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Express Entry vs PNP - Which Pathway to Choose in 2024?

Publish Date: 04/04/2024

In the ongoing narrative of Canadian immigration, a pivotal question arises for prospective immigrants: Should they opt for the Express Entry system or the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)?

These two pathways, managed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), represent the country's primary avenues for welcoming new permanent residents.

Express Entry:

  • The keystone of Canada's economic immigration, Express Entry manages three key programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
  • In 2024, Express Entry is set to lead the influx of newcomers, with a projected intake of 110,700 permanent residents.
  • Candidates must meet individual eligibility criteria for one of the three programs and are assigned Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores based on various factors.
  • ITAs are issued to candidates with competitive CRS scores, leading to the submission of PR applications to IRCC within 60 days.


  • It is operated by provincial or territorial governments, PNPs serve to address local demographic and labor market needs.
  • Base PNPs, not aligned with Express Entry, offer distinct pathways for candidates with varying eligibility criteria.
  • Enhanced PNP streams, however, align with Express Entry, allowing provinces to select candidates from the federal pool and grant them additional CRS points.
  • PNPs, while the second-largest pathway for newcomers in 2024 are forecasted to surpass other immigration channels in 2025 and 2026.

Prospective immigrants must weigh their options carefully:

As Canada gears up to welcome 220,770 new immigrants through Express Entry and PNPs in 2024, the decision between these pathways is crucial for aspiring newcomers.

Express Entry offers a direct route for those meeting specific program criteria and boasting competitive CRS scores. PNPs, on the other hand, cater to candidates willing to settle in specific provinces or territories, with enhanced streams providing a potential boost to CRS scores.

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