- What are Provincial Nominee Programs?
- What Provincial Nominee Programs are available in Canada?
- What are PNP streams?
- Who is eligible for the Provincial Nominee Program?
- How do you apply for the Provincial Nominee Program?
- What is Express Entry?
- What documents do I need for the Express Entry profile?
- What documents are needed for Permanent Residence?
- What is the paper-based application process?
- What are the language requirements needed for the Provincial Nominee Program?
- How much does it cost to apply to a Provincial Nominee Program?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What are Provincial Nominee Programs?
Provincial Nominee Programs allow provinces and territories in Canada to manage their own immigration systems by granting them the ability to nominate individuals for permanent residence. This immigration program was created in 1998 for the purpose of helping spread immigration evenly across Canada.
Each province and territory creates its own eligibility criteria for its specific nominee program. In order to be accepted into the program as a nominee, applicants must demonstrate that they have the skills, education, and work experience required. The province or territory will then take into consideration the nominee’s application and determine if they meet the needs of the specific province or territory. In addition, the applicant’s interest in settling in Canada will also be taken into consideration as well as if they can provide a positive contribution to the local economy and local society.
Although each province and territory can nominate an individual permanent residence can only be granted on the federal level by the Canadian government. Therefore, Provincial nominee programs are considered a two-part process for acquiring Canadian permanent residence.
It should also be noted that the Province of Quebec does not have a Provincial Nominee Program. Instead, it utilizes different immigration programs to attract skilled immigrants.
What Provincial Nominee Programs are available in Canada?
The following is a list of Provincial Nominee Programs available in Canada. Each program contains various streams specific to the needs of the province or territory.
Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)
Streams available include:
- French-Speaking Skilled Workers stream
- Human Capital Priorities stream
- Skilled Trades stream
- Entrepreneur stream
- Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker stream (operates on an expression of interest system)
- Employer Job Offer: International Students stream (operates on an expression of interest system)
- Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills stream (operates on an expression of interest system)
- Masters Graduate stream (operates on an expression of interest system)
- PhD Graduate streams (operates on an expression of interest system)
British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP)
- Skills Immigration (for skilled and semi-skilled workers in high-demand occupations)
- Express Entry BC (for skilled workers)
- Entrepreneur Immigration stream
Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)
- Alberta Opportunity Stream (for foreign workers)
- Alberta Express Entry Stream (for foreign workers)
- International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream
- Self-Employed Farmer Stream
- Foreign Graduate Start-up Visa Stream
Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)
- Skilled Workers Stream
- International Education Stream
- Business Investor Stream
Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)
- International Skilled Worker Stream
- Saskatchewan Experience Stream
- Entrepreneur and Farm Stream
Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)
- Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities
- Labour Market Priorities for Physicians
- International Graduate Entrepreneur
- International Graduates In Demand
- Skilled Worker
- Occupations in Demand
- Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry
New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP)
- NB Skilled Worker Stream
- NB Express Entry Stream
- NB Business Immigration stream
Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP)
- Prince Edward Island Express Entry Stream
- Prince Edward Island Critical Workers Stream
- Skilled Worker in Prince Edward Island Stream
- Skilled Workers Outside Canada Stream
- The Atlantic Immigration Pilot
- International Graduate Stream
- Business Start-Up and Entrepreneurship
Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP)
- Express Entry Skilled Worker
- Skilled Worker
- International Graduate
- International Entrepreneur Category
- International Graduate Entrepreneur Category
Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP)
- Business Stream
- Employer-Driven Stream
- Express Entry Stream
Yukon Nominee Program (YNP)
- Yukon Skilled Worker
- Yukon Express Entry
- Yukon Critical Impact Worker
- Yukon Business Nominee
- Yukon Community Pilot
What are PNP streams?
Every Provincial Nominee Program consists of multiple sub-programs and categories known as streams. Streams are immigration programs that are specific to certain groups of people such as students, entrepreneurs or business people, skilled workers, semi-skilled workers, etc.
Every Canadian province and territory has its own PNP with its own streams. Altogether there are over 80 different provincial nominee programs with each its own set of specified criteria. Some PNP streams come on a first-come, first-serve basis where applications are accepted in the order they are processed before reaching their quota.
Who is eligible for the Provincial Nominee Program?
Provincial Nominee Programs are open to foreign nationals who have the following requirements:
- Possess the skills, education, and work experience to contribute to the economy of a specific province or territory
- Are seeking to live in that particular Canadian province or territory
- Are seeking Canadian permanent residence
If your PNP application is approved, you may then apply for permanent residence within the time frame set forth. The province or territory to which you applied will inform you whether or you must apply via the express entry process or via the regular application process. Those who were nominated under an Express Entry stream will need to complete an Express Entry profile and enter the Express Entry pool.
How do you apply for the Provincial Nominee Program?
One of the first steps when applying to a Canadian Provincial Nominee Program is finding the right stream program for you. To do this, you must research what PNPs are available to you. When you have found the right PNP stream that you believe you are qualified for, your next step is to submit your application directly to that province or territory.
If your application is chosen, the province or territory will then nominate you for Canadian permanent residency and grant you a Provincial nomination certificate. After your nomination, you can then apply for permanent residence to the Canadian federal government. Those who have a PNP that is aligned with Express Entry can submit this application online. Those who do not have an express entry stream will need to apply via submission of a paper-based application.
What is Express Entry?
