If you are looking to immigrate to Canada, you may be wondering about Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). What are they? How do they work? Here we answer all of your questions about PNPs and tell you everything you need to know.
The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is a program that allows Canadian provinces and territories to nominate individuals for immigration to Canada. If you are interested in immigrating to Canada through a PNP, you will need to first submit an application to the province or territory where you wish to live.
Each province and territory has its own requirements and criteria for nomination. For example, some provinces may require you to have a job offer in order to be eligible, while others may have programs specifically for skilled workers or students. Once you have been nominated by a province or territory, you can then apply for permanent residence through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
What is Canada PNP?
The Canadian province and territory nominee programs (PNPs) are a way for people interested in moving to one of Canada's provinces or territories to obtain permanent residency. Each Canadian province and territory has its own PNP that is tailored to its particular economic and demographic demands.
Purpose of PNP
The main purpose of the PNP is to help meet Canada's economic needs by attracting foreign workers and international students to areas where there are labor shortages. The programs also aim to keep families together and allow immigrants to settle in their new communities.
The general trend of people going for PNP
The PNP programs are becoming increasingly popular because they allow people to immigrate to Canada even though they may have a lower CRS score in the Express Entry system. The Express Entry system can be very competitive, and many people are not invited to apply for permanent residence even after meeting the minimum requirements because their CRS score is low.
On the other hand, if you are nominated by a province in Canada, you get additional 600 points. This ensures that you get the invitation to apply for permanent residency in the Express Entry system.
There are other situations when PNP can be advantageous. For example, let's say you are already in Canada and have a job offer from a company in Alberta. If you apply through the Express Entry system, you would need to score high on a points-based assessment. Even if you meet the minimum requirements, there is no guarantee that you will be invited to apply for permanent residence.
However, if you were to apply through Alberta's PNP program, you would only need to meet the province's criteria in order to be nominated. This means that your chances of being approved for permanent residence are much higher.
Another advantage of PNP is that it allows you to live and work in a specific province or territory. This can be beneficial if you have ties to that area, such as family or friends.
Who goes for the Canada PNP route?
There are many people who go for the Canada PNP route. Some of these people include:
- People with a job offer from a company in the province.
- Students who complete their education in Canada.
- People with family ties to the province.
- Candidates who don't have a high CRS score but can get an invitation to apply for permanent residency based on the provincial nomination.
To know more about Canada PNP, you can register for a free webinar.
How the Provincial Nominee Program works
To be eligible for a province's PNP program, you must fulfil the requirements of that province. