Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

January 26, 2012 13:13 ET

Provincial Nominee Program Working Well, New Evaluation Shows

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Jan. 26, 2012) - The majority of immigrants selected by provinces and territories under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) are succeeding in Canada, according to a newly released study by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

The PNP is the second largest economic immigration program after the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP). The program allows participating provinces and territories to nominate potential immigrants who they believe will meet their particular economic and labour market needs. The PNP has grown almost sixfold since 2004 and currently accounts for over 36,000 new permanent residents per year.

CIC's evaluation of the PNP focused on the economic outcomes and mobility of provincial nominees (PNs) admitted between 2005 and 2009. Overall, the report has found that the program is working well, although there are differences in economic outcomes by province or territory and by PNP stream. The scope of the study was limited to assessing the PNP from a national perspective. Provinces and territories are expected to conduct regular evaluations of their own PNPs.

"Clearly, provincial nominees have strong economic outcomes and are making a positive contribution to Canada," said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. According to the report, more than 90 percent of PNs declared employment earnings after one year in Canada. After three years, their average income ranged between $35,200 and $45,100. Although results varied by stream and location, about 70 percent of the PNs surveyed held a job in line with their skills.

CIC's study confirmed that the PNP is effective in helping to spread the benefits of immigration across the country. Today, 26 percent of all economic immigrants are destined for provinces other than Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec, compared to 11 percent in 1997. However, retention rates of PNs in their province or territory of nomination vary widely, from 23 percent to 95 percent.

The evaluation also pointed to certain areas of the PNP in need of improvement, such as some aspects of program design, delivery and accountability. Currently, each province and territory with a PNP is responsible for the design and program requirements for their nominee categories, which must always respect federal immigration regulations. To ensure better economic outcomes, the report recommends that there be minimum language standards for all PNs and stronger links between PN occupations and specific local labour market needs. It also calls for greater clarity in the roles and responsibilities of the provinces and territories and CIC visa offices abroad in areas such as fraud detection.

In addition, the report recommends that CIC work with the provinces and territories to strengthen the focus on the PNP objective of encouraging the development of official language minority communities. Finally, the evaluation proposes that a common PNP monitoring and reporting framework be established to strengthen overall accountability.

"As I've said in the past, we are excited about this program but realize that it needs improvement in key areas," said Minister Kenney.

In 2012, CIC plans to admit between 42,000 and 45,000 immigrants under the PNP category, including spouses and dependants. This year, the provinces and territories will retain the same overall and individual PNP nomination allotments as in 2011.

CIC completed a similar evaluation of the FSWP in 2010, which found the program to be highly effective. After three years in Canada, the average income of FSWs was slightly below that of their PN counterparts, whereas FSWs with arranged employment offers earned significantly more. As a result of consultations held in the spring of 2011, CIC is making further adjustments to improve the FSWP.

For more information on the PNP evaluation, please see the backgrounder: Provincial Nominee Program Evaluation Highlights

Photo of Minister Kenney will be available later today at:

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Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada's economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.

Contact Information

  • Candice Malcolm
    Minister's Office
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada

    Media Relations
    Communications Branch
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada