Express Entry vs PNP: Which One Should I Apply?

Express Entry vs PNP: Which one should I apply?

Are you considering your alternatives for immigration to Canada and attempting to choose between Express Entry vs PNP: Which one should I apply? We recognize that choosing this can be challenging. We’ll compare these two routes in-depth  so you can decide which is best for you. Having a thorough understanding of the distinctions, benefits, and drawbacks of each might be helpful in making an informed decision.

What is the Express Entry?

The main objective of Express Entry is to help satisfy Canada’s labor market demands by streamlining the application process for qualified professionals.

Through three primary initiatives, it oversees applicants:

  • The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP). The FSWP is intended for skilled professionals who have prior international work experience and want to relocate permanently to Canada. In order to qualify, applicants must receive a minimum of 67 points out of 100 on the basis of six selection criteria, which include age, education, job experience, language ability, secured employment in Canada, and adaptability.
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). Professionals in skilled trades who possess a legitimate job offer from a Canadian employer or a certificate of qualification in their field from a Canadian province or territory are eligible to apply for the Federal Skill Transfer Program. A minimum of two years of work experience in their trade within the last five years is required of candidates, as well as meeting the minimal language competence criteria in either French or English.


  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC):Those who have completed one year of Canadian experience in the last three years are eligible to apply for the CEC. Candidates must be able to communicate in either French or English.

The evaluation of applicants takes into account a number of variables, such as age, education, employment history, and language ability. They also need to fulfill the particular requirements of one of the three aforementioned programs.

Express Entry is anticipated to be the most popular entry route for foreign nationals in 2024. Through these initiatives, Canada hopes to welcome 110,700 permanent residents.

Before anyone may submit a profile to the Express Entry pool of qualified candidates, they must first fulfill the requirements for each of these three programs. An individual becomes an official Express Entry candidate with a profile in the pool after they meet the requirements and submit their profile under one of the programs.

How does the Express Entry System work?

  • Establish an Online Profile: In order to be considered for consideration, candidates must establish an Express Entry profile with information about their qualifications, professional background, language proficiency, schooling, and other personal characteristics.
  • Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS): The CRS is a points system that is used to rank profiles. A number of factors are taken into account when awarding points, including age, education, work experience, and language competency.
  • Invitation to Apply (ITA): Through periodic draws from the candidate pool, the top-ranked candidates are extended an invitation to submit an application for permanent residency.
  • Application Processing: IRCC aims to process most complete applications within six months.

What is the Provincial Nominee Program System?

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) immigration scheme is run by Canada’s provinces and territories. This aims to seek immigrants who can fill particular job gaps in the community, such as skilled laborers, capitalists, or those with particular educational backgrounds. By drawing immigrants who can aid in the provinces and territories’ economic development, the PNP seeks to solve the unique labor market demands and demographic issues that these areas face.

Over 80 PNPs are available, and they can function individually or in conjunction with Express Entry. Every province has different requirements for eligibility and application procedures.

How does PNP work?

  • Apply to a Province: Candidates must apply to the province or territory where they wish to live and meet its specific criteria.
  • Nomination Certificate: If accepted, the province or territory nominates the candidate, who can then apply for permanent residence through the federal government.
  • Express Entry Stream: Many provinces have an Express Entry stream where candidates create an Express Entry profile and indicate their interest in specific provinces. If nominated, they receive additional CRS points, boosting their chances of receiving an ITA.

Particularly for non-Express Entry streams, the processing times for PNP applications might differ by province and exceed those of Express Entry.

How to apply for PNP without Express Entry?

  • Direct Application: Candidates apply directly to the province or territory through the specific PNP stream.
  • Provincial Assessment: The province reviews the application based on its criteria, which may include factors like work experience, job offer, language proficiency, and adaptability.
  • Nomination Certificate: If approved, the candidate receives a nomination certificate.
  • Applying for Permanent Residence: Candidates then submit their permanent residence application to IRCC, including the nomination certificate.

PNP vs Express Entry: Which is better?

When interested in learning more about Canada’s immigration policies, foreign nationals frequently inquire, “Is PNP or Express Entry better?”

The answer to this straightforward query is not universal because it depends on a number of variables. We can, however, compare PNP and Express Entry in several ways.


