Evaluation of the Provincial Nominee Program
3. Program and Provincial Nominee profile
3.1. Profile of PN programs across Canada
Currently, 11 PN programs are operating across Canada. As such, the evaluation team developed a descriptive profile of each of them based on a review of documents provided by CIC and each PT government, administrative data provided by PT PNP representatives and/or CIC personnel, and interviews with PN program stakeholders conducted during a site visit to each PT. This evidence has been used to conduct the following analysis. Full provincial profiles are available in the PT appendices provided under separate cover.
3.1.1. Overview of PT PN programs
In order to establish an operating PN program, each PT is required to sign a Provincial Nominee Program agreement with CICFootnote 20. In 1996, Manitoba was the first to sign an agreement. Manitoba, New Brunswick and Newfoundland were the first PTs to start operating PN programs in 1999. The Northwest Territories signed an agreement most recently, in 2009 and consequently has the newest PN program. Details of each PT’s program establishment year are provided in Table 3-1 below.
Table 3-1: Introduction of PN programs to each province/territory
|Province/Territory||Date of First Signed PNP Agreement||Start of PN Program in P/T|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||September 1, 1999||1999|
|New Brunswick||February 22, 1999||1999|
|Manitoba||October 22, 1996||1999|
|Prince Edward Island||March 29, 2001||2001|
|Saskatchewan||March 16, 1998||2001|
|British Columbia||April 19, 1998||2001|
|Nova Scotia||August 27, 2002||2003|
|Ontario||November 21, 2005||2007|
|Northwest Territories||August, 2009||2009|
At the PT level, PNP is managed by each PT’s department or ministry of labour, education or immigration. Individual program streams are defined by the application of unique criteria, and under this definition there are over 50 PN program streams currently operating in the 11 jurisdictions.
For the purposes of analysis, the various iterations of PN programs operating across the 11 PTs are categorized into seven streams: Skilled Worker; Semi-Skilled Worker; Business; International Student Graduate; Family Connection; Community-Sponsored; and Strategic Recruitment. All PTs currently have an operating Skilled Worker stream, most of which (7 of 11) require a job offer. Furthermore, every PT has or has had a Business stream in operation; certain Business streams have closed or are being redesigned. Newfoundland and Labrador closed its Entrepreneur stream in 2003 and its Investor stream in 2007; PEI closed its Partner stream in 2008 and its Entrepreneur stream in 2010; and Nova Scotia closed its Economic Investor stream in 2006, but is currently considering a farm business owner/operator stream. The remaining eight PTs currently operate Business streams.
The remaining five PN program streams (Semi-Skilled Worker; International Student Graduate; Family Connection; Community-Sponsored; and Strategic Recruitment) are operated based on each PT’s identified objectives and needs – to meet identified labour market demands or to support population growth. For example, the Community-Sponsored stream is only operating in PTs that identified supporting population growth as an objective of PNPFootnote 21. Similarly, four PTs have developed a Strategic Recruitment stream in order to target specific occupations that are in demand, such as engineers in Alberta or health professionals in British Columbia.
Moreover, as each PT’s labour market and/or population needs change over time, so do their available streams of PNP. For example, Saskatchewan developed a Strategic Recruitment stream for health care professionals in 2002 and another stream for long-haul truck drivers in 2004 in order to meet specific labour market shortages. Similarly, Manitoba discontinued its Community Support stream three years after introducing it; however, key informants suggested during the site visit that the stream could be implemented again if community groups identify a need in the future. The start and end date (if applicable) of each PT’s PN program streams is provided in the PT appendices under separate cover.
Additionally, most PTs (9 of 11) require that an applicant work in the nominating province/territory for a minimum period of time on a temporary work permit, either as a TFW or as a post-graduation workerFootnote 22, in order to be eligible for certain PNP streams. Further details are provided in the PT appendices, under separate cover.
3.1.2. How PTs attract immigrants
All PTs have websites that are specifically targeted to their PN programs and most PT respondents cited their website as an important promotional tool. Also, many PTs attend international job fairs and trade shows in order to attract foreign workers to their jurisdiction and promote their respective PN programs. Many PTs work with and/or market directly to (and provide tools and advice for) employers and some PTs promote their PN program directly to students through universities. Interviewees in some PTs mentioned that their PN program is also promoted through immigration consultants. Finally, three PTs directly market to francophone markets.
About 21% of employers interviewed (n=14) stated that they have accompanied PT representatives on an international recruitment mission. Additionally, 9% of employers (n=6) stated that they have provided their organization’s information to their PNP PT office for inclusion in an international fair/recruitment drive.
