Canadian Law Group

2,000 Additional Spaces under the Provincial Nominee Program

The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) announced earlier last month an additional 2,000 spaces under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). This reflects his commitment to expanding pathways for temporary foreign worker programs toward permanent residency. The aim is to allow eligible applicants to fully contribute to Canadian society by giving workers who are well established in Canada better access to economic immigration routes that are suited to their qualifications.

The additional 2,000 spaces are allocated to “intermediate skill level” (National Occupation Code C) and will provide a net increase in Temporary Foreign Workers who transition to permanent residence under the Provincial Nominee Program. IRCC stated, “the additional 2,000 spaces will help meet regional labor market needs in key sectors, as determined by provinces and territories.” Additionally, this increase is not expected to impede the IRCC’s progress in decreasing the processing times overall for the PNP programs.

This increase is intended to complement other immigration programs which can help temporary foreign workers become permanent residents, such as the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program and the new Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot.

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program, now in its third year, is on the right track with 1,800 Atlantic employers participating in the pilot program. Under the program, 3,700 job offers were made to skilled workers and international graduates in Atlantic Canada, and the IRCC approved 2,500 applications for permanent residents and their families in the Atlantic region.

Given the success of the program, Minister Hussen announced in March, 2019 that the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program, initially meant to run until December 2019, will be extended by an additional two years to December 31, 2021. Additional changes to the program give international graduates more time to apply, more flexibility for hiring health care professionals and changes to the requirements for temporary work permit applications (effective May 1, 2019).

For more information about the Provincial Nominee Program, or the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program, please contact Partner and Chair of the Canadian Law Group Véronique Malka: or visit