Express Entry Category-Based Vs. PNP Draw - Province Immigration Pvt Ltd

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Express Entry Category-Based Vs. PNP Draw

September 18, 2023BY Rohan Kumar ( 0 ) Comment

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is one of the well-known Canadian economic immigration programs. By the end of the year 2025, Canada plans to send invitations to 117500 newcomers through the PNP. Many PNP invitations will include express entry applicants. 

This year, Express Entry underwent a number of significant adjustments. Six new categories for Express Entry that are based on attributes were announced by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on May 31. 

These categories imply that applicants who meet the requirements for any one of the subsequent six categories have a second chance to be selected for an Express Entry draw and given the Invitation to Apply (ITA): 

  1. Healthcare
  2. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions
  3. Trades, such as carpenters, plumbers, and contractors
  4. Transport
  5. Agriculture and agri-food
  6. Strong French language abilities

However, a qualified Express Entry applicant may be awarded an ITA in a category-based selection draw, an all-program draw, or a draw dedicated to a given program. Should they accept it if the same candidate is also nominated by a province under the PNP? Let’s understand the PNP First,

What is the Provincial Nominee Program(PNP)?

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is an immigration program in Canada that allows provinces and territories to nominate individuals for permanent residency based on their specific economic and demographic needs. Each province and territory in Canada (except for Quebec, which has its own immigration system) has its own PNP with unique eligibility criteria and selection processes.

Here's a general overview of how the Provincial Nominee Program works:

Provincial/Territorial Nomination

Provinces and territories in Canada have agreements with the federal government that allow them to nominate individuals for permanent residency. Each province or territory has its own criteria and streams, which can be based on factors like education, work experience, language proficiency, and job offer.

Eligibility criteria 

The eligibility criteria for each provincial nominee program are different and may change over time. These criteria are designed to select candidates who have the skills, work experience, and potential to contribute to the local economy.

Expression of Interest or Application

Depending on the province or territory, candidates may need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) or apply directly to the provincial program. An EOI is an initial step where candidates express their interest in being considered for nomination.

Invitation to apply.

If a province or territory is interested in nominating a candidate, they will issue an Invitation to Apply (ITA). This is an official invitation for the candidate to submit a full application for nomination.


Once the candidate’s application is approved, they receive a provincial nomination certificate. This certificate is a crucial step toward applying for permanent residency with the federal government.

Federal Application for Permanent Residency

With the provincial nomination, candidates can apply for permanent residency with the Canadian federal government. They will go through medical and security checks, among other processes.

Permanent residency status

If the federal application is approved, the candidate and their family members (if applicable) will be granted permanent residency in Canada.

It’s important to note that each province and territory has its own set of immigration streams, and these can change over time based on the region’s specific needs. Some provinces may have streams focused on skilled workers, entrepreneurs, international graduates, and other categories.

Enhanced Nomination And Base Nomination

A candidate may be chosen from the Express Entry application pool (referred to as an “enhanced nomination”) or may submit a direct nomination request to a province government (referred to as a “base nomination”).

A PNP applicant will gain 600 more Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points through enhanced nomination, all but ensuring their selection in the future Express Entry draw.

Additionally, some PNP streams are comparable to the brand-new category-based Express Entry draws. For instance, British Columbia nominates individuals for jobs in healthcare every week and organizes drawings for IT jobs frequently. Other provinces also have specialized streams that cater to applicants who have previous work experience or who have a job in a field with high demand in their province.

Why take a PNP nomination if I am eligible for category-based selection?

Even if you are in the Express Entry pool and work in an occupation that falls under one of the new categories, the 600 CRS points from a PNP nomination may still be advantageous.

For the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and PNP applicants with Express Entry profiles, IRCC has not declared that it would stop holding all-program or even program-specific draws. In reality, the majority of applicants have gotten invited to all-program draws since the implementation of category-based selection in May. 

It is advantageous to obtain a CRS score that is as high as possible because it is the primary determining factor in an all-program draw.

This is still accurate for Express Entry’s category-based selection. The advantage of reaching the minimum score overcomes the fact that these scores are often a little lower than an all-program draw.

Is there a reason not to accept a provincial nomination?

It might not be in the best interest of candidates who already have a very high CRS score to accept a provincial nomination.

Even if you obtain an enhanced nomination, this may be especially true because the PNP demands a different procedure than Express Entry.

If you are given an Express Entry ITA that is not associated with the PNP, you just need to submit one application and pay one fee to IRCC in order to be granted permanent residency. The typical processing time for applications is six months or less.

You must first submit an application and all necessary fees to the province that is nominating you if you obtain an upgraded nomination. The processing norm for the province also applies to you. Once your application is accepted, you must send it to IRCC along with the required cost and adhere to the six-month processing requirement.

As a result, getting an enhanced nomination could delay your immigration process as you wait for a nomination decision. Depending on the province that nominates you, the two applications may cost more to file. Although some provinces did not charge any fee, the majority did.

Examples of PNP application fees

  1. Nova Scotia: Nova Scotia is one province that did not charge any fee for application.
  2. Ontario: The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program has a fee of around $1,500-$2,000.
  3. British Columbia: The application fee of British Columbia is between $1,475-$3,500. 
  4. Alberta: The Application fee of Alberta Province is $500.


The decision of whether to submit an application or accept a provincial nomination ultimately comes down to the candidate’s situation. A PNP nomination can increase your chances of getting an ITA in an Express Entry draw, even a category-based draw, and can give you a CRS score that is extremely competitive. However, it could be wiser to hold off until the IRCC provides an ITA if your CRS score is already high and time or money are factor.

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