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In 1534, Frenchman Jacques Cartier was the first European to see the island but the British had the vision to turn Prince Edward island into a thriving colony - under the terms of the Treaty of Paris – allowing Scottish Highlanders to settle in the province in the late 1700s.
Three years before the creation of Canada as a nation comprised of ten provinces,
Prince Edward (PEI) hosted the Charlottetown Conference in September 1864. After a brief period of flirting with the idea of joining the United States, amassing huge debts while building a railroad to connect the two countries, PEI joined the Confederation when the “Dominion Government of Canada assumed the colony's extensive railway debts and agreed to finance a buy-out of the last of the colony's absentee landlords to free the island of leasehold tenure through the passage of the Land Purchase Act, 1875.”
Today,while many of the province's coastal communities rely upon shellfish, mussel harvesting, lobster and oyster fishing, Prince Edward Island’s economy has grown and expanded over the last decade in Aerospace, Bioscience, ICT and Renewable energy. Aerospace alone now accounts for over 25% of the province's international exports and is the island's fourth largest industry at $355 million in annual sales. At present, approximately fifteen percent of electricity consumed on the island is generated from renewable energy (largely wind turbines); the provincial government has set renewable energy targets as high as 30-50% for electricity consumed by 2015.
It is one of the three Maritime Provinces and is the smallest province in both land area and population. It is the only province of Canada to have no land boundary.
Prince Edward Island also understands that a well-managed and efficient immigration system is critical to ensuring that PEI is a destination of choice for newcomers and that the province continues to support an open immigration policy.
When new immigrants come in the coastal and pastoral beauty of Prince Edward Island made them stay because of the small town feel, non-existent rush hours, short drives to work, low crime rate and quality of education.
In 2011, PEI only had 140,204 residents within the main island and 231 minor islands with Charlottetownas capital. The provincial population is projected to increase to 161,792 by 2055. After peaking at 98,182 in 2012, the working age population of persons aged 15 to 64 declined to 96,015 in 2015. This group is not expected to increase again until 2048.
Hence, the Provincial Nomination Program was introduced in 2001.
Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program
PEI has three major ways of selecting new immigrants: (1) Nominating candidates in the Express Entry pool who have expressed their interest to settle in Prince Edward Island; (2) the Business Impact Category Stream and (3) the Labour Impact Category stream.
A. Express Entry Allocation
Candidates who have registered and are in the Express Entry pool who have posted and submitted forms expressing intent to live and work in Prince Edward Island.
Once the form is submit, it serves as an expression of your interest to immigrate to PEI. Since this is not a formal application to the PEI PNP, there is no application fee. After being selected there is a $300 CAD nomination fee.
B. Business Impact Category
The Business Impact Category provides the opportunity for businesspersons who have the vision, leadership, determination and funds to finance the intention to settle in PEI.
There are three streams in this category:
1) 100% Ownership Stream – For applicants who purchase an existing business or start a new business and has 100% control of the enterprise.
The applicant must meet the program criteria, minimum net worth and investment thresholds and will be required to make a conditionally refundable deposit of $200,000 Canadian dollars (CAD) to be held in escrow. Of the $200,000 CAD deposit $25,000 CAD will be refunded after 6 months of residency on Prince Edward Island another $25,000 CAD will be refunded after 1 year of residency on Prince Edward Island and the remaining $150,000 CAD will be released upon the applicant meeting the requirements outlined in the escrow agreement.
2) Partial Ownership Stream - The Partial Ownership Stream is designed for applicants who- as an essential requirement- must obtain 33 1/3% of the business’ equity or invest $1,000,000 CAD in the equity of the business. The same conditions on conditionally refundable deposit refunded after 6 months and 1 year of residency including the release of the remaining $150,000 upon meeting the terms of the escrow agreement.
3) Work Permit Stream – This route is for applicants who are currently on a work permit and intends to pursue a business venture they will be investing in prior to nomination by the Province of Prince Edward Island.
B. Labour Impact Category
There are three streams from which an applicant can choose through this option:
1. Skilled Worker Stream
For applicants with a full-time arranged employment from a Prince Edward Island employer for a job offer that requires the potential nominee to have the necessary skills and fall under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level O, A or B are eligible provided they have obtained a post-secondary degree/diploma and experience in the intended profession.
2. Critical Worker Stream is a pilot program reviewed annually to determine both the impact on the industries represented and the occupations selected to participate. There are five occupations currently included in the pilot program: truck drivers, customer service representatives, labourers, food & beverage servers and housekeeping attendants. Furthermore, specific criteria must be satisfied to be nominated under the program.
Critical Worker Selection Criteria. Under this tream, the applicant must: Have a full-time, long-term (i.e. permanent or minimum of 2 years) job offer from a Prince Edward Island employer at a NOC skill level C or D in one of the following occupations; truck driver, customer service representative, labourer, food & beverage server or housekeeping attendant.
In addition, the applicant must have worked a minimum of 6 months full-time for the Prince Island employer. Has a valid work permit; possess a minimum education of Canadian high-school equivalent; between 21 and 59 years of age; has at least two years of full-time work experience or relevant education within the past five years; can demonstrate adequate language proficiency (CLB 4) and possesses sufficient settlement support and financial resources to pay for the migrant journey for the applicant and family members.
3. International Graduate Selection Criteria – for foreign students who have completed at least a full time two year diploma or degree program; has a valid post-graduate work permit and had worked a minimum 6 moths for the Prince Edward Island employer who has also offered a permanent, full time job in the student’s field of study at a NOC skill level O, A, or B.
The applicant must have graduated within the past two years from full-time study at an accredited Prince Edward Island University or College, between 21 and 55 years of age and possess English and/or French language ability to perform the job offered. Finally the potential international graduate applicant must demonstrate sufficient settlement supports and financial resources, including transferable funds, in order for the applicant and family (if any) to pay the immigration costs, travel expenses and establish in Prince Edward Island.
All provincial nominee applicants must demonstrate genuine intention to settle in Prince Edward Island.
Authors & Contributors
Crispin R. Aranda is an established International Visa Conselor and Immigrant Advocate. He is the president of IVC and is in several migration radio programs.
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