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Posted on January 06 2021

Newfoundland and Labrador launches new immigration program

By  Editor
Updated April 03 2024

On January 2, 2021, a new Canada immigration program – Priority Skills Newfoundland and Labrador – has been launched under the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program [NL PNP].


The announcement for the program had earlier been made in a News Release, New Immigration Pathway to Attract Newcomers to Stay in Newfoundland and Labrador, dated November 18, 2020.


As per the Press Release, “the pathway will attract highly educated, highly skilled newcomers with specialized experience working in sectors such as technology, where a growing demand has outpaced local training and recruitment”.


Canada’s easternmost province, Newfoundland and Labrador consists of 2 separate land masses. While Labrador is connected to the mainland, Newfoundland is an island. A majority of the residents of the province live in St John’s, the provincial capital.


With a boom in natural and energy resources, the province has recently shot into prominence and evolved into a significant economic force in Canada.


Newfoundland and Labrador is 1 of the 4 provinces that are a part of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot [AIP] which includes the provinces of – Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.


Launched in 2017 as a 3-year Pilot, the AIP has been extended by 2 years until December 2021.


As per the Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism, “The Pilot will facilitate the entry of up to 442 applications allocated to Newfoundland and Labrador.”


Attempting to attract “highly educated, highly skilled newcomers”, the new Priority Skills Newfoundland and Labrador immigration pathway specifically targets skilled workers with work experience in in-demand occupations and graduates of Memorial University.


Up to 250 to 350 invitations are to be issued under the new NL PNP pathway throughout the year, as per the demand.


The work experience required to be eligible for the In-Demand Work is not required to have been within the province itself.


The work experience can have been obtained in Canada or overseas.


The Priority Skills NL process is intended for individuals who – [1] have experience in occupations in demand in Newfoundland and Labrador, [2] have a high level of education, [3] language, [4] work experience, [5] and/or work experience, [6] and who wish to express their interest in either staying in, or coming to the province and becoming a permanent resident of Canada.


The new pathway will operate as an Expression of Interest [EOI] system.

Candidates interested in immigrating to Canada and settling within Newfoundland and Labrador will be required to initiate the process with the creation of their EOI profiles with the NP PNP.


After receiving an invitation to apply through the online portal, the candidate can then proceed to applying for a provincial nomination, provided they meet all the eligibility criteria then in place for the Express Entry Skilled Worker or Skilled Worker categories of the NL PNP.


Newfoundland and Labrador is a part of the Provincial Nominee Program [PNP]. Express Entry candidates that are nominated by a province or territory through any of the Express-Entry linked PNP streams are allotted additional 600 CRS points.


CRS stands for the Comprehensive Ranking System and is the determining factor as to which Express Entry profiles are issued invitations to apply [ITAs] by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada [IRCC] in the Express Entry draws that are held from time to time.


Currently, EOIs are being accepted under the new NL PNP pathway from –

  • Individuals that have worked in a “specialized, highly skilled, high-demand occupation” for a minimum of 1 full year within the previous 10 years.
  • Individuals that have completed either their Master’s or PhD degree from Memorial University within the previous 3 years in a specific speciality – Agriculture, Aquaculture, Health Care, Technology.

A scored questionnaire is a part of the application process of the Priority Skills NL. The minimum required is 60 points on the questionnaire.


Those exceeding the minimum of 60 points are to be accepted and their information made available to the staff and local employers that have accounts with the Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism


While a job offer is generally required in order to be able to apply to the NL PNP, candidates with EOI profiles with the highest scores and receiving the most interest from local employers might receive invitations through the Priority Skills pathway and submit a PNP application without a job offer.


As per the NL PNP, “Priority Skills NL is intended for candidates who do not have a job or job offer”.


The questionnaire scoring grid for the Priority Skills NL will have 2 specific paths –

In-Demand Work Path, for those that have worked in a specialized, highly skilled, high-demand occupation for at a minimum of 1 full year in the last 10 years.


In-Demand Academic Path, for those that have completed their PhD or Master’s degrees from Memorial University within the past 3 years in any of the specific specialties [Agriculture, Aquaculture, Health Care, Technology].


Priority Skills NL – Eligibility Criteria
All candidates ·       Must have taken either IELTS or CELPIP within previous 12 months and scored a CLB level 5 or above. ·       Be 21 years of age and above. ·       Have the intention of living permanently within NL.
In-demand Academic candidates Have completed Master’s or PhD from Memorial University within previous 3 years in Agriculture, Aquaculture, Health Care, and Technology.
In-demand Work candidates Must have worked in a “specialized, highly skilled, high-demand occupation” for a minimum of 1 full year in the previous 10 years.


Note.— IELTS: International English Language Testing System, CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program, CLB: Canadian Language Benchmark.


According to Minister of Immigration, Skills and Labour Gerry Byrne, “Employers have been asking for a new immigration pathway flexible enough to help them meet the growing demand for highly-skilled workers in sectors where they are challenged to hire locally, such as technology. The new Priority Skills Newfoundland and Labrador pathway has wide-reaching potential and I look forward to working with our partners to ensure its maximum benefit.”


Newfoundland and Labrador, often referred to as one of Canada’s best-kept secrets, abounds in exciting opportunities in emerging and traditional industries. As per the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador Andrew Furey, “This new focus in Priority Skills for immigration builds on the gathering momentum to attract and retain more newcomers with fresh ideas and perspectives for growth.”


If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate Overseas, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No. 1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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