PNP In-Demand Occupations Streams— the Wild Card in your Canada Immigration Strategy

PNP In-Demand Occupations Streams— the Wild Card in your Canada Immigration Strategy

Unlike most other countries, Canadian provinces have the option of creating immigration streams aimed at skilled workers of specific occupations. But creating or modifying streams can be a complicated process, which is why most provinces opt for a specific stream for in-demand occupations.

The list of in-demand occupations can change easily, which means provinces can quickly reacted to feedback from employers and add or remove occupations from this list and ensure optimum utilization of skilled workers.

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Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia has a Category B—Demand—Express Entry stream that is restricted to applicants with one year work experience in one of the 11 in-demand occupations under the stream. You don’t need a job offer to qualify for permanent residence.

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This means planning a strategic approach to your education and work experience can lead to PNP nomination, a 600-point CRS score boost, and a virtual guarantee of an ITA in your next Express Entry draw.

This stream is not open all the time, which means you should seriously consider working with an experienced immigration professional in Canada who can help submit your application in the short duration for which this stream is opened.

The Labour Market Priorities stream too focuses on in-demand occupations. However, this is an invitation-only stream where you will receive an ITA if you are in the Express Entry pool and are found eligible to receive the Letter of Interest.


Like Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan too has an Occupation In-Demand stream that offers a shot at provincial nomination without a job offer in hand.

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Interestingly, Saskatchewan does not have an actual in-demand occupations list. Rather, it has a list of excluded occupations, which means workers of all other occupations are eligible to qualify under this stream.   


Ontario has two streams for occupations in which the province is facing a shortage of workers. The Human Capital stream is open to even those skilled workers without a job offer from an employer in the province.

The PNP In-Demand Skills stream is open to those with work experience in an in-demand occupation as well as with a job offer in such an occupation in Ontario.

New Brunswick

New Brunswick has a different approach where applicants under its Skilled Worker stream qualify for ten additional points under the PNP points grid if they are working in a priority sector.

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With 60 points to qualify, working in Business Service, Education, Health Care, Manufacturing, or Transportation can help you get qualify for nomination faster.

Stop Ignoring PNPs

Many skilled workers make the mistake of treating Express Entry and Provincial Nomination as two separate and independent options. The truth is that all programs and options are interlinked, and you just need to know how to leverage your options. This is one area where hiring an immigration attorney can make a huge difference. Instead of keeping track of changes to PNP streams, you will get actionable inputs on all federal and provincial options suited to your professional prospects and personal preferences.

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