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Choosing Between Express Entry ITA and Provincial Nomination

Updated: May 13

Are you a hopeful Canada immigration applicant who's lucky to receive both an Express Entry invitation to apply (ITA) and a provincial nomination?

Congratulations, you're in demand! However, it's not all roses and sunshine when you face the dilemma of which path to pursue. We will explore the key differences between these two options and help you decide which one best suits your immigration goals.

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Choosing Between Express Entry ITA and Provincial Nomination

The Difference Between an Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Program

Before we dive into the decision-making process, let's clarify the fundamental differences between an Express Entry and a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). The main difference between the Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Program lies in the selection process and the pathway to Canadian permanent residency. Express Entry is a federal immigration system that uses a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to rank candidates based on factors. It operates on a points-based system and regularly conducts draws to invite candidates to apply for permanent residence. On the other hand, the Provincial Nominee Program is administered by individual Canadian provinces and territories, each with its own immigration streams. PNPs allow provinces to nominate candidates who meet their specific labor market and economic needs, offering additional CRS scores and a provincial nomination certificate. While Express Entry is a federal program, PNPs provide a pathway for candidates to gain additional points and a quicker route to permanent residency through provincial nominations, but they also come with separate application processes and requirements.

Express Entry ITA

If you're already soaring with a very high Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, opting for an Express Entry nomination might be the way to go. Here's why: PNP May Prolong Your Immigration Application Journey At Times PNP involves a distinct procedure separate from Express Entry, even if you are fortunate enough to receive an enhanced nomination. Most of the time, you only need to complete a single application for a PNP and make a single payment to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) before you can secure your approved permanent residency in six months or less when you receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) through Express Entry that is not aligned with a PNP. However, if you are granted an enhanced nomination, there are more steps that you have to walk through before you secure your permanent residency. You have to submit an application and fulfill any relevant fees required by your nominating province. Afterward, you have to wait for your application’s processing time, which depends on the province where you are nominated. When your nomination is approved, you still have to submit an application for permanent residency to IRCC along with the associated fee. You have to wait for another six-month processing time. With that being said, receiving an enhanced nomination through a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) can extend your immigration journey as you wait for the provincial decision. Additionally, it may incur extra costs depending on the nominating province.

Provincial Nomination

If you're still pondering which path to choose, the 600 CRS score you gain from a Provincial Nominee Program nomination can be a game-changer, even if you're already in the Express Entry pool. Here's why: In Express Entry, you have to gain the highest possible CRS score to be highly advantageous in receiving an invitation to apply (ITA). Besides, ever since IRCC implemented the category-based selection in May 2023, the majority of Express Entry candidates who do not meet the eligibility for the category-based draw must receive invitations through all-program draws as we have not seen a program-specific draw to date. In these all-program draws, the primary determinant for selecting you is your CRS score. This means that you have to possess the highest possible CRS score. In the category-based selection of Express Entry, although the CRS scores in these draws tend to be somewhat lower than those in all-program draws, surpassing the minimum score requirement continues to be a valuable advantage.

Still Confused about Which One to Pursue Between Express Entry ITA and Provincial Nomination?

If you're navigating the complex landscape of immigration and find yourself in a state of uncertainty, torn between the allure of Express Entry or the Provincial Nominee Program, look no further than Chitra & Associates Immigration Consultants. Our seasoned experts of Regulated Canadian Immigration consultants (RCICs) are here to illuminate your path, offering tailored guidance that aligns with your distinctive circumstances and immigration aspirations. With our assistance, you'll confidently choose the right immigration avenue to embark on your journey towards a brighter future.


In the world of Canadian immigration, having both an Express Entry ITA and a provincial nomination is undoubtedly a pleasant conundrum to face. As you weigh your options, remember that each choice comes with its advantages and considerations. By understanding the differences between them, you can confidently take a step closer to your Canadian dream.

A Cautionary Note: The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained, and the readers are asked to refer to the government website for the most updated information.

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