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Which Canadian provinces are actively recruiting immigrants?

Discover which Canadian provinces are aggressively competing for applicants to nominate as permanent residents.

Crispin ArandaOriginally posted on February 11, 2018; updated February 11, 2018

Which Canadian provinces are actively recruiting immigrants?

Express Entry Report: Program Performance to 3Q of 2017

Two years after being launched, Express Entry has demonstrated the system’s effectiveness in selecting candidates that Canada needs, prioritizing human capital factors over other criteria. The result is admission of a diverse range of highly skilled candidates from around the world. 

Provincial Nomination Programs Performing well

In addition, provinces, territories and employers have also successfully used Express Entry to fulfill regional and labor market needs while meeting the projected time to process applications. All provinces posted increased number of immigrants nominated.

Saskatchewan’s fine tuning of its nomination programs resulted in an exhilarating increase from <5 to 1,678. Prince Edward Island and  New Brunswick ‘s admissions jumped from negative territories to 426 and 367 respectively.  Nunavut and Yukon both did not get any nominees.

Admissions (Total Persons) by Province of Destination and Immigration Category in 2015

Province 2015 2016 2015 2016
Provincial Nomination All Programs
Alberta 0 0 5,502 9.492
British Columbia 352 1,877 1,586 6,577
Manitoba 29 99 85 304
New Brunswick 0 367 18 439
Newfoundland and Labrador 0 < 5 27 90
Northwest Territories  < 5 < 15 11 32
Nova Scotia 94 1,410 165 1,611
Nunavut 0 0 < 5 9
Ontario 11 1,948 2,232 12,395
Prince Edward Island < 10 426 11 443
Saskatchewan < 5 1,678 152 1,999
Yukon 0 0 < 5 15
Total 497 7,818 9,796 33,406


The dynamism of the program continues to bear results as Canada posts the highest ever number of candidates issued Invitations to Apply (ITA) since Express Entry was introduced in January, 2015.

Eight of the ten countries with the most number of candidates in the candidate pool remain on the top 10 list for 2015 and 2016. Consequently, the citizenship of the applicants in the pool came mostly from these countries.

The top 10 candidates by country of residence includes applicants from all countries who were residing in Canada at time of selection and issuance of invitation to apply.


You may have an advantage if you already reside in Canada

Top 10 Candidates by Country of Residence in 2015
Country where Applicants are Currently Residing 2015 2016 Citizenship
Canda 22,111 21,764
India 1,745 3,266 6,348
United States 622 832 949
China 409 484 1,678
United Kingdom 294 383 1,644
Philippines 283 370 3,574
Nigeria 248 406 609
United Arab Emirates 213 432  
Pakistan 159 307  
France 135 0 566
Republic of South Africa 0 216  
Top 10 26,219 28,460  
Republic of Ireland     1,210
South Korea     605
Australia     540
Top 10 by Citizenship Total     17,723


The chart above illustrates the advantages that an international student or temporary worker already in Canada has over applicants in the same occupation but are outside Canada.

The probability of being selected for nomination for example  by a province is enhanced if an applicant has completed an academic program or has worked for at least a year in a province.  Even employers that may have need for immediate staffing would first post vacancies in job boards of colleges and universities knowing that international students are immediately available for interview and try-outs especially those who are in the Post-Graduate Work Permit stage.  

Top Ten Occupations

Candidates from eight of 10 occupations consistently made it to the list of applications invited to apply for permanent residency.

Professionals in the advertising, marketing and public relations showed up in 2016 while Financial and Investment Analysts did not make it on that year after posting a total of 446 in 2015.

Invited Candidates by Occupation in 2016
Occupation 2015 2016
Information Systems Analysts and Consultants 1,255 1,792
Software Engineers 940 1,332
Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers 745 1,254
Cooks 2,295 1,234
Food Service Supervisors 2,356 999
University Professors and Lecturers 745 797
Graphic Designers and Illustrators 550 671
Professional Occupations in Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations 0 618
Financial and Investment Analysts 446 0
Financial Auditors and Accountants 494 595
Retail Sales Supervisors 669 584
Total for Top 10 Occupations 10,685 9,876


Authors & Contributors

Crispin Aranda

Crispin Aranda

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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