevailing wage rates.

The International Graduates stream caters to those who have completed at least half of your studies in Canada and have graduated from an eligible publicly funded Canadian college or university.

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia announced its new programme earlier this month and is different from the other programmes in that it offers candidates the option to apply through the Express Entry system, or directly through the provincial programme.

A total of 350 applications will be accepted under the programme.

Although a job offer is not a requirement, a point-based system applies, where the applicant must have a minimum of 67 points out of 100 to be eligible for application. With points awarded for qualifications such as education, language ability, work experience and age.

Further, an occupation list dictates the labour categories available for application, and the applicant should have at least one year of work experience in one of the 29 categories on the list.

The list includes occupations in the engineering, science, healthcare, finance and computing industries and is subject to change at any time.

When applying throught he Express Entry system, the applicant will have to be eligible for one of the three federal immigration programmes.

For an earlier story on this programme, click here