What is the Canadian Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)?

21 Nov 2021, 12:15 pm


min read

Provincial Nominee Program

You know which Canadian province you wish to call home, now it’s just a matter of getting there. If so, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) could be for you.

Canadian provinces use the Provincial Nominee Program or PNP to choose immigrants who are suited for their economy and labor market.

This guide is designed to help you along the path to skilled work and permanent residence in the province of your choice. 

What Is PNP Canada?

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Provincial Nominee Program

PNPs or Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) allow Canadian provinces to nominate individuals who want to settle in a particular province in Canada. So, the PNP could be a short pathway to permanent residence in Canada.

PNP or Provincial Nominee Program is just like the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW) but is controlled by the provinces. 

Each province chooses the candidates based on their own PNP requirements, criteria, and parameters. So the program of one province differs from another in many aspects. 

Each year, Canadian provinces set a target on the number of immigrants they will allow under PNP program. According to CICNews, in 2020, Canada is expected to take in 67,800 immigrants through PNP.

If you are selected under PNP by a province, you can start living and working there. You may also relocate with your spouse and family to Canada under PNP. 

No time for reading? Check the video below:

Provincial Nominee Program PNP in Canada Explained

You may find more videos on our youtube channel.

How Do Provincial Nominee Programs Work?

Here is some useful information about how PNPs work:

  • You can apply for a chosen province under its PNP with its own set of qualifications and eligibilities. 
  • Your profile will get a score based on several parameters. The province will send you a nomination certification, after which you can apply for permanent residency. 
  • You can also enter yourself in the Express Entry pool in general. Provinces will go over applications and send you nomination certificates if they think you are the right candidate. 
  • PNP allows you to stay and work in any Canadian province. You may also relocate with your family. 
  • It’s best to refer to each province’s PNP to get detailed information. 
  • The final step of PNP is PR or permanent residency, where you get all the rights of a Canadian citizen (except voting).

PNP Eligibility

All provinces except Nunavut and Quebec have their unique PNP, so PNP eligibility differs from province to province. If you’re looking for information about the Quebec Skilled Worker Program – Check this article (coming soon). You can apply to over 80 provincial immigration streams to increase your chances of acceptance.

You can apply for PNP program if you are:  

  • Student
  • Business owner
  • Skilled worker
  • Semi-skilled worker
  • Self-employed (in some cases)

Each province has the liberty of deciding its eligibility criteria for the Provincial Nominee Program. For instance, a province may look for certain skills in individuals to close the labour shortage in a specific occupation or industry. On the other hand, another province may focus on applicants with French-language experience. Each province or territory sets its criteria based on current needs.

You have to meet the set criteria of your chosen province to be eligible for their PNP program. The province will choose candidates who have the required skills, education and work experience to contribute optimally to the province’s economy and society.

You can take advantage of multiple subprograms and categories, called “streams.” Use this PNP Canada Live Tracker to find out which PNP categories and streams are open right now. You can also use the online tool to find the right PNP stream according to your capabilities. 

Requirements for Provincial Nominee Programs

As we already said, each province has a set of requirements for you to be eligible for their PNP program. Some of the common PNP requirements can be:

  • Work skills
  • Language abilities
  • Police clearance
  • Certain level of education (graduates and above)
  • Training or work experience
  • Canadian connections
  • Proof of funds

The requirements of each province can also change from time to time. You should visit the website of the province you are interested in to find out the exact requirements and criteria. 

Provincial Nominee Program

PNP Application

Why Should You Consider Applying for a PNP?

PNPs are different from the main federal immigration programs managed by the government. PNP Canada is the easiest and simplest way to get permanent residency in the Great White North once you are selected by a province. You may also enjoy a number of relaxations that are not available in the mainstream federal immigration programs. 

PNP has some unique benefits like:

  • Ability to choose your preferred province
  • You don’t need any job offer from a Canadian company
  • You get points for training
  • No need of going into pool selection
  • Easy road to permanent residency

How to Apply for a PNP Program?