Criteria Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Express Entry
Purpose Address professional and labor needs Federal immigration for skilled labors
Managed by Provincial or territory governments Federal government
No of  programs 80+ 3
Points system Varies by province Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)
Application method Paper-based or through Express Entry Online through Express Entry
Job offer requirement Often required Not required
Freedom of Residence Must reside in nominated province Can live anywhere in Canada
Processing time 4-6 months (Express Entry aligned)

15-19 months (Non-Express Entry aligned)

6 months
Application fees Varies by province (around $300 to $3500) Standard Government fees


Your credentials, employment prospects, and personal preferences are just a few of the variables that will determine whether you choose PNP or Express Entry. Here are a few things to think about before choosing:

  • Eligibility: Evaluate your eligibility for both systems by taking into account your age, level of education, employment history, and language proficiency.
  • Job offers: If you have a job offer from a specific province, go for PNP.
  • Preferred location: If you are willing to live in a specific province, PNP would be helpful
  • CRS Score: If your CRS score is higher than the threshold, Express Entry route is the best way. However, if your CRS score is lower, you might opt for PNP option to boost you chances to live in Canada.
  • Processing time: Before opting for any consider how much time you would need for application and all your necessary requirements to be gathered for applying. If you need faster processing opt for Express Entry and some PNPs can offer expedited processing for candidates with job offers.

For skilled professionals, there are practical routes to permanent residency in Canada through both the Provincial Nominee Program and the Express Entry system. Before choosing a system, it is important to consider your unique situation and preferences as each one has pros and cons of its own. Both tracks provide fantastic chances to establish a future in Canada, whether you select Express Entry for its speed and flexibility or a PNP for its provincial focus and variety of streams.

Pros and Cons of Express Entry vs PNP


  • Speed: Most applications are handled in six months or less, which is a somewhat quick processing period.
  • Flexibility: Applicants are free to reside and work wherever in Canada.
  • Transparency: Candidates can more easily determine their prospects of earning an ITA thanks to the CRS system’s clear and transparent rating mechanism.


  • High Competition: A large number of candidates are fighting for a small number of ITAs in this system, which is quite competitive.
  • Points-driven: Applicants must get a high CRS score in order to be granted an ITA; this might be difficult for people with limited job experience or poorer language skills.

Pros and Cons of PNP


  • Provincial Focus: PNPs provide chances for individuals who may not meet Express Entry requirements while also attending to the unique needs of the provinces.
  • Lower CRS Requirements: Applicants who receive a provincial nomination are eligible to gain an additional 600 CRS points, which can greatly increase their chances of being awarded an ITA.
  • Variety of Streams: Applicants can select a program that best suits their background and set of skills from the wide choice of streams available.


  • Geographic Restrictions: Nominees’ options are restricted because they must reside and work in the province that nominated them.
  • Longer Processing Times: Certain PNP streams require a lengthier processing time, particularly if they are not in line with Express Entry.

How can we Help?

Akrami & Associates Immigration Law Firm can assist you with your Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) application in several ways:

  1. Initial Assessment: The firm can conduct an initial assessment of your eligibility for Express Entry and PNP programs. We will review your qualifications, work experience, language proficiency, and other factors to determine the most suitable immigration pathway for you.
  2. Application Preparation: Akrami & Associates Immigration Law firm can help you prepare and submit your Express Entry or PNP application. This includes completing the required forms, gathering supporting documents, and ensuring that your application meets the specific requirements of the program you are applying for.
  3. Documentation Assistance: The firm can assist you in gathering and organizing the necessary documentation to support your Express Entry or PNP application. This may include educational transcripts, employment letters, language test results, and other supporting materials.
  4. Legal Representation: Akrami & Associates Immigration Law firm can provide legal representation throughout the application process. We can communicate with immigration authorities on your behalf, respond to requests for additional information, and address any concerns or issues that may arise during the processing of your application.
  5. Appeals and Reviews: If your Express Entry or PNP application is refused or delayed, the firm can help you explore options for appeals, reviews, or reconsideration requests. We can advise you on the best course of action to challenge the decision and work to resolve any issues that may be affecting your application.

Overall, Akrami & Associates Immigration Law Firm offers comprehensive support and guidance to individuals seeking to immigrate to Canada through the Express Entry and PNP programs. Our experienced team of immigration professionals can navigate the complexities of the application process and help you achieve your immigration goals effectively and efficiently.

Contact us today!


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