- What are Provincial Nominee Programs?
- What Provincial Nominee Programs are available in Canada?
- Who is eligible for the Provincial Nominee Program?
- How to apply for a Provincial Nominee Program
- What is Express Entry?
- What documents are needed for the Express Entry profile?
- What documents are needed for Permanent Residence?
- What are the fees involved in applying to a Provincial Nominee Program?
- What is the process for a paper-based application?
- What are the language requirements needed for the Provincial Nominee Programs?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What are Provincial Nominee Programs?
Provincial Nominee Programs are a way to give more power and authority to Canadian provinces and territories to manage their own immigration systems. Each province or territory can nominate individuals for permanent residence who they believe will be a positive impact on their community. This immigration program was created in 1998 for the purpose of helping spread immigration evenly across Canada’s provinces and territories.
Eligibility criteria for a provincial nominee program (PNP) is specific to the needs and goals of each Canadian province and territory. In order to secure a provincial nomination, interested candidates must demonstrate that they have the necessary skills, education, and work experience required for the Provincial Nominee Program.
It should be noted that although each province and territory can choose an individual for permanent residence through a provincial nomination, Canadian permanent resident status can only be granted by the Canadian federal government.
What Provincial Nominee Programs are available in Canada?
Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) consist of multiple sub-programs and categories known as streams. . Streams are defined as immigration programs within the PNPs that target certain groups 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.
It should also be noted that Quebec immigration does not use Provincial Nominee Programs. Instead, it utilizes different immigration programs to attract skilled immigrants.
Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)
Streams available include:
- French-Speaking Skilled Worker 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)
- Ph.D. Graduate streams (operates on an expression of interest system)
British Columbia (BC) 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
Who is eligible for the Provincial Nominee Program?
Foreign nationals who are interested in applying for a Provincial Nominee Program stream must be able to meet the following requirements:
- Applicants must possess the skills, education, and work experience that will allow them to contribute to the local economy
- Applicants must be interested in settling in the specific PNP province or territory
- Applicants must be seeking Canadian permanent residence
Candidates who are approved and receive a provincial nomination must then apply for permanent residence in Canada within the time frame set forth. The province or territory to which you applied will inform you whether or you must apply for permanent residence via express entry or through the regular application process.
How to apply for a Provincial Nominee Program
The first step in 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 and which ones you qualify for. After you have chosen the right stream program(s) to apply to, you must then submit your application(s) directly to that province or territory.
If chosen in the PNP, the province or territory will then nominate you for Canadian permanent residency and give you a Provincial nomination certificate which you can use to then apply for permanent residence in your application to the Canadian federal government. Those who have a PNP that is aligned with Express Entry can submit this application online. Those who did not use express entry will need to apply via submission of a paper-based application sent off by mail to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
What is Express Entry?
Canada introduced the Express Entry process as a quicker and more efficient way to manage permanent residence applications. Since the creation of this online process, many provinces and territories have adopted express entry for use in their PNP streams and pathways. Currently, Express Entry is now mostly used to process Canadian permanent residency applications from skilled worker candidates with university or college degrees who are moderately proficient in English and/or French languages.
In order to apply for Express Entry Aligned streams, you will need to do the following:
- Research PNP express entry streams that you are eligible for
- Gather your required documents together.
- Create your Express Entry online profile
When creating your online Express Entry profile you will need to submit information about yourself, your skills, and work experience to the federal express entry system. This information will be used to assign you points in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). If a candidate scores enough points, they will then be accepted into the pool of Express Entry candidates.
Candidates with the highest scores on their profile in the Express Entry pool will receive invitations from the immigrant nominee program to apply for permanent residency. If invited to apply, the nominee will have 60 days to submit their application along with all necessary supporting documents. The Canadian government will most likely process the permanent residency application within 6 months or less.
What documents are needed for the Express Entry profile?
Foreign nationals who are applying for a PNP Express entry stream will need the following documents in order to create an online profile:
- 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 candidates will need certain documents at certain stages of the application process. In addition, candidates will only initially need the information contained in these documents. They will not need to upload the documents when first creating the profile but may need to upload the documents later as they progress with their application.
What documents are needed for Permanent Residence?
After an Express Entry candidate receives a nomination 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 in order to apply for Canadian permanent residence:
- 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 are the fees involved in applying to a Provincial Nominee Program?
Foreign nationals who would like to apply to a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and Canadian permanent residency (if nominated) 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 to these costs, candidates will also need to pay for the application fees of their specific PNP program. The fees for each specific PNP will vary depending on the province or territory where the applicant is applying.
What is the process for a paper-based application?
Provincial Nominee Program applicants who do not apply through Express Entry streams will need to apply for permanent residence via a paper-based process. In order to apply for permanent residence, candidates must first receive a nomination certificate from the province or territory where they intend to immigrate. When the nominee has received their PNP certificate, they will then apply for permanent residence by sending off their paper application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). All details regarding application instructions, necessary forms and documents, and any other helpful details will be communicated to the nominee in their application package sent to them along with their nomination certificate.
The nominated applicant must also pay the necessary fees online and submit their biometrics (fingerprints and photo) before sending off their paper application to the Centralized Intake Office in Canada. The Centralized Intake Office will then process the permanent residence 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 Programs?
Foreign nationals who would like to immigrate to Canada through a Provincial Nominee Program will need to meet certain language proficiency requirements in either English, French, or both languages. The specific language requirements of what a candidate must achieve are specific to each PNP stream.
Certain PNPs, such as the Federal Skilled Worker Program or National Occupation Classification (NOC), require the candidate 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. Whether or not the applicant must undergo mandatory testing will depend on the PNP stream to which they are applying.
If a nominee is applying for Canadian permanent residence, the applicant must include a copy of their language results in their submission to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) when applying through the paper-based application. Nominees who are applying via an Express Entry stream must undergo language testing and include their test results in their Express Entry profile.
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Processing times for your PNP application will largely depend on the specific program that you are applying to. For instance, PNP streams in the Express Entry system take less time to process than non-Express Entry streams.
It normally takes Express Entry applications around 6 months to process. Non-Express Entry applications (aka, paper-based applications) usually take longer with an estimated processing time of 1-2 years. In general, you can expect to wait for 15-19 months for both your PNP application and permanent residence applications to be processed.
Certain Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) streams, such as the popular Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), use an ‘expression of interest system’ to help them choose candidates suitable for application into the program. This means that 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, candidates applying for a competitive PNP stream must first register an expression of interest by submitting information such as their education, language skills and/or work experience. The stream program will then take a look at the information provided and determine if the applicant is a good fit for the program. If approved, they will then be invited to apply for that specific stream.