Express Entry or PNP: What Are The Basic Costs?

British Columbia recently raised the price to apply for the Skills Immigration streams, but it is still not the most expensive program in Canada. We’re looking at basic costs to apply for Express Entry or PNP programs.

It now costs $1,150 to apply for the British Columbia Skills Immigration streams, which was increased from the $700 that it cost before.

British Columbia says the fee increase will allow it to better serve the increased number of candidates for its Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Presently, there are 9,500 provincial nominees from the province waiting to become permanent residents.

Most skilled worker candidates who have obtained a provincial nomination are expected to pay an application fee between $250 and $2,000. But, there is no application fee to apply for PNPs operated by Nova Scotia, Alberta, Northwest Territories, or the Yukon.

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) Application Fees
Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) $0
British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) $1,150
Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) $500
New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) $250
Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP) $250
Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) $0
Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP) $0
Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) $1,500-2,000
Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP) $300
Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) $350
Yukon Nominee Program (YNP) $0

Entrepreneur candidates in most provinces will generally have to pay higher fees ranging from $1,000 to $3,500.

Immigration is an aspect of shared federal-provincial jurisdiction under the federal Constitution. As such, both levels of government are able to run programs to pick skilled immigrants. The PNP has been existing since 1998 to enable provinces and territories to recruit immigrants that meet their labor market needs.

Provincial processing fees are determined by each province and territory. They are added on top of the federal immigration fees that successful provincial nominees candidate pay to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

The PNP has grown significantly since the 1990s. Today it is the second most popular route to permanent residence for Canadian immigrants. The most popular route is through the Express Entry system.

There are some advantages and disadvantages to weigh when choosing the best immigration streams to match each individual’s circumstances. On the plus side, PNPs offers pathways to Canadian permanent residence for people who are not qualified for Express Entry but who have traits that support regional labor needs. Candidates who are qualified for Express Entry benefit from the system’s fast processing standard.

Express Entry candidates who obtained a provincial nomination are awarded an extra 600 points toward their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, which assures that they will receive an Invitation for Canadian permanent residence. Individuals who are in the Express Entry pool without a provincial nomination have lesser certainty that they will get an invitation.

However, there are some disadvantages to applying for a provincial nomination. Processing times might take a while longer, especially if candidates are not qualified for Express Entry. The website of IRCC cites a permanent residence processing standard of nineteen (19) months for PNP applications compared with about six months or less for PNP candidates who received an invitation through Express Entry.

The IRCC processing time is on top of the general one to three (3) months an immigration candidate needs to wait for the territory or province to process their PNP application.

Some immigrants with a good CRS score instead anticipates that they will be obtaining an invitation directly via Express Entry.

In addition to a faster processing standard, they can save some money on provincial nomination program application fees, which they have to pay on top of the federal government’s fees that are required for most economic-class immigration streams. With Express Entry, immigrants just pay the federal fees.

For a single individual, the fee is $1,325 to apply. Couples are required to pay $1,325 each plus $225 per dependent child. Also, there is a biometric fee of $85 for a single person or $170 for a family.

Ultimately, an applicant’s best place to enter the Express Entry pool. It is free to enter the pool and it gives them a greater chance of obtaining an invitation from the federal government, or an invitation from a territory or province to obtain Canadian permanent residence through their PNP.

In addition to applying for the Express Entry, a candidate can still enter for a PNP directly in order to improve their permanent residence odds.

Canada aims to welcome 200,000 economic immigrants this year, through more than 100 economic immigration programs. About 90,000 immigrants are expected to arrive through its three main federal Express Entry programs and 65,000 through PNPs.