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Express Entry vs PNP

Express Entry vs PNP

Express Entry vs PNP : Which one should apply to?

Immigration programs managed by the Express Entry system and Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program (PNPs) represent Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) two biggest pathways for new permanent residents coming to Canada every year.

In 2024, these two routes will account for 220,770 new immigrants out of the 485,000 that the country will welcome.

For many looking to immigration to Canada a simple question may emerge. Should I submit my profile under an Express Entry program or through a Base PNP? Both pathways have their own advantages. Read on to learn more about making a decision the difference base and enhanced PNP’s and more.

What is Express Entry?

The Express Entry application management system is one of Canadian main pathways for economic immigrants.

Express Entry manages the intake of three immigration programs:

  • The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP);
  • The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP); and 
  • The Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

In 2024, Express Entry is expected to be the most prominent pathway for newcomers to the country. Canada plan to welcome 110,700 permanent residents through these programs.

All three of these programs have individuals can submit a profile to the Express Entry pool of eligible candidates. Once an individual is eligible and submits his/her profile under one of the Express Entry program, they are officially an Express Entry candidate, with a profile in the pool.

Once a profile is submitted to the Express Entry pool pool, all candidates are assigned Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores, based on their human capital factors, work experience, and other characteristics.

Candidates must now wait for an Express Entry draw (either a program specific draw, or a general draw) with a minimum CRS score that corresponds with their CRS score, to receive an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence (PR). An Express Entry profile is valid for one year after successful submission, with candidates able to re-submit their profile once it expires. 

After an ITA is received candidates become applicants and must submit an application to IRCC for PR within 60 days of being invited. If this application is approved, newcomers are granted PR and may settle and reside in Canada. To learn more about Express Entry.

Canadian provinces can also invite candidates from the Federal Express Entry pool of eligible candidates. This can occur through special Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) streams known as enhanced streams. These Express Entry aligned streams are different from standalone, or Base PNP stream (more on Base PNP streams to follow).

To receive a nomination under an enhanced stream, individual must be invited from the Federal Express Entry pool or from the provincial/territorial pool of eligible candidates to submit an enhanced PNP application to the province or territory. Candidates who receive a provincial nomination obtain an additional 600CRS points, increasing their chances of receiving an ITA from the Federal Government.

What are Base Provincial Nominee Program (Base PNPs)?

Base PNP are streams that are not Express Entry-aligned and are administrated by a provincial government. These streams must be applied to separately and have their individual eligibility criteria.

Base Provincial Nominee Program (or simply Base PNPs) were initially created to help provinces and territories respond more directly to local demographic and labour marker challenges by allowing provincial and territorial governments to nominate eligible newcomers to settle and live in their jurisdiction.

Every province and territory in Canada (apart from Quebec which has its own specialized immigration programs and Nunavut run their own PNPs, Eligibility can vary depending on what program one applies to, but often involve having resided, studied, or worked within a provinces, working with an in-demand profession or having secured employment within the province, and/or having human capital factors that a province deems beneficial to the local economy.

PNPs are Canada’s  second largest pathways for newcomers this year and exist to spread the benefits of immigration throughout the country. Through not as large as Express Entry in 2024 (in terms of newcomers intake), PNPs in 2025 and 2026 are projected to overtake all other immigration pathways, to become Canada’s largest pathway for welcoming newcomers to the country.



Five provinces issue provincial immigration invitation this week

Five provinces- Ontario, British Columbia (BC), Quebec, Alberta and Prince Edward Island (PEI) – have issued invitations for newcomers to come to Canada through provincial nomination programs this week.

All provinces and territories in Canada, except Nunavut and Quebec, select candidates through their Provincial Nominee Program (PNPs).

Quebec is Canada’s only French-majority province and does not operate a PNP because its government seeks to maintain a grater level of control over economic immigration within the province. For this reason, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRC) and the province of Quebec have a unique immigration agreement in place.

The provincial and territorial government in 11 Canadian provinces and territories operate PNPs to bring in skilled immigrants that local government believe are been suited to address the labour market and demographic needs of their region.

Provincial immigration results from March 16 to March 22


Ontario has held three draws through its Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) between March 16 and March 22.

In the first draw, on March 19, the Ontario government issued invitations through its Masters Graduates stream. This draw saw 1,370 invitations to candidates in this stream with a score of 52 and above.

In a separate draw also on March 19, the OINP issued 104 invitations to candidates in its PhD Graduates stream with a score of 42 or more.

Note:- Both streams that issued initiations on March 19 invited candidates in a general draw that considered all occupations.

The ONIP also issued 2,281 Notifications of Interest (NOIs) on March 21 to candidates who qualifies for the Express Entry Human Capital Priorities stream. This draw was  targeted to candidates who has work experience in specific tech occupations. Candidates who received a NOI during this draw all has a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score in the range of 468 and 480.

British Columbia

British Columbia conducted two provincial immigration draws on March 19, 2024.

In the first British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) draw, 88 total invitation were issued in a general draw that considered candidates from the following five statements.

  • Skilled Workers
  • Skilled Worker – EEBC option
  • International Graduate – EEBC  option
  • Entry Level and Semi-Skilled

For all streams except the Entry Level and Semi-Skilled candidate group (minimum score of 98), candidates required a minimum score of 125 to receive invitation during this draw.

There were four additional draw that considered candidates from four different occupational categories receive invitations. Those numbers broke down as follows:

  • 27 invitations were issued to candidates in childcare occupations
  • 21 invitations were issued to candidates in construction occupations
  • 30 invitations were issued to candidates in healthcare occupations
  • Less than five invitations were issued to candidates in veterinary care occupations

For all occupational categories above excluding construction (minimum score of 85), the minimum score required of candidates who received a BCPNP invitation during this draw was 80.


Quebec has recently release the results of a provincial immigration draw that took place on March 7, 2024. This draw saw 1,136 people receive invitations from the Minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration to apply for permanent selection.

Note: Quebec posts the result of these draw retroactively. This round of invitations from Quebec’s Arrima bank took place on March 4, 2024

Candidates were required to meet all of the following criteria.

  •  Possess a level 7 oral proficiency (or higher) in French according to the Quebec’s scale of French proficiency levels for adult immigrants) or its equivalent.
  • Hold a valid job offer outside the territory of the Communaute metropolitaine de Montreal
  • Have a score of 603 points or higher.

Next step: Quebec immigration candidates who received an invitation through this provincial immigration draw can now apply for a Quebec Selection Certificate. Immigration Candidates intending to settle in Quebec must obtain this certificate before applying for Canadian permanent residence with IRCC.


Alberta has recently the results of two draws conducted trough its Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP), the first on February 20 and the second on March 5.

Note:- Alberta posts the results of its provincial immigration draws retroactively.

During the draw on February 20, the provincial government sent 33 notification of Interest (NOI) letters to candidates who were eligible for its “dedicated healthcare pathway with Alberta job offer” category had a minimum CRS score of 311. 

Then, on March 5, Alberta sent 34 more Notification of Interest letters through the AAIP to candidates from the same group as the February 20 draw. This time, the minimum CRS score of all candidates who received an invitation was 303.

Prince Edward Island

On March 21, the PEI Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) issued 83 invitation to candidates working in three employment sectors; healthcare manufacturing and construction.


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