The Canadian federal government is in charge of making all immigration decisions, and not the provinces. For this reason, PNPs follow a two-part process:

  • First, you will have to apply to your chosen province’s PNP
  • Second, you need to submit another application to the federal government for Canadian permanent resident status (only after you are nominated by the province)
Steps To Apply For Your PNP Program Of Choice:
  1. Determine your eligibility: Use the PNP Live Tracker to identify available PNPs and then determine your eligibility.
  2. Complete a Provincial Nominee Program application: If you are eligible, submit your PNP application to the chosen province or territory.
  3. Receive your Provincial Nomination certificate: You will receive a Provincial Nomination certificate if your application is chosen by your province. Then you can continue to the next step.
  4. Submit your permanent residence application: Now, you can submit your application to the federal government for permanent residency. You can directly apply through Express Entry if you were nominated through Express Entry-aligned PNP. Otherwise, you need to go through a paper-based application process. 

N.B. Some PNPs operate on a first-come, first-serve basis, while others need you to register an Expression of Interest. Also, some streams are aligned with Express Entry while others operate separately from the Express Entry immigration process (the streams are called “base” streams). It is advised to consult with a RCIC upon making such important decision.

What to Go for: PNP or Express Entry?

Express Entry is the most popular immigration program in Canada. Your profile will be evaluated based on various parameters like education, age, work experience and language skills. Then you will receive a score under the Comprehensive Ranking System or CRS. 

You will then be chosen if you are able to score enough points. The last Express Entry draw had a cut-off score of 442, so you should aim for something similar or higher. 

PNP, on the other hand, can grant you entry to Canada even if you score low points on your CRS. Many provinces accept candidates who have scored less than the cut-off mark. For example, Ontario accepts candidates who have scored CRS 400 or more.

You can check the scores that each province needs to accept them for their PNP on the province’s website. 

Canada Provincial Nominee Programs: Brief Overview

We will now take a look at some of the PNPs available right now. 

Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)

Alberta has issued 4,633 nomination certificates so far in 2019. With mountains, prairies, lakes and a beautiful natural landscape, Alberta is one of the most preferred provinces. Some of the in-demand jobs include hospitality managers, miners, supervisors and heavy equipment mechanics.

A GDP of $327 billion makes it a thriving job market where you may find your role. 

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)

BC is a hot destination and recently accepted 402 Skills Immigration candidates under the BC PNP in October. Another destination with bountiful natural beauty, British Columbia, is home to 4.6 million people. Vancouver, Canada’s third largest city, is in BC and known for its film industry.

Victoria and Vancouver are the two most preferred places to locate in BC.

Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)

Manitoba invites international candidates under many streams like-

  • Express Entry
  • Skilled Workers in Manitoba stream
  • International Education stream
  • Skilled Workers Overseas stream

In September, the province provided 224 immigrants an opportunity to participate in the job market under the above streams. You can find employment in various industries like architecture, IT, science, agriculture and more.

New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP)

New Brunswick is an ideal destination for skilled workers, international graduates and entrepreneurs. You can qualify for the following streams-

  • Skilled Worker with Employer Support
  • Express Entry Labour Market Stream
  • Business Applicants
  • Skilled Worker with Family Support

New Brunswick is perfect for francophones and anglophones, as it’s a bilingual province under the Canadian constitution.

Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPN)

Known for its glacial fjords, cliffs and waterfalls, Newfoundland and Labrador is home to around half a million people. Some of the main industries of the province include manufacturing, fishing, mining, paper and hydroelectricity.

Around 94% of the population stays in the island of Newfoundland even though Labrador is twice in size. 

Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)

You can immigrate to Nova Scotia under nine streams that allow candidates to take part in the labour market and economy. Halifax is the capital city of the province that is made up of more than 3,000 small islands. The province has a great culture and a favourite destination for many tourists.

You can find employment in various industries like finance, marketing, advertising, public relations and administration jobs.

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

Ontario can be called the heart of Canada. Both Ottawa and Toronto are in Ontario, which also houses 40% of Canadians. New immigrants throng to Ontario, which is the social, economic and political centre of Canada. The province also welcomes people from 200 countries who speak 125 languages.

So if you are looking for a province that is multicultural and diverse, apply for the OINP.

Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP)

Canada’s smallest province, Prince Edward Island, is taken as the birthplace of Canada, which saw the formation of the country in 1864. Sunny coasts and natural farmlands are a common sight in the group of islands where fishing, agriculture and tourism are the main earners.