Apart from participating in PT activities to recruit internationally, many employers (n=28; 42%) indicated that they go overseas to recruit internationally on their own and some (n=9; 13%) hired an international recruitment agency.
Interviewees from CVOAs were also asked about their role in promoting PNP. Most interviewees (16 of 20) said that they do not promote the program; either because they do not see this as their role (n=10) or because they do not feel there is a need to promote the program (n=6). Of the few that do promote PNP, they attend job fairs, immigration fairs, distribute promotional materials on behalf of PTs at job fairs that the PT cannot attend, and help PTs make presentations at embassies.
3.1.3. Trends in nominations, applications and landings
There are different steps involved between candidates’ applications to the PNP and the receipt of permanent residency. The first part of the process involves the PT, while the second part of the processing is handled by CIC. Initially, candidates have to submit an application to the PT where they intend to settle. The PT assesses them against the requirements for their specific program and stream and if they meet the requirements, the PT issues nomination certificates. The files are then submitted to the Canadian Visa Office Abroad (CVOA) which corresponds to the applicants’ last country of permanent residence. As such, the number of applications received at all CVOAs in a given year should approximately represent the total number of PN nominations across all PTsFootnote 23.
Once CIC receives the applications, it processes them and assesses them against economic establishment requirements and does the admissibility screening. The successful candidates are then issued a visa they can use to obtain permanent residency.
From 2005 to 2009, the total number of PN applicationsFootnote 24 received by all CVOAs has increased annually. Specifically, from 2006 to 2008, CVOAs were receiving between 32 and 55% more applications each year than the previous year; however, in 2009 the Offices received just 1% more applications over the previous year. Further details are provided in Figure 3-1.
Figure 3-1: PNP applications received abroad for principal applicants, spouses, dependants
Source: CIC International Region Data
In considering the world area from which PNP applications are received, most applications in 2008 (46.4%) came from the Asia – Pacific world area, followed by the Americas (33.6%). About one-fifth of applications received were from Europe (11.1%) and Africa – Middle East (8.8%) combined. In 2009, about half of these applications (47.6%) were received in the Americas, where 7 additional CVOAs received applications (19 CVOAs) in comparison to the previous year. All other world areas received between 14.4 and 45.5% fewer applications than they did in 2008. Details are presented in Table 3-2.
Table 3-2: PNP applications (persons) received abroad, by world area
|World Area||Number of Applications Received|
|Asia – Pacific||17,691||46.4%||14,677||38.1%|
|Africa – Middle East||3,371||8.8%||1,838||4.8%|
|Total - All Offices Abroad||38,092||100%||38,495||100%|
Source: CIC International Region Data
Once a PN has been issued a visa and has presented the visa at a Canadian port of entry, the individual is granted his/her permanent residence status and is considered “landed” in Canada. As such, the number of landings in a given year does not correlate to the number of PN nominations from that same year because PNs will not necessarily arrive in Canada in the same year that they are nominated due to time required for processing and/or the time required for moving to Canada. Consequently, for the purpose of analysis, the “total nominations” figure includes nominations from 2005 to 2008, and the “total landings” figure includes landings from 2006 to 2009 (Table 3-3).
Table 3-3: Total nominations and total landings
Source: Nominations: International Region data; Landings: FOSS data
As evidenced from the presented data, 87.3% of the total number of PNs nominated from 2005 to 2008 landed in Canada between 2006 and 2009. This consequently indicates that PNP is succeeding in bringing immigrants to Canada and making these individuals permanent residents. The remaining 12.7% of PNs who had not landed by 2009 may have still been in the federal application process, or they may not have come to Canada at allFootnote 27.
3.1.4. Approval rates
From 2005 to 2009, the approval rateFootnote 28 for PNP cases across all CVOAs was approximately 96%Footnote 29. By comparison, during this same period, CVOAs approved 67% of all permanent resident applications and 56% of all economic immigration permanent resident applications. The PNP approval rate was most comparable to the Quebec Skilled Worker category which had an approval rate of 97% over the same period.
More specific to the economic class, only 50.1% of FSWFootnote 30 cases were approved. For the federal Business Immigration programs, 75.1% of Investors were approved, followed by 41.5% of Entrepreneurs and 37.8% of Self-Employed. Processing of applications for the Canadian Experience Class only begun in 2009; the approval rate was 88% for the year. While the PN approval rate was much higher than that of the average economic immigration category for the period of 2005 to 2009, this can be mostly explained by the initial application process, which is administered by the PTs. The PTs do the initial screening of PNP applications when individuals are selected for nomination; CIC is responsible for the admissibility screening of PNP processing and final selection based on economic establishment criteria. Conversely, CIC does all of the screening and processing of applications for federal immigration programs.
