What is The Difference Between Express Entry and PNP for Canada?

What is The Difference Between Express Entry and PNP for Canada? If you’re thinking about moving to Canada, there are different ways you can follow. Canada welcomes new immigrants from all corners of the world, so they have special plans for everyone.

What is The Difference Between Express Entry and PNP for Canada?
What is The Difference Between Express Entry and PNP for Canada?

Two popular options many immigrants like are Express Entry and the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

These pathways have gained popularity due to their effectiveness and streamlined processes.

Express Entry is popular for its efficiency; it provides a fast-track route for skilled workers to obtain permanent residency.

On the other hand, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) allows individual provinces and territories to nominate candidates based on their specific economic and labor needs, this option is an attractive choice if you are looking to settle in a particular region.

Let’s break down the differences between these two pathways to help you decide which one might be right for you.

What is the Difference Between Express Entry and PNP for Canada?

Express entry

Express Entry is like a fast track to move to Canada, if you want it quick, it’s your best option but are you qualified?

It’s for skilled workers who want to become permanent residents.

Here’s what you need to know:


To apply through Express Entry, you need to be eligible for one of the three main programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Canadian Experience Class.

Comprehensive ranking system (CRS)

You get points based on things like your age, education, work experience, and language skills.

The more points you have, the better your chances of getting an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency.

Pool of candidates

You enter a pool with other skilled workers. If you have high points, you might get an ITA in the regular draws that happen.

Federal process

Once you get an ITA, you can apply to the federal government for permanent residency.

If everything checks out, you’re on your way to becoming a Canadian resident.

Challenges of the Express Entry Program

  • High competition: Express Entry is a popular pathway, which means the competition is very intense. Many skilled workers are vying for this program. You need to stand out.
  • Comprehensive ranking system (CRS) score: With this program, you need a high CRS score to receive an ITA.
  • Skill selection: Express Entry focuses on specific skilled occupations. If your skills don’t match the National Occupational Classification (NOC) list, you may not be eligible for Express Entry.
  • Job market challenges: Having a job offer can boost CRS points, but finding a job in Canada before moving there can be difficult.
  • Ineligibility: You may not be eligible due to medical or criminal inadmissibility, which can be disheartening after investing time in the application process.

In addition to other listed challenges, as an Express Entry candidate, you may receive extra points if you have a spouse or partner with language skills and education.

However, this might not apply to everyone, and you may be among them.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

PNP is like a special invitation from a Canadian province or territory. They can nominate people with specific skills or experiences.

Here’s how it works:

Provincial interest

Provinces and territories pick candidates who match their economic and labor needs. Each province has its criteria, and they might choose you if you have the skills they want.

Two-step process

First, you get nominated by a province or territory. This is their approval for you to apply for permanent residency.

Then, you apply (for PR) to the federal government, that’s how this program works, There is no points-based system (like you have in Express Entry) in the PNP.

Extra points

Once you get a provincial nomination, it gives you extra points in the system, boosting your chances of getting an ITA.

Regional focus

PNP is great if you want to live in a specific province. It’s like the province saying, “Hey, we want you here!”, all you have to do is honor their invitation.

Challenges of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

  • Provincial-specific criteria: Each province has its own set of criteria for selecting candidates. This can make it challenging for you to meet the specific requirements of a particular province even if you wish to be in that province.
  • Limited availability: Provincial nominee spots are limited and competitive. You may not still get nominated even if you meet the requirements.
  • Language proficiency: Language requirements can vary among provinces, and some provinces have higher language proficiency standards. You may find it hard to meet their preferred language proficiency score.

Which one to choose?

Choosing between Express Entry and PNP depends on your situation:

  • Express Entry: If you’re a skilled worker and want a quicker federal process, this should be your choice.
  • PNP: If you have a job offer or specific skills a province needs, PNP could be your ticket to Canada.


Both Express Entry and PNP are fantastic ways to make Canada your new home. Express Entry is the fast lane to federal permanent residency, while PNP is your personalized invitation from a province.

Before deciding on which option to follow, examine your qualifications for each option, and see which one fits your profile.

Once you identify the best option for yourself, you can proceed with your application.



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