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Additional Spaces for Foreign Workers in Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs


Additional Spaces for Foreign Workers in Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs

Jade Calver

Provincial Nominee Program News

On March 12th, Canada’s Minister of Immigration announced plans to expand the pathways for temporary foreign workers by allocating an additional 2,000 spaces under the Provincial Nominee Program.

Additional spaces in the Provincial Nominee Program will provide more opportunities for existing Temporary Foreign Workers to transition to Permanent Residence. These additional spaces are primarily intended for long-term Temporary Foreign Workers already in Canada who have intermediate skills (National Occupation Code “C”) and who have integrated into Canadian society. The objective of targeting these workers is to address worker vulnerability. Those workers who are qualified and have established themselves within their community will have access to economic immigration pathways that are suited to their qualifications and skillset.

Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program

The Provincial Nominee Program is designed and managed by each of Canada’s participating provinces and territories. The program was designed to help strengthen Canada’s economy by allowing each participating province or territory to nominate economic immigration candidates for permanent residency each year.

This program is for workers who have the skills, education and work experience required to contribute to the economy of a specific province or territory. Applicants must also want to live in that province with the longterm goal of becoming a Permanent Resident of Canada. Each province and territory has its own streams that were designed to support their local economic labour needs. Some of these programs target students, business people, skilled workers, and semi-skilled workers.

Temporary foreign workers fill long-term labour market needs and contribute to the growth of our economy. We recognize the need to provide opportunities for them to transition to permanent residence – and these additional spaces under the Provincial Nominee Program will do just that.
— The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

The additional spaces allotted to the PNP complement one of Canada’s other immigration programs, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot as well as the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. Both of these programs were designed for temporary foreign workers who wish to become permanent residents of Canada.

PNP Processing Time

Prospective applicants may be aware of the Canadian Government’s efforts to reduce the Provincial Nominee Program processing time. Minister Hussen indicated that the addition of 2,000 spaces to the program will not impede IRCC’s progress in decreasing processing times overall for the Provincial Nominee Program.

To see the most up-to-date PNP processing times, use the Government of Canada’s processing time calculator. First, select “Economic Immigration”, then “Provincial Nominees”, and then indicate whether you applied online through the Express Entry system.


  • The 2,000 National Occupation Code C spaces were created to increase the number of Temporary Foreign Workers who transition to permanent residence under the PNP.

  • The 2,000 additional spaces will help meet regional labour market needs, as determined by provinces and territories.

  • Provinces and territories will nominate foreign nationals whom they believe will meet regional labour market and/or economic development needs and who intend to settle in their province.


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