3.1.5. Relative importance of PNP
Compared to federal economic immigration categories
The relative importance of PNP was considered in comparison to four other federal economic immigration programs: FSW; Entrepreneurs; Self-Employed; and Investors. In total, 198,105 principal applicants landed in Canada between 2005 and 2009 via these five immigration programs. Based on this total, PNP Principal Applicants accounted for 17.0% of landed immigrants (PAs) during this period. Figure 3.2 illustrates the proportion of landed immigrants (from 2005 to 2009) who came to Canada via PNP in comparison with the four other identified federal immigration programs.
Figure 3-2: Relative size of PNP vs. federal economic immigration programs (2005-2009)
The share of the PNP compared to the other four economic programs considered however increased over the years, from representing 5.8% of the PAs admitted under those programs in 2005, to accounting for 31.1% of them in 2009.
PNP importance for PTs
PNs represent a significant portion of immigrants for the PTs. From 2005 to 2009, there were more landed immigrants from PNP PAs in PEI (94.7% of all landed immigrants to the province), New Brunswick (74.0%), Manitoba (91.1%), Saskatchewan (79.9%) and Yukon (56.5%) than any of the other four immigration categories. Both Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia still received about 40% of their total landed immigrants from the PNP during this period.
Although the relative proportion of PNs who landed in Alberta and British Columbia between 2005 and 2009 is lower than the above-mentioned PTs, both of these provinces still received the third- and fourth-most PNs in terms of gross numbers (behind only Manitoba and Saskatchewan). By contrast, Ontario received a very small proportion of immigrants (1.2%) through the PNP during the period specified. Details for all PTs are presented in Table 3-4.
Table 3-4: PNP compared to other selected economic immigration categories – landing years 2005-2009, principal applicants only
|PT||PNP||FSW||Entrepreneurs||Self-employed||Investors||TOTAL by PT|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||222||38.5||353||61.3||0||0.0||0||0.0||1||0.2||576||100.0|
|Northwest Territories||0||0.0Footnote 31||73||100.0||0||0.0||0||0.0||0||0.0||73||100.0|
|TOTAL - National||33,722||17.0||150,970||76.2||2,567||1.3||964||0.5||9,882||5.0||198,105||100.0|
Source: FOSS Data
According to data provided from CIC’s International Region, the total number of PNP applications received for all PN programs in 2008 and 2009 represented 8% and 9%, respectively, of the total number of immigration applications received for all Canadian immigration programsFootnote 32.
3.2. Profile of PNs
FOSS data from 2005 to 2009 was used to develop a profile of landed PAs under the PNP, looking at characteristics such as sex, age, marital status, country of last permanent residence (by world area), self-reported language ability, education, skill level of nomination (NOC code) and the top ten landing destinations of PAs in Canada (see Table 3-5). This information was also compared to data provided for four other economic immigration categories: FSW; Entrepreneurs; Self-Employed; and Investors. In addition to analyzing FOSS data, the evaluation team also used data obtained through a survey of 2,655 PNs in order to determine the streams under which PNs are being nominated.
