PNP Updates for September 2015
1. Nova Scotia Wants 300 Immigrants Right Now
There has been good news coming out of Saskatchewan in the past few days, and Nova Scotia has also announced an increase of 300 applicants that CIC has agreed to allow for the following provincial immigration streams:
- Nova Scotia Demand – Express Entry: launched on January 1, 2015, it is a pilot project aimed at high-skilled workers who qualify under CIC’s Express Entry. The province nominates successful candidates through the federal Express Entry program. You must initially apply to the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration.
- Nova Scotia Experience – Express Entry: launched in May, 2015, it is also a pilot project for workers who have at least 1 year experience in a high-skilled job in Nova Scotia. You must apply to the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration but your nomination will be within the federal Express Entry system.
The initial allocation of applicants was 1,050 in total with 350 of those in the Nova Scotia Express Entry program. The addition of 300 new applicants to these 2 provincial Express Entry streams means that in 2015, Nova Scotia will be accepting 1,350 applicants. That’s almost double last year’s total cap of 700 applicants.
II: Alberta Suspends AINP (PNP)
Alberta, due to an overwhelming response, has suspended further applications as of August 27, 2015, under all streams and programs, to its Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) until January 27, 2016. This will allow the AINP to process the backlog of existing applications and not have an enormous backlog building up and causing delays in processing and lengthy wait times.
The AINP suggests that interested applicants apply directly to Express Entry – on the federal level. For now, AINP will not be accepting any new applicants to their nominee programs. Applications postmarked later than August 27, 2015 will be returned. Those postmarked August 27 and earlier will be processed.
BC Suspends PNP
In B.C. the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) has like Alberta, announced a temporary halt to all new applications until early 2016 under the following provincial streams:
- Skills Immigration;
- Express Entry BC.
Each province’s nominee program receives an allocation of spaces, like a quota, from the federal government. BC PNP has already filled its allocation with regard to the 2 above immigration streams, and have had to suspend further new applications, as of September 1, 2015. If your application is dated later than September 1, 2015 it will be returned. The following BC immigration streams will continue to accept applications:
- Health Care Professionals under the Skilled Worker stream;
- Health Care Professionals under Express Entry BC;
- Northeast Pilot project: this is a pilot project started in 2012 and currently extended until March 31, 2016. It is NOT a part of Express Entry and it focuses on job demands in the Northeast of BC where the energy sector has created demand for certain categories of entry level and semi-skilled workers such as:
- Mine services workers
- Heavy equipment operators
- Machine operators
- Retail sales clerks
- Those under the federal Live-in Caregiver program do NOT qualify as they already have a work permit.
Remember that Provincial Nominee Programs are continually adjusting their quotas in any given year. In fact, you could argue that because CIC did not adjust quotas in previous decades, huge backlogs of applicants built up. And some of these backlogs are still being worked down by immigration authorities. The new reality is that adjustments are being made on a continual basis by CIC and provincial PNPs. It’s your job to keep on top of those changes so you can take advantage immediately when new quotas open up.