The PEI PNP allows workers and entrepreneurs to immigrate to the province and apply for PR.

Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)

Saskatchewan recently expanded its eligible occupations lists and invited 769 candidates, including Express Entry candidates. You can find work in professional occupations and skilled trades under the SINP and enjoy the protection offered by the province’s The Foreign Worker Recruitment and Immigration Services Act (FWRISA).

Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP)

The Northwest Territories are made up of regions of Inuvik, South Slave, North Slave, Dehcho and Sahtu. It’s a remote place and has a population of only 44,956. Some of the jobs in high demand include industries like Computer and IT, nursing, medical technology, chefs, customer service and social service. 

Yukon Nominee Program (YNP)

The wild and mountainous region of Yukon is hardly populated. Home to the highest peaks and glaciers, tourism is one of the main industries. You can also find employment in innovative industries like film and sound, forestry, hunting and energy.

PNP Outlook

In 2020, the PNPs have a target of attracting 67,800 candidates to settle and work in different provinces. The target of 2020 allows 7,000 more people to enter the provinces compared to 2019. 

Provincial Nominee Program

Data from IRCC reveals that a total of 45,595 new admissions were allowed under PNPs in 2018. The target for the coming three years is expected to grow by 29%.

Most of the immigrants under PNP settle in large cities in British Columbia, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ontario, and Quebec. But in 2017, 34% of the economic candidates settled outside of BC, Quebec, and Ontario. 

PNP Predictions – 2021 and Beyond

Canadian provinces are always looking for international candidates to fill the shortage of labour. The PNPs have a favourable target allowing more people to enter the country and settle in different provinces. Here is the target list Canada presented in the recent years:

YearPNP Admission Target

Provincial Nominee Programs: Most Asked Questions

So you have decided that the PNP program is something that can work for you. Here we have answered some of the questions you may have related to the Provincial Nominee Program.

What Are The Biggest PNP’s In Canada?
Ontario Immigration Nominee Program remains the most popular when it comes to size, welcoming as many as 6,600 applications in 2018. However, the British Columbia PNP program follows closely behind, at around 6,250 applications for the last year. Saskatchewan is the third on the list, with around 5,750 applications last year. 
How Long Does It Take To Process PNP Applications?
Different states take varying times to process your PNP application. On the whole, processing your application can take up 15 to 19 months. 
How Can I Speed Up My PNP Processing?
You may cooperate with your chosen province and arrange what they ask for in time to expedite your application. After you apply, you can shorten your wait by:
  • Providing accurate information in your application (verification can be faster)
  • Providing your biometrics as soon as you get the letter of request (you have to respond within 30 days from the date of the letter)
  • Arranging medical and police certificates in advance
  • Contact an RCIC for Advice
How Can You Increase Your PNP CRS?
Provinces score your application based on several factors. You may get a higher score if you have:
Can You Apply For PNP With A Low IELTS Score?
You may be able to apply under PNP in some provinces with a low IELTS score, such as Manitoba and Saskatchewan. 
Can I Bring My Family Under PNP?
You are free to bring your family and children under most PNP terms. Check the requirements of your chosen state for more information.  
Can Self-Employed Professionals Apply For PNP?
Some PNPs have a Self-Employed stream that allows self-employed professionals to immigrate to Canada. We suggest you check the province’s PNP requirements to know if self-employed professionals are accepted. 
Do I Have To Sit For An Interview For PNP?
This, again, depends on your situation and the province you apply. You may be called for an interview to verify details if an immigration officer chooses to. 
From PNP To PR - How Do You Get Started?
You will be asked for your passport once your application is approved by the province. After that, you need to pay the Right of Permanent Residence fee for getting your confirmation of permanent residence (COPR) or permanent resident visa. Welcome aboard! 

Moving to a different country is a big decision and requires an enormous amount of time and money. You may have a lot of questions and you may not know where to start, if that’s the case, feel free to reach out to an RCIC at any time for some advice and support.

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Arriving in Canada as an international student over a decade ago, Rebecca fell in love with the country and the immigration process. she channeled her years of writing and editing experience into her love for immigration.

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