Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Program admission targets to rise over the next three years

The steady highlights of a consistent upward trend of admission targets in Canada’s two most extensive economic immigration schedules- can be seen in the recently announced Canada Immigration Levels Plan 2024-2026.

Each year, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) emits a new Immigration Levels Plan to guide its procedures. The new & improved Canada Immigration Levels Plan for 2024-2026 will show the number of immigrants to be welcomed over the coming three years across all immigration categories: Economic, Family, and Refugee.

With this year’s levels plan, IRCC has supported that Canada’s economic immigration programs will restart to lead the country’s growth efforts involving permanent residence. Most new Canada PR holders are expected to be invited under Express Entry and the 11 Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).

What program will lead permanent resident admissions from 2024 to 2026?

In November 2022, when Canada released its 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan, it was reported that PNP immigration targets had exceeded Express Entry targets as Canada’s top financial immigration pathway.


Last year, PNPs across Canada “invited 83,500 new permanent residents (PRs) to Canada.” The 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan also displayed that IRCC’s PNP target was projected to increase to 105,000 in 2023. Then, targets for 2024 and 2025 were arranged at 110,000 and 117,500, respectively.


According to the latest Immigration Levels Plan (2024-2026) released by IRCC, Express Entry is positioned to retake the highest site among economic immigration pathways in Canada. However, this is only expected to be the case in 2024. For 2025 and 2026, recent admissions targets have Canada’s PNP slated to be tops among all economic immigration pathways in this country.

Express Entry

Express Entry is the name of the system Canada’s federal government uses to manage immigration applications from three distinct economic-class immigration programs for permanent residents – the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Canada now works three kinds of Express Entry invitation rounds.

  1. General rounds of invitations
  2. Program-specific rounds of invitations
  3. Category-based rounds of invitations


Here are the six categories IRCC has selected to prioritize through category-based draws in 2023:

French-language proficiency

Healthcare occupations

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) occupations

Trade occupations

Transport occupations

Agriculture and Agri-food occupations

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

On the other hand, provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) give local administrations at the regional and territorial levels the ability to set specific immigration candidates – that are best fitted to help their region’s specific provincial labor market and economic challenges.

Each province has its own PNP with its own eligibility standards. If you satisfy the eligibility criteria for a PNP, you can apply for it, and if you are selected, you will obtain a provincial nomination that will improve your chances of obtaining Canada PR under federal immigration programs.

Click here to learn more about Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs, including studies of each participating province and the region’s specific schedule form, rules, and processes.

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