What is The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)?

An overview on Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs

The Canadian government has created provincial agreements that allow a province or territory to nominate their own candidates for immigration to Canada based on their qualifying programs. According to the Immigration regulations, a member of the provincial nominee program (PNP) is someone who has been named in a “nomination certificate” issued by a province under a provincial nomination agreement between that province and the Minister. In addition, the member has the intent to reside in the province that has nominated them. 

Most provinces and territories have set their own streams and categories (aka. PNP) to meet their economic demand. These categories generally target the following type of candidates:

  • Canadian graduate students
  • Entrepreneurs and Business professionals
  • Skilled or Semi-skilled Workers

Almost all of Canada’s ten provinces and three territories (excluding Quebec) can nominate eligible applicants for permanent residency who possess the specific skills, education or work experience required by their local economies. 

Who should apply for the PNP?

The provincial nominee program (PNP) may be a suitable pathway for candidates who do not meet or have enough points for federal immigration programs. Many categories will require the candidate already be working for a Canadian employer or have a valid job offer for skilled or semi-skilled workers.

If you currently work in a skill level C or D (semi skilled) type of job position, you might also be eligible to immigrate to Canada under a PNP category. However, only certain types of semi-skilled occupations are eligible.

How do I apply?

To apply as a nominee, you must meet the minimum requirements of the province or territory and be nominated under that stream. Once you’ve been nominated, you can submit an application for permanent residence. Depending on your province and category, there are two methods to apply for nomination:

  • Nomination under a NON-Express Entry PNP stream
  • Nomination under an Express Entry PNP stream

Note: The selection process to obtain a nominee certificate can differ from province to province

What provinces and territories offer nominations to qualified applicants?

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

NOTE: The province of Quebec is an exception. It does not have a provincial nominee program. Its immigration selection system is unique and different from other provinces.

What are the processing times for PNP?

Unfortunately, we cannot give you a deadline because every category may differ in length of processing. Also, it depends on which province you have applied for. Common reasons behind application delays can be due to complicated criminal background checks or requiring more documents before making a decision.

Do PNP categories close or update?

Yes! Keep in mind that the PNP is a provincially run pathway and can close or update at any time. This is why it is wise to avoid reading out of date information from third party sources and go directly to the official PNP website for latest information.

How do I start the process?

Given the numerous streams, programs and eligibility standards – it may be extremely difficult to navigate the PNP streams and categories yourself.  Therefore, hiring a representative to take care of the process for you may be in your best interest.

If you have any questions or would like a consultation on your eligibility please contact us.