Provincial Nominee Programs

Provincial Nominee Programs – Moving to Canada as a permanent resident (PR)

Started in 1998, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is the 2nd most attractive immigration program to migrate to Canada as a skilled worker after Express Entry.

In recent years, the federal government has gradually increased the annual provincial allocations for their respective PNPs, demonstrating the increasing importance of these programs within Canada’s overall immigration landscape. 

In this comprehensive guide on Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), you will learn how you can immigrate to Canada as a provincial nominee.

What are Provincial Nominee Programs?

Canada has 13 political divisions, with ten largely self-governing provinces and three territories with a lesser degree of self-government. Each province and territory has its own exclusive economic and geographic needs. 

Provincial Nominee Programs Canada

Together with each province, the Canadian government operates an immigration program called the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Each program is designed to meet the province’s or territory’s needs for business individuals, investors, or skilled workers.

All provinces have their own rules that target specific groups. The rules contain requirements to qualify as a nominee under a program. Provinces do not approve permanent resident status, but nominate it. 

The power to approve permanent resident status rests with the federal government. This is why Provincial programs are referred to as “nominee” programs.

Different Provincial Nominee Programs in Canada

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) nominates 8,000 newcomers each year. There are two ways to apply for the OINP: base streams and enhanced streams.

The OINP offers three categories to choose from:

  1. Human Capital Category;
  2. Employer Job Offer Category;
  3. Business Category.

Read more about the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP).

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP)

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP)

The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) nominates about 6,000 newcomers each year.

There are three options to choose from at BC PNP:

  1. Skills Immigration Stream;
  2. Express Entry British Columbia Stream;
  3. Entrepreneur Immigration.

Read More about the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP).

Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)

Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)

The Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP), formerly the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP), nominates about 6,500 newcomers each year. 

The AAIP offers eight options to choose from, divided into two categories: Workers and Entrepreneurs. 

  • Streams for workers: 
    • Alberta Opportunity Stream 
    • Alberta General Express Entry Stream
    • Alberta Accelerated Tech Pathway 
    • Rural Renewal Stream

  • Streams for entrepreneurs: 
    • Farm Stream 
    • Graduate Entrepreneur Stream 
    • Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream 
    • Rural Entrepreneur Stream

Read more about the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP).

Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)

Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)

The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program nominates more than 4,000 new immigrants annually through the program. It is a popular program with newcomers. You can also benefit from having a friend or relative in Manitoba immigrate through the MPNP. 

MPNP offers five options to choose from:

  1. Skilled Worker in Manitoba Stream;
  2. Skilled Worker Overseas Stream;
  3. Manitoba Business Investor Stream;
  4. International Education Stream;
  5. Morden Community Driven Initiative.

Read more about the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP).

Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program

Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program

The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program is a very successful immigration program. Nearly seven out of 10 newcomers to the province immigrate through the SINP. Saskatchewan’s PNP program is an “easy PNP” because it offers a variety of options to immigration candidates. The province nominates about 3000 to 4000 newcomers each year. 

The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program offers four options to choose from:

  1. International Skilled Worker Category
  2. Saskatchewan Experience Category
  3. Entrepreneur and Farm Category
  4. International Graduate Entrepreneur Category.

Read more about the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program.

Nova Scotia Nominee Program

Nova Scotia Nominee Program

The Nova Scotia Nominee Program nominates over 7,000 new immigrants each year. Nova Scotia has enhanced streams and base streams. 

The following streams are enhanced:

  1. Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry 
  2. Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities 
  3. Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities for Physicians

However, the majority of immigration streams in Nova Scotia are base streams. 

Read more about the Nova Scotia Nominee Program.

New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program

New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program

The New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program nominates approximately 6,500 individuals each year. Currently, the program offers five different immigration streams:

  1. Express Entry Stream
  2. Skilled Workers Stream
  3. Business Immigration Stream
  4. Strategic Initiative Stream
  5. Atlantic Immigration Program.

Read more about the New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program.

Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP)

Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP)

The Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP) nominates over 2,000 new immigrants each year. It is expected to accept an increasing number of immigrants. 

There are three options to choose from at PEI PNP:

  1. PEI PNP Express Entry;
  2. Labour Impact Category;
  3. Business Impact Category.

Read more about the Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP).

Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP)

Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP)

The Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP) nominates 1,200 new immigrants every year. It is planning to nominate 1,700 new immigrants annually. 

There are five options to choose from:

  1. Newfoundland and Labrador Express Entry Skilled Worker
  2. Skilled Worker Category 
  3. International Graduate Category
  4. International Entrepreneur Category
  5. International Graduate Entrepreneur Category

Read more about the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP).  

Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP)

Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP)

The Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP) accepts applications under two programs:

  • Northwest Territories Employer Driven Program:
    • Express Entry System for Skilled Workers
    • Skilled Worker
    • Entry Level/Semi-Skilled Occupations

  • Northwest Territories Business Immigration Program:
    • Business Stream

Read more about the Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP). 

Yukon Nominee Program (YNP)

Yukon Nominee Program (YNP)

The Yukon Nominee Program (YNP) welcomes a few hundred immigrants per year. Yukon has one enhanced stream called the Yukon Express Entry. The remaining categories are base categories.

There are five options to choose from:

  • Yukon Express Entry (YEE);
  • Skilled Worker;
  • Critical Impact Worker;
  • Business Nominee;
  • Yukon Community Pilot.

Read more about the Yukon Nominee Program (YNP). 

Eligibility for Provincial Nominee Program

Each Provincial Nominee Program has different eligibility criteria. PNPs target immigrants with the right skills, education, and work experience. Some Provincial Nominee Programs prefer immigrants with experience in occupations that are in-demand in that province, i.e., workers who can contribute to the economy. 

Some prefer immigrants who have a connection to the province (for example, a relative), increasing the chances that they will remain in the province.

To summarize, you can meet the eligibility criteria, if you can prove that you: 

  1. possess the right skills, education, and work experience,
  2. can contribute to the local economy
  3. have a genuine intention of settling in that province or territory.

Documents required for Provincial Nominee Program

Each program has different documentation requirements. However, some documents are the same for all programs. 

Here’s the list:

  • General application form of the primary applicant.
  • Form certified by spouse and other family members.
  • Recent color photographs
  • Valid passport
  • Proof of identity
  • Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report
  • Language proficiency results
  • Proof of funds
  • Medical certificate
  • Police clearance certificate
  • Documents regarding the support of the spouse and other family members.

What are the PNP application options?

Ways to file for PNP
How to apply to PNP through a paper-based process?

Follow the step-by-step process to apply for permanent residency through the Provincial Nominee paper-based process:

Step 1: Decide where you want to live in Canada

Canada is a multicultural country with different cultures, weather, languages, facilities, cost of living, etc. You need to decide where you want to settle in Canada because it will affect your lifestyle. 

Step 2: Check your eligibility, and apply to the province for nomination

Check the eligibility criteria of the province you have chosen. Use the list above. Find out if you meet the criteria or not. If yes, apply for your nomination directly to the PNP.

Step 3: Wait for the nomination

You may or may not be selected for nomination. Assuming you are selected, you will receive a provincial nomination certificate you need to include with your PR application. 

Step 4: Apply for Permanent Residency

Now apply for your PR application at Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada. There you will receive an application package and a guide to help you with your application. Read the guide to learn what forms and documents you will need. 

Next, pay the fee online. Even though the application is paper-based, you must pay the fee online and print a copy of the payment receipt to attach to the application.

Step 5: Obtain the Confirmation of Permanent Residence and arrive in Canada

Check the status and processing time of your application regularly. Paper-based applications take between 15 and 19 months to process, depending on which visa office is processing them. In the meantime, submit medical and police certificates if you did not submit them with your initial application or if they have expired since you submitted them. 

Upon successful application, you will receive a confirmation from IRCC. Next, you will submit other documents, including a passport (or passport copies) and photographs required to complete the application. You will also need to pay the right of permanent residence fee if it has not yet been paid. 

At this stage, you must inform IRCC if there are any significant changes to your application, such as marital status or new medical issues. Otherwise, your application will be finalized, and the IRCC will issue you a:

  1. Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) document
  2. Permanent Resident Visa (if you are from a country where you need a visa)
  3. Letter with important information about your COPR and other requirements.

How to apply to PNP through the express entry process?

There are two ways to apply for the PNP through the Express Entry process: 

Option 1: You contact the province

Option 2: Province contacts you

For both options, you must first create an Express Entry profile. You need to create an account with IRCC and submit your profile to be included in the Express Entry pool of candidates.

Follow the step-by-step approach to apply for permanent residency through the Express Entry process for Provincial Nominees: (Each step describes the process for options 1 and 2).

Step 1: Get provincial nomination

Option 1: Contact the province where you wish to live and apply for a nomination. If successful, update your Express Entry profile to include your nomination. Send the province your Express Entry profile number and job seeker validation code. 

Option 2: Choose the province you want to settle in your Express Entry profile. You may receive a notification of interest in your account. Contact the province directly and request a nomination for their Express Entry stream. Confirm your nomination with IRCC and accept or decline the nomination within 30 calendar days.

Step 2: Apply for PR

You accept the nomination: A confirmation letter and 600 additional points will come into your account. Next, submit your PR application online within 60 days. Typically, Express Entry applications are processed within six months, which you can check in your Express Entry account. 

You decline the nomination: Your profile will remain in the Express Entry pool, and you may receive an invitation to apply for other programs. However, another nomination must come from a province.

Step 3: Receive the Confirmation of Permanent Residence and arrive in Canada

Refer to Step 5 of the paper-based process. 

Arrival in Canada: Final stage for permanent residency (PR)

Although your application has been approved, your work is not yet finished. You still have to complete the final step for permanent residence: Travel to Canada. 

You must complete a landing procedure where you will receive your Canada PR. Upon arrival, you will need to present the following documents: 

  1. COPR 
  2. PR Visa (if required)
  3. Passport
  4.  Proof of funds

At the airport, the immigration officer may ask you some questions to make sure you still meet the requirements for immigration. The officer will usually ask some basic questions like those you answered when you applied. If he is satisfied, he will allow you to enter Canada as PR. 

You will receive your PR card at your mailing address. Remember to confirm this with the immigration officer before you leave the airport. 

For those who are already in Canada, you will also need to complete the landing procedure. For this, you can make an appointment at an IRCC office near your home in Canada. Another option is to leave Canada and return through a Canadian port of entry (an international airport or Canadian land border) to complete the landing procedure.

Pre-arrival to-do list for Canada immigration

Here’s the list of things you can do to prepare for life in Canada:

  • Plan and book short-term accommodation
  • Sign up for government-sponsored programs 
  • Budget for the first few months in Canada
  • Book an appointment to open a Canadian bank account
  • Get licenses or certifications to prepare for your employment in Canada
  • Find out about school registration and the process
  • Start networking, create your Canadian resume, optimize your LinkedIn profile, etc.
  • Organize all the important documents

Post-arrival to-do list for Canada immigration

Here’s the list of things you must do after your arrival in Canada: 

  • Apply for a sim card
  • Apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Open your bank account
  • Apply for a health card
  • Get a transit pass
  • Familiarize yourself with the city

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