As a way to better manage permanent residence applications, Canada introduced Express Entry. Since its creation, many provinces and territories have adopted the express entry process for use in their PNP streams. It is not primarily used as a way to handle online permanence residence applications from skilled workers with university or college degrees who are moderately proficient in the English and/or French languages.
If you are applying for a PNP stream using the Express Entry process, you will need to begin your application by doing the following:
- Research PNP express entry streams that you are eligible for
- Gather your required documents together
- Create your Express Entry profile online
- Receive an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence
When you create your Express Entry profile you will need to submit information about yourself, your skills, and work experience. You will be assigned points in the points-based system based on this information and if eligible, you will be accepted into the pool of Express Entry candidates.
Express Entry candidates with the highest scores on their Express Entry profile in the candidate pool will receive invitations from the immigrant nominee program to apply for permanent residency. If you are invited to apply, you will have 60 days to submit your application along with all supporting documents. The Canadian government will most likely process your application within 6 months or less.
What documents do I need for the Express Entry profile?
Skilled workers who would like to apply for a Provincial Nominee Program through an express entry stream will need to gather the following documents:
- a valid passport or travel document
- language test results
- proof of Canadian education or an educational credential assessment report (this is needed if you are applying through the Federal Skilled Workers Program or if you would like to get points for the education you got outside Canada)
- your provincial nomination (if you have already received one)
- a written job offer from a Canadian employer (if you already have one)
- proof of sufficient funds for travel and resettlement
It should be noted that you will need certain documents at certain stages of the application process. In addition, you will not need to upload these documents to your Express Entry profile but you will need the information contained in these documents.
What documents are needed for Permanent Residence?
If an Express Entry candidate receives an invitation from a provincial nominee program to apply for permanent residency, they will then need to upload all of the supporting documents used in their Express Entry profile. In addition, they will also need to upload the following:
- Police certificates
- Medical exams
- Proof of funds
- Birth certificate (this is required if you are declaring dependent children)
- Use of a Representative Form (this is required if you have hired a representative to help with your application)
- Common-law union form (this is required if you have declared your marital status as “common-law”
- Marriage certificate (if you are married)
- Divorce certificate and legal separation agreement (if you are divorced)
- Spouse’s death certificate (if you declared your marital status as “widowed”)
- Adoption certificate (if you have dependent children who are adopted)
You may also choose to include additional supporting documents to help strengthen your application such as the following:
- Proof of relationship to a relative in Canada
- Digital photos to confirm your identity
- Any other name you may have had in the past (to confirm aliases)
- Authority to Release Personal Information to a Designated Individual Form
- any other documents that you feel are important to your application
What is the paper-based application process?
For those individuals who do not apply for Express Entry streams, they will need to apply for permanent residence via a paper-based process. In order to do this, they must first receive a nomination certificate from the province or territory where they intend to immigrate. After this nomination has been received, the applicant will then need to apply for permanent residence by sending off their application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Detailed instructions on how to proceed, what documents must be submitted and necessary forms to be completed will be communicated to the applicant in their application package sent to you with your nomination certificate.
In addition to gathering together a thorough permanent residency paper application, the nominated applicant must also pay the necessary fees online and submit their biometrics (fingerprints and photo). When the application is complete, it will then need to be sent off to the Centralized Intake Office in Canada. The Centralized Intake Office will then process the application and if approved, will transfer the application to the nominee’s local visa office abroad.
What are the language requirements needed for the Provincial Nominee Program?
Those who would like to immigrate to Canada’s provinces or territories through immigration-based provincial programs will be to meet certain language proficiency requirements. The specific requirements of what a candidate must achieve are specific to each PNP.
The candidate must be able to meet the minimum requirements in either English or French (or both languages). Certain PNPs such as the Federal Skilled Worker Program or National Occupation Classification (NOC) are required to undergo mandatory testing and achieve a certain score in all language abilities (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) under the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) system.
When applying for Canadian permanent residence, all applicants must include a copy of their language results in their submission to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) if applying through the paper-based application. Those who are applying via Express Entry must undergo language testing and include their test results in their Express Entry profile.
How much does it cost to apply to a Provincial Nominee Program?
To apply to both a Provincial Nominee program and Canadian permanent residence, you will need to pay the following fees in Canadian dollars:
- Provincial nominee processing fee: $825
- Right of permanent residence fee: $500
- Provincial nominee processing fee for your spouse or partner (if applicable): $825
- Right of permanent residence fee for your dependent child (if applicable): $500
- Biometrics: $85
- Biometrics (for a family of 2 or more): $170
- Educational Credential Assessments: $300
- Language Tests: costs will vary but expect to pay around $300 per test
- Medical exams: costs will vary
- Miscellaneous costs for certified translation, notaries, etc: costs will vary
In addition, candidates will also need to pay for the application fees of their specific PNP program which will vary depending on the province or territory.
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Some Provincial Nominee Program streams such as the popular Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) use an expression of interest system to help manage their applications. In order to be considered for a program, you must first register a profile online and register an expression of interest to the streams you are applying for.
For example, if you are an international student or are applying for one of the many employer job offer streams, you must register an expression of interest for the employer job offer category by submitting information such as your education, language skills and/or work experience. The program will take a look at the information provided and determine if you are a good fit for the program. If approved, you will then be invited to apply for that specific stream.
PNP application processing times will largely depend on the program you are applying to and if that PNP is in the Express Entry system. Normally, Express Entry applications take around 6 months to process whereas non-Express Entry applications (aka, paper-based applications) can take around 1-2 years to process at the federal level. Overall, expect to wait for 15-19 for both your PNP application and permanent residence application to be processed.