Table 3-5: Summary demographic profile for PNs (PA) landings from 2005 to 2009Footnote 33
|Province of nomination||Newfoundland and Labrador||1.5||0.7||0.5||0.7||0.7||0.7|
|Prince Edward Island||4.5||4.2||5.4||6.2||5.4||5.4|
|Age group||15-24 years old||4.6||4.3||5.4||5.4||4.6||4.9|
|25-44 years old||74.0||72.9||74.3||73.4||76.9||74.8|
|45-64 years old||21.0||22.4||19.9||20.9||18.3||20.0|
|65 years old or more||0.3||0.2||0.3||0.2||0.1||0.2|
|Level of education||0 to 9 years of schooling||2.3||2.3||3.2||3.2||2.6||2.8|
|10 to 12 years of schooling||8.8||9.5||11.7||11.9||12.5||11.5|
|13 or more years of schooling||2.9||4.0||3.1||3.6||3.7||3.5|
|Knowledge of official languages||English||79.3||82.1||81.6||80.8||83.2||81.8|
|English and French||5.2||4.5||4.4||4.1||4.1||4.3|
Country of last permanent residence - world area
|Africa, Middle East and some islands of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans||12.7||11.9||9.3||10.1||9.1||10.0|
|Asia, Australasia and Pacific||49.4||53.5||55.2||52.8||59.5||55.4|
|Latin America, Greenland, some islands of the Atlantic and Pacific||5.2||3.4||6.8||5.8||5.2||5.4|
|Europe except the U.K.||20.8||17.9||15.4||17.8||15.5||16.8|
|NOC skill type||0- Senior management occupations||5.2||5.2||5.1||6.2||5.4||5.5|
|1- Business, finance and administration occupations||10.0||13.6||13.9||13.2||13.6||13.3|
|2- Natural and applied sciences and related occupations||19.0||17.1||16.3||16.5||15.8||16.5|
|3- Health occupations||7.8||8.4||6.7||6.5||6.8||7.0|
|4- Occupations in social sciences, education, government service and religion||3.3||5.7||5.8||5.7||4.9||5.3|
|5- Occupations in art, culture, recreation and sport||2.9||2.4||1.9||2.2||1.5||2.0|
|6- Sales and service occupations||12.7||13.5||14.1||14.3||17.3||15.2|
|7- Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations||30.9||26.6||23.3||24.3||23.0||24.3|
|8- Occupations unique to primary industry||3.3||2.4||2.6||3.3||3.3||3.1|
|9- Occupations unique to processing, manufacturing and utilities||4.8||5.1||10.2||7.9||8.2||7.9|
|NOC skill level||0-Management occupations||19.8||20.7||17.9||17.6||14.4||17.0|
|A-Occupations usually requiring university education||24.6||25.1||22.4||23.2||22.1||22.9|
|B-Occupations usually requiring college education or apprenticeship training||43.5||38.4||36.3||38.6||40.6||39.2|
|C-Occupations usually requiring secondary school and/or occupation specific training||11.4||15.0||19.7||17.5||17.3||17.2|
|D-On the job training is usually provided for those occupations||0.7||0.8||3.7||3.2||5.6||3.7|
The male to female ratio of landed PNP PAs between 2005 and 2009 has remained fairly consistent at about 3 males for every female. Similarly, there have been no shifts in the trend of the ages of landed PAs over this period: most landed PAs (74.8%) have been between the ages of 25 and 44 years of age and 20% of all landed PAs in any year (2005 to 2009) were from 45 to 65 years of age. With respect to the last country of permanent residence, by world area, approximately half (55.4%) of all PAs from 2005 to 2009 have been from Asia, Australasia and Pacific.
Between 2005 and 2009, 4.3% of landed PNP PAs have been bilingual (English/French). However, the overwhelming majority (81.8%) of all landed PNP PAs from that period self-reported being able to speak English alone. Conversely, less than 1% of landed PAs during this period said they were able to speak French alone. Additionally, 14% of landed PAs reported not being able to speak either English or French.
In considering the highest level of education attained, the majority (85.7%) of PNs that landed between 2005 and 2009 had completed some post-secondary education (above 12 years of schooling). Approximately half (51.1%) of all landed PNP PAs from 2005 to 2009 had a bachelor’s degree, some post-graduate studies a Master’s Degree or a Doctorate.
The NOC codes for the intended occupation of landed PNP PAs from 2005 to 2009 seem to align with the education levels of landed PNP PAs: 79.1% of landed PAs intended to work in an occupation requiring a NOC B skill level or higher (NOC A, NOC 0), with 39.2% of landed PAs targeting an occupation that had a NOC B skill level. By contrast, 20.9 percent of landed PNP PAs from the same period had a NOC code of C (17.2%) or D (3.7%) for their intended occupationFootnote 34.Footnote 35
The top ten landing destinations of PNP PAs from 2005 to 2009 have been cities in British Columbia (Vancouver), Alberta (Calgary, Edmonton), Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, Regina), Manitoba (Winnipeg, Winkler, Steinbach, Brandon) and PEI (Charlottetown). Of these top ten destinations, Winnipeg, Manitoba has been the destination with the most PA landings each year from 2005 to 2009 with 29.0% of all landed PNP PAs (in Canada) going to this city, followed by Vancouver with 6.9% of all landed PNP PAs.
Based on the survey of PNs, about half (49.2%) of the respondents cited being nominated under a Skilled Worker (requiring a university degree) stream, followed by one-fifth (20.3%) of respondents being nominated under the Semi-skilled Worker (no university degree required) stream. A significant number of respondents had also been nominated under the Family Connection stream (12.4%) and the Business stream (7.5%). The remaining four streams (International Student Graduate, Community Sponsored, General and Other) each accounted for less than 4% of all nominationsFootnote 36.
Additionally, from 2005 to 2009, between 31 and 54% of the total PA landings across Canada were individuals who had been in Canada on a work permit within four years prior to landing, depending on the cohort (see Table 3-6). During this period, OntarioFootnote 37 (91% in 2009), British Columbia (88% in 2009) and Alberta (83% in 2009) had consistently the highest proportions of these PAs. A significant share of the PAs in Yukon (85% in 2009) and in Newfoundland (80% in 2009) were already in Canada on a work permit within four years prior to landing, even though their share fluctuated from one cohort to the other. Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia (both 45% in 2009), New Brunswick (37% in 2009), and Manitoba (30% in 2009) all had less than half of their PAs already in Canada on a work permit within four years prior to landing. Few of PEI’s PAs (5% in 2009) were already in Canada on a work permit up to four years prior to landing.
Table 3-6: Provincial nominees (PAs only) who had been in Canada on a work permit within 4 years of landing, as a percentage of total Provincial nominee landings, by province, 2005-2009Footnote 38
3.2.1. Profile of PNs (PAs) compared to immigrants coming to Canada under other federal programs
In this section, principal applicants under the PN programs are compared to principal applicants from FSW, Entrepreneur, Self-Employed and Investor programs.
Table 3-7: Summary demographic profile by immigration category – PA, Landings from 2005 to 2009
|Self-employed (%)||Investors (%)|
|Age group||15-24 years old||4.9||0.9||0.1||1.3||0.2|
|25-44 years old||74.8||83.1||37.5||45.6||47.3|
|45-64 years old||20.0||15.8||60.8||49.5||51.6|
|65 years old or more||0.2||0.1||1.7||3.4||0.9|
|Level of education||0 to 9 years of schooling||2.8||3.3||7.9||4.9||10.0|
|10 to 12 years of schooling||11.5||0.3||23.9||14.4||20.3|
|13 or more years of schooling||3.5||2.1||7.5||10.0||5.8|
|Knowledge of official languages||English||81.8||79.1||58.6||68.4||30.8|
|English and French||4.3||9.8||2.3||5.7||0.8|
|Country of last permanent residence - world area||Africa, Middle East and some islands of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans||10.0||17.9||31.2||11.7||7.7|
|Asia, Australasia and Pacific||55.4||57.1||54.0||43.3||89.1|
|Latin America, Greenland, some islands of the Atlantic and Pacific||5.4||5.8||3.3||3.3||0.7|
|Europe except the U.K.||16.8||11.6||5.4||19.3||1.1|
|NOC skill typeFootnote 39||0- Senior management occupations||5.5||1.2||-||0.2||-|
|1- Business, finance and administration occupations||13.3||17.8||-||1.6||-|
|2- Natural and applied sciences and related occupations||16.5||40.4||-||1.7||-|
|3- Health occupations||7.0||8.1||-||2.0||-|
|4- Occupations in social sciences, education, government service and religion||5.3||15.5||-||1.8||-|
|5- Occupations in art, culture, recreation and sport||2.0||3.6||-||56.2||-|
|6- Sales and service occupations||15.2||8.8||-||5.0||-|
|7- Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations||24.3||3.6||-||1.4||-|
|8- Occupations unique to primary industry||3.1||0.2||-||29.7||-|
|9- Occupations unique to processing, manufacturing and utilities||7.9||0.7||-||0.4||-|
|NOC skill level||0-Management occupations||17.0||13.5||-||6.7||-|
|A-Occupations usually requiring university education||22.9||62.1||-||36.8||-|
|B-Occupations usually requiring college education or apprenticeship training||39.2||23.6||-||54.6||-|
|C-Occupations usually requiring secondary school and/or ocupation specific training||17.2||0.7||-||1.9||-|
|D-On the job training is usually provided for those occupations||3.7||0.0||-||0.0||-|
The profile depicted above demonstrates that the PNs admitted to Canada have a distinct set of educational and occupational characteristics reflecting the nature of the program they were admitted under. As such, the FSWs, one of the major comparison groups, were selected against human capital criteria, reflecting the program’s intent to select workers that would have the ability to adapt to changing labor market conditions. On the other hand, the PNP selected immigrants to respond to specific provincial needs, both for skilled and semi-skilled occupations as reflected in their profile.
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