Canadian province doubles invitations to migrant skilled workers for 2023

Newfoundland and Labrador’s population sees significant increase due to international migration

By Charmaine Y. Rodriguez

The Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador is seeing a steady growth in its international migration, with figures hitting 95.9 per cent from 2022 to 2023.

Parallel to this growth, the province received an allocation of 3,050 which is double than it had in 2022 in terms of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

Newfoundland and Labrador is among the four Canadian provinces that have invited candidates in the most recently published Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draw results.

The PNP is Canada’s most prominent economic immigration pathway and each province gets an allocation to allow them to lure skilled workers to settle in their areas. According to the Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025, Canada will welcome 117,500 new permanent residents through the PNP each year by the end of 2025.

The PNP can exist because, while Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has the final say on who becomes a permanent resident, immigration becomes a shared responsibility between the federal and provincial governments.

Launched in 1998, the PNP is the leading way to immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker. Except for Quebec and Nunavut, every province and territory operates the PNP to welcome skilled workers from all over the world to help strengthen their economies.

By establishing a program that allows the provinces to select the skilled newcomers they feel have the best chance of becoming economically established, the province is also able to target gaps in the provincial labour force and is seen as a beneficial tool to strengthen Canada’s economy.

Each year, the number of candidates a province can nominate changes. The overall target of PNP candidates for 2023 is 105,000. This number of available spots is then divided among the 11 provinces and territories that have PNP programs.

For example, in 2023, Ontario, which has a population of over 15 million, has been allocated 16,500 nominations.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s population stood at 531,948 as of January 1, 2023, the highest quarterly level since the fourth quarter of 1999.

This was an increase of 3,130 persons, or 0.6%, from October 1, 2022, according to its website.

The population increase was the result of gains from international migration and interprovincial net-migration, partly offset by natural population decline (lower births than deaths), it added.

Net migration totalled 3,683 in Q4 2022, the highest quarterly level on record for the province since consistent records began in 1951. A net gain was recorded in international migration (+3,301) and in interprovincial migration (+382). On an interprovincial basis, net migration gains were mostly from Ontario, and losses were largely to Alberta.

Growth was especially pronounced in the second, third and fourth quarters of 2022.

On a calendar year annual basis, the population of Newfoundland and Labrador increased by 9,447 people, or 1.8%, from January 1, 2022 to January 1, 2023. This is the highest calendar year annual growth rate for the province since 1972.

Canada’s population grew by 2.7% from January 1, 2022 to January 1, 2023, the highest calendar year annual population growth rate on record for the country since 1957 (3.3%). International migration accounted for 95.9% of this growth.

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