California, US

Mar 13 2019

Number of Spaces for Provincial Nominee Program Increased for Lower-Skilled Workers


The situation

The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced on March 12, 2019 that an additional 2,000 spaces will be available to lower-skilled foreign nationals under the Provincial Nominee Program, which allows foreign nationals to work temporarily in Canada and transition to permanent residence.

A closer look

  • Types of spaces available.
    • The additional 2,000 spaces are available for National Occupation Code (NOC) C positions, which are generally considered lower-skilled occupations.
    • Some provinces have a select list of NOC C in-demand occupations. For example, in Ontario, this includes heavy equipment operators, construction laborers, farm workers and commercial butchers. Other provinces (for example, Alberta) do not accept certain occupations in NOC C.
  • Split among provinces. The government has not designated how the spaces will be split among the provinces. Quebec is not subject to this allocation since it has its own immigration selection programs.


Impact for employers

Employers may sponsor additional foreign nationals for permanent residence since there will be additional spaces for foreign nationals holding NOC C positions under the Provincial Nominee Program. Currently, NOC C positions are limited across Canada.  

Impact for foreign nationals

More foreign nationals in NOC C occupations who qualify under a Provincial Nominee Program scheme will be eligible for opportunities to live and work in Canada and potentially obtain permanent residence.


  • Provincial Nominee Program. The Provincial Nominee Program is designed for foreign nationals with the skills, education and work experience required to contribute to a specific Canadian territory or province; are willing to live in that territory or province; and want to become permanent residents of Canada. Each province and territory (except Quebec) has its own Provincial Nominee Programs which target specific labour needs.
  • Emphasis on increasing immigration. The increase in available spaces for foreign nationals is aligned with the government’s announcement in November 2018 to increase immigration levels. The Provincial Nominee Program expansion is meant to complement other economic immigration initiatives which available in Canada, including the new Rural and Northern Immigration program and the Atlantic Immigration program, and which bring qualified foreign nationals to Canada.


Looking ahead

The increase in spaces available under the Provincial Nominee Program indicates the government’s further intent to grow the population of the country while addressing labour demands in lower-skilled positions and this is aligned with the targeted immigration levels for the next three years.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to [email protected].