The Government of Canada will continue to provide provinces and territories with a record amount of space in the country’s immigration program in 2012, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney says.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) plans to admit 42,000 to 45,000 people under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) in 2012, including the nominees themselves, their spouses and dependents. This represents an almost seven-fold increase since 2004.
In 2010, over 36,000 people entered Canada under the PNP. CIC is on track to admit more provincial nominees this year, and 2012 has the potential to set another record high if the provinces submit enough nominations early on to fill their allotted space in the program.
“The Government of Canada recognizes the crucial role the Provincial Nominee Program plays in meeting local labour market needs,” said Kenney. “The PNP has made great strides in sharing the benefits of economic immigration across the country.”
Today, 26 per cent of all economic immigrants are destined for provinces other than Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec, compared to 11 per cent in 1997. The PNP has also become the second largest source of economic immigration to Canada.
All provinces and territories, with the exception of Quebec and Nunavut, have PNP agreements. The PNP gives provinces and territories a role in immigrant selection as they may nominate for permanent residence individuals who meet specific local labour market needs.
Under the Canada-Quebec Accord, Quebec has the sole authority for selecting immigrants to its province. However, these candidates must still meet CIC’s admissibility requirements.
CIC consults regularly with provincial and territorial governments to develop a balanced immigration plan, including the number of anticipated nominations per province. It is important to note that in order for CIC to reach annual admissions targets, provinces and territories must submit sufficient and timely nominations. The provincial nominee allotments for 2012 are still being finalized and will be released later.
“CIC is working closely with provinces and territories to improve the program design, integrity and management of the program,” said Kenney.
CIC launched a national evaluation of the PNP last year and expects to release the results in 2012. The federal, provincial and territorial governments are also moving towards a multi-year level planning approach for 2013 and beyond.