Canadian and US Immigration Law

Provincial Nominee Program

Provincial Nominee Program

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is a permanent immigration program in Canada enabling individual provinces and territories to select and nominate foreign nationals who wish to settle in a particular province or territory. Each province and territory in Canada, except for Quebec, has its own PNP with specific eligibility criteria and application processes.

These programs are designed to address specific regional labor market needs and economic priorities. That is why each province sets their own eligibility criteria and application processes, which tend to vary from one province to another.

To be eligible for a PNP one must meet the specific requirements of the province or territory to which you are applying. These requirements include factors such as age, education, work experience, language proficiency, and intention to live in the province/territory. Some provinces may have specific streams or categories within their PNP, such as skilled worker, entrepreneur, or international graduate streams.

The PNP is divided into two main streams, Express Entry, and non-Express Entry. Express Entry is a federal system that manages applications for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class. If an applicant meets the criteria of a PNP stream that is aligned with Express Entry, they can create an Express Entry profile, making them eligible for provincial nomination. If an applicant receives confirmation of a provincial nomination, they will receive additional points in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and increase their chances of being approved to apply for Canadian permanent residence. Each province/territory has a limited number of nominations that can be issued under their PNP.

How to apply for a Provincial Nominee Program in Canada

As your Canadian immigration lawyer, Guberman // Appleby Immigration Lawyers is ready to walk you through the application process reducing unnecessary delays to processing times. If you or your family member is interested in filing a Provincial Nominee Program application anywhere in Canada, contact us today.

Provincial Nominee Program FAQ

Introduced in 1998, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) stands as a leading pathway for skilled workers interested in immigrating to Canada. Every province and territory in Canada administers this program, extending an invitation to proficient individuals from across the globe, improving their economies in the process.

The primary goal of the PNP is to promote an even distribution of immigration benefits across Canada. Prior to the program’s inception in 1998, a substantial majority of immigrants settled in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia. However, since 1998, the PNP has contributed to a more balanced dispersal of immigration throughout the country, with the Prairie provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba) and the Atlantic provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador) experiencing increased success in attracting immigrants, largely due to the impact of the PNP.

This program is for workers who have the skills, education, and work experience to contribute to the economy of a specific province or territory. Applicants must actually intend to live in the province for which program they choose to apply, and should intend to become permanent residents of Canada. 

Each province and territory has its own “streams”, each of which has its own requirements. For example, in a program stream, provinces and territories may target students, business people, skilled workers, or semi-skilled workers. How you will apply depends on which Provincial Nominee Program stream you’re applying to. You might need to apply using the non-Express Entry process, or through Express Entry.

Nomination under an Express Entry PNP stream: If you are not already in the Express Entry pool, you will need to complete an Express Entry profile and be accepted into the pool.

Nomination under a non-Express Entry PNP stream: Permanent resident applicants who were nominated under a non-Express Entry PNP stream should apply for permanent residence using the regular application process.

Each Province and territory in Canada, except Quebec and Nunavut, operate its own PNP program with several streams. In total, there are over 80 different provincial nominee programs across the country. Quebec and Nuvanut, have their own systems, and Quebec has opted to determine its economic immigration selection process.

Each province and territory has its own PNP. Each sets its own criteria and immigration requirements, based on the specific needs and priorities relevant to the region of the country. For example, Alberta will have more programs oriented towards oil and gas than the maritime provinces would. 

To be eligible for the PNP, applicants must typically meet certain criteria such as age, education, work experience, language proficiency, and adaptability. The criteria vary based on each province’s needs, designed to select applicants who are most likely to bring economic success to each respective province/territory. The first step in the application process is the candidate’s expression of interest in a specific province/territory. The applicant will submit an expression of interest (EOI) or apply directly to the provincial government. If the applicant is deemed a suitable fit for the labour needs of a province, they may receive a provincial nomination, the first step to permanent residency. Most PNPs evaluate candidates based on what is known as a “comprehensive ranking system”, where applicants are awarded points based on suitability. Once an applicant receives a provincial nomination, they can then apply for permanent residence through the appropriate federal immigration program. The final decision on granting permanent residency falls in federal jurisdiction. If the applicant meets all of the federal admissibility requirements, they will be approved for permanent residency.