Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

Canada’s PNPs offer a pathway to Canadian permanent residency to people who are interested in immigrating to a certain province or territory in Canada. Each territory or province in Canada operates its own nominee program specially created to meet its demographic and economic requirements.

Here’s how you can immigrate to Canada under different PNPs!

Provincial Nominee Programs are a popular option as these are the fastest way to secure Canadian permanent residence. Except for Quebec, every province of Canada operates different PNP streams designed to meet their unique immigration goals. Therefore, the eligibility criteria and application procedures vary. The Canadian federal government increases the number of invitations for PNP candidates every year.

It must be noted that the provinces cannot approve the permanent resident status as any and every decision regarding Canadian PR must be approved by the federal government. This is the reason that provincial programs are known as “nominee” programs.

A successful applicant to a Provincial Nominee Program is nominated by the province to submit his/her application for PR to the federal government. It’s a two-part process where an interested immigrant is approved at the provincial level and then they must apply to the federal level.

As mentioned above, each of Canada’s provinces and territories operates its own unique PNP especially created to meet its economic and demographic needs. As program requirements and application procedures vary greatly between provinces, the interested applicants must consult the province(s) to determine their eligibility. Here are different provinces and territories that one can apply to!

•    Alberta
•    British Columbia
•    Manitoba
•    New Brunswick
•    Newfoundland and Labrador
•    Northwest Territories
•    Nova Scotia
•    Ontario
•    Prince Edward Island
•    Quebec
•    Saskatchewan
•    Yukon

PNPs in Canada

As each of Canada’s provinces and territories operate their own PNP program with several streams, there are more than 80 different provincial nominee programs in total!

Express Entry PNPs

In order to manage the applications for PR through different immigration programs, Canada introduced Express Entry system in 2015. After that, many of Canada’s provinces and territories developed ‘enhanced’ PNP streams aligned with Express Entry, which means some PNPs require the applicant to have an Express Entry profile to meet the PNP eligibility requirements.

An applicant nominated through a PNP that is aligned with Express Entry can claim 600 additional CRS points, which almost guarantees that the applicant will receive an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence in the coming Express Entry draw. On the other hand, if the applicant receives a nomination through a PNP not aligned with Express Entry, they must submit a paper-based federal application for permanent residence as a provincial nominee. It should be noted that paper-based federal applications for PR generally takes significantly longer to process as compared to electronic Express Entry applications.

Which is the Easiest Province to Immigrate to?

Requirements of every PNP or territory vary according to its needs. Candidates with a connection to a province or territory through work experience or education have a higher likelihood of receiving a provincial nomination. In addition to the connection, a person’s skills and work experience also play a vital role as the labor market of every province and territory are different.

Who All are Eligible for a Canadian PNP?

The eligibility factors for PNPs vary from province to province. These programs are generally designed in a way to attract workers who can contribute to the economy of the province and are more likely to stay in that province for longer. This is the reason certain programs give priority to immigrants with experience in occupations that have higher demand and the others prefer immigrants with some connection to the province.

As these programs are a part of an economic immigration strategy, young applicants with strong language skills, high levels of education, and skilled work experience are preferred.

What are the requirements for Canada’s PNPs?

The requirements for each PNP are different in Canada. Applicants with work experience who meet the needs of a specific labor market are preferred over others. Other factors that are considered favorable for selection are but are not limited to, language proficiency, education, and skill set.

In order to qualify for a PNP, one must demonstrate that he/she will be able to contribute to the local economy of that province/territory and also has a genuine intention to settle there.

How to Apply for a PNP in Canada

Here are the steps that one needs to follow in order to apply for PNP in Canada.

•    Find the Appropriate PNP: As there are more than 80 PNPs active at any given point in time, the interested candidate must determine the province/territory where he/she would like to immigrate along with the requirements of each PNP and his/her eligibility.
•    Apply to Chosen PNP: Submit an application directly to the chosen province or territory.
•    Obtain a Provincial Nomination Certificate: If the application is successful, the province/territory will nominate the candidate to apply for Canadian PR.
•    Submit Application for Permanent Residence: Upon nomination by the province/territory, the candidate may apply to the Canadian federal government for permanent residence. One can apply online in case the chosen PNP is aligned with Express Entry. If not, a paper-based application may be submitted.

How to Apply Through the Paper-Based Process

  • A paper-based application needs to be submitted if the PNP that the candidate is applying to is not aligned with Express Entry. Once nominated by a certain province or territory, the applicant can submit a paper application for Canadian PR to IRCC.
  • A police check and medical examination are also required.
  • While an electronic application submitted through Express Entry is processed in about 6 months, a paper-based application averages 18 months.

How to Apply Through the Express Entry Process

One can start by creating an account and submit their Express Entry profile. It must be indicated in the profile that the applicant has been nominated by a Canadian province or territory. Once the nomination has been confirmed electronically, the candidate will be placed into the Express Entry pool and awarded an additional 600 points towards their CRS score.

As all the PNPs vary, the process for application also varies depending upon the program. It is in the best interest of the applicant to keep a close eye and detailed information on the process. As the PNP application process can be confusing, the applications can be refused if submitted incorrectly or incomplete. The applications must be completed correctly and submitted through the proper channel.

What is the Processing Time for a PNP Application?

Processing times vary from province to province, but it typically takes about 6 months for the application to be processed.

As applying for Canadian PR through a PNP program is a two-step process, one must apply to the province at the first place and then submit the application to the federal government after approval. It must be noted that only the federal government can grant the applicant a Canadian PR and not any province or territory.

Can One Qualify for a PNP if They Don’t Qualify for Express Entry?

While many PNPs require the applicants to have an active profile in the Express Entry pool, there are a few that issue nominations to applicants who do not have Express Entry eligibility. Nonetheless, all PNPs resulting in a nomination require that the applicant then submit a PR application to the federal government. If case the PNP is not aligned with Express Entry, the federal permanent residency application must be submitted in the paper-based format, instead of electronically.