Can You Apply for Multiple Canadian Immigration Programs Simultaneously?

Canadian immigration process
Canadian immigration process

Embarking on the journey to immigrate to Canada can be both thrilling and daunting, especially when considering the myriad of options available through both federal and provincial programs. One question often arises: Is it possible to apply for skill shortage programs simultaneously in Canadian federal and provincial immigration programs? The answer is a resounding yes. Here’s what you need to know to successfully navigate this process.

Understanding the Basics

lets first get background information of both Express Entry (Federal) and provincial immigration programs of Canada:

Express Entry System

Canada’s federal immigration programs are managed through the Express Entry system, which includes three major economic immigration streams:

  1. Federal Skilled Worker (FSW): For skilled workers with foreign work experience.
  2. Federal Skilled Trades (FST): For qualified tradespeople.
  3. Canadian Experience Class (CEC): For those with Canadian work experience.

By creating a profile in the Express Entry pool, you indicate your interest in immigrating to Canada and can specify your preferred provinces or territories.

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

Each province and territory in Canada operates its own PNP, designed to address specific local labor market needs. These programs have various streams targeting different skills and occupations. A provincial nomination can significantly boost your Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score by adding 600 points, almost guaranteeing an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency.

Handling Simultaneous Applications

You can submit an Express Entry profile while simultaneously applying to relevant PNP streams. If you receive a provincial nomination, this nomination will be reflected in your Express Entry profile, significantly enhancing your CRS score.

Manage Applications Wisely

While you can apply to multiple programs simultaneously, you cannot process two applications at the same time once you receive an ITA ( You’ll need to withdraw one application before finalizing the other. This requires strategic planning and timely decision-making.

Handling Dual Selections

If you find yourself in the fortunate position of being selected by both a federal program (through Express Entry) and a PNP, here’s what you should do:

  • Evaluate Your Options

Consider factors such as processing times, long-term living preferences, and the benefits of each program. PNP nominations are often tied to specific provinces, which can influence your decision based on your career goals and lifestyle preferences.

  • Accept One, Decline the Other

Once you’ve made your choice, accept the ITA from your preferred program and withdraw your application from the other. For instance, if you decide to go with a PNP nomination, inform the federal program to avoid processing delays or complications, and vice versa.

Comparing the Challenges: Federal vs. Provincial Programs

Federal Programs (Express Entry)


  • Standardized criteria
  • Points-based system (CRS) for easier self-assessment
  • Generally faster processing times


  • High competition
  • Strict CRS score requirements
  • Less control over your destination in Canada

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)


  • Lower CRS score requirements
  • Targeted for specific skills and occupations
  • More control over your destination


  • Varied criteria and processes across provinces
  • May require a connection to the province
  • Potentially longer processing times

Which Immigration Program is More Competitive?

While Express Entry is highly competitive due to its popularity, specific PNP streams can also be very competitive, depending on the demand for certain occupations.

Written by Team Educads

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