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From mammoth draws to increasing scores, this month had it all in Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program. We’ve dug into some trends in the PNP from this month, and highlighted some key news and updates coming soon to Canada’s PNPs. Read on to learn what these trends and changes mean for you.

Key Takeaways

  • March was a busy month in terms of the number of provincial draws. Ontario held five draws and invited almost 11,100 candidates, which is a very high volume. 
  • BC’s targeted PNP draws saw large increases in scores throughout March. 
  • Alberta’s Tourism and Hospitality stream has closed its first intake. 
  • BC plans to update its PNP streams for international student graduates, sparking protests in Vancouver.

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Trends in PNP Draws: March 2024

At A Glance: PNP Draws in Canada in March 2024

  • Ontario held five draws. 
  • BC held four draws
  • Alberta, Saskatchewan, and PEI each held one draw. 
  • Manitoba and Quebec held two draws. 

Ontario Invited 11,092 Candidates To Apply

Ontario has continued completing large rounds, often inviting more than 2,000 candidates in a single draw. 

This month, Ontario targeted tech workers and healthcare workers in four of the five draws. Their fifth draw targeted skilled trades workers.

Ontario seems to be highly focused on targeting workers that it needs to meet its current and future workforce needs. We are seeing Ontario’s immigration targets reflected in the OINP results for 2023 and 2022, as well as its allocation of Provincial Nomination Letters for its study permit program. 

BC’s PNP Scores Rise Through March

BC’s scores rose steadily throughout March, indicating that competition for BC’s PNP slots is increasing. 

In January, we saw scores around 60 for healthcare, childcare, and veterinary care, and 75 for construction. In the last week of February, scores for healthcare, childcare, and veterinary care increased to 65, and construction rose to 80. Earlier in March, scores again rose, jumping to 70 in childcare, healthcare, and veterinary care, and 80 in construction. 

After steady increases throughout the month, healthcare, childcare, and veterinary care occupations had a minimum score of 85 in the last week of March, and construction increased to 90. 

Workers looking to increase their score by 25 points would need to consider increasing their language skills and retesting (CLB of 10+ is worth 30 points), gain more experience (5+ years is worth 15 points), and/or opt to move to a different region in BC that’s worth more points. These regions are outside of Vancouver and, typically, more remote areas are worth more points. 

PNP Program Updates & News

Alberta PNP Results and Programs

Item one for Alberta is that its Tourism and Hospitality stream intake opened, and then closed in March. The province expects extremely high demand for the program and, as a result, is conducting intake in stages. The first allocation is full, and the government will re-open the program for additional applications once it has reviewed and decided the first round of applications. 

Alberta also released its summary of 2023 results in March. 

In 2023, Alberta nominated 10,029 individuals for its PNP. 5,850 of these nominations went to non-Express Entry streams and 4,179 went to Express Entry stream applicants. This figure includes almost 2,000 nominees in the Accelerated Tech pathway, 122 in the dedicated Healthcare Pathway, and 805 in other priority sectors. 

Based on its 2024 allocation of 9,750, Alberta would need to decrease the number of people it nominates for the coming year. Alberta’s Premier Danielle Smith highlighted that the allocation from the federal government for its PNP “falls well short of what is fair and what is needed”. The province’s leader noted that Alberta is leading the country in terms of net employment growth and needs to be able to attract newcomers to continue contributing to the national economy. 

BC PNP Plans To Update Its Student Streams

On March 19, BC announced that it would be updating its BC PNP streams for international student graduates. The announcement was followed by hundreds of students protesting the changes in Vancouver

The proposed changes would require graduates of Bachelor programs in Canada to receive a full-time job offer to be eligible. Master’s graduates would need to have a one-year job offer in a skilled occupation to be eligible for BC’s PNP. PhD candidates and graduates may be exempt from job requirements. 

All students would need to demonstrate language proficiency at the CLB level 8 or higher to be nominated under BC’s proposed changes too.

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Ontario Released Its 2023 PNP Results

Ontario issued a record number of nominations for the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) in 2023, 16,506 in total. There was also a record number of nominations sent to skilled trades workers and healthcare workers throughout the year, while nominating skilled tech workers was also a priority. The results also revealed that top three countries OINP nominees were born in are India, China, and Nigeria. You can find more information about the results and learn which occupations are in-demand in Ontario.

Statistics Canada’s PNP Results

Statistics Canada (StatCan) released a report outlining how the PNP was being used by newcomers to move to and stay in Canada. Some of the key takeaways from the article are: 

  • There tends to be a higher proportion of workers in technical occupations coming through Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs, particularly in Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta. 
  • The PNP has resulted in an increasing number of newcomers settling outside of Ontario. There have been large increases in immigration to the Prairie and Atlantic provinces as a result of these programs. 
  • Within Canada, residents are flocking to live in Alberta. This trend started in 2022, and the fact that it’s still happening two years later highlights the appeal of the province. 
  • Canadian residents are moving out of Ontario and British Columbia. 

You can learn more about PNP trends in Canada in our coverage.

Immigrating to Canada Through The PNP

Canada’s PNP has a wide range of programs for individuals looking to live and work in Canada. The program contributes a large number of newcomers each year, particularly in recent years. And it’s effective because it allows the provinces to determine their priorities and offer pathways for workers that meet local needs. 

Our free immigration quiz can help you to assess your eligibility for Canada’s PNP. Sign up for a free account and take the quiz

Citation "March PNP Update: What Happened in Canada’s PNP in March 2024?." Moving2Canada. . Copy for Citation

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