Canada is one of the most desirable countries for immigration because of its high-quality education, universal healthcare, employment insurance benefits, family and caregiver benefits, and many other benefits for residents, and potential applicants with no other connection to Canada can obtain these benefits by obtaining a Canadian Permanent Residence status.
To become a permanent resident of Canada, the Immigration Department of the Government of Canada, i.e. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), manages several pathways. The following are the most popular:
• The Express Entry, and
• The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
IRCC identifies and communicates with qualified and talented applicants based on their abilities and capacity to contribute to Canada’s economy, and assists in meeting Canada’s labor market needs.
Express Entry ranks candidates based on the information they provide, using a points-based method known as the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), and then picks the most competitive ones for immigration through regular draws to apply for Canadian Permanent Residence. On the other hand, under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), Canadian provinces and territories welcome qualified people who can contribute to their economies to apply for permanent residency in their respective provinces.
The main difference between Express Entry and PNP these two immigration programs is that if applicants obtain permanent residence through the Express Entry Program, they can move anywhere in Canada (except to their first landing in Quebec, because Quebec manages its own immigration program, namely the Quebec Selected Skilled Worker Program (QSSW)), whereas if permanent residence is obtained through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), they need to live for a set duration of time in the same province (varies with the immigration program).
Via Express Entry Program, IRCC is managing three immigration programs including:
• Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP),
• Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and
• Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
Immigration programs including Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) require either job offer or Canadian work experience respectively, whereas, for skilled applicants who have no such benefit within Canada, Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is the available immigration program.
In Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), applicants are ranked on the basis of factors which include Age, Education, Language Skills, Experience, Job Offer in Canada (if available), and Adaptability Factors.
How Express Entry is better than Provincial Nominee Program?
For the following reasons, Express Entry is considered to be the most effective immigration program in comparison to the Provincial Nominee Program:
Up to 80% of Express Entry applications are handled in six months or less, although processing time for the Provincial Nominee Program varies depending on whatever program the application is submitted through. For example, if an application for Canadian Permanent Residence is submitted offline (through paper-based system) after getting an ITA, the processing time is 21 months, however, if the application is linked to Express Entry, the processing time is 6 months.
Right to Mobility:
When a person applies for a permanent residence visa under the Express Entry Program, they can live and work in any province in Canada. The Provincial Nominee Program, however, is exempt from this rule. Under the PNP, a candidate applies for PR to a specific province of Canada, and since the applicant has signed and submitted a consent indicating his actual intentions to reside in that province, he is required to stay in that province and reveal his true intentions.
Although there is no defined time restriction for relocation, the applicant is required to stay for at least two years and serve the provinces responsibly. If the applicant relocates to another province within a short period of time, the province has the right to revoke the applicant’s nomination, which could result in their permanent resident status being revoked. But yes, if the applicant is unable to find work or has legitimate reasons to leave the province, he can notify the province’s concerned immigration department and relocate.
Please note that the minimum period of stay varies by province and by immigration program.
The application cost involved in Express Entry post receiving an Invite to Apply (ITA) is:
• Primary Applicant: CAD $1325 (825+500)
• Secondary Applicant (if applicable): CAD $1325 (825+500)
• Dependent Child (if applicable): CAD $225 per child
Whereas if the applicant is planning to submit a Canadian PR Visa application via Provincial Nominee Programs, he needs to pay two fees, i.e., Provincial Application Fees and later Federal Government Fees for processing the Canada PR Visa Application. Provincial application fees vary with the province and can be anywhere from CAD $0 to CAD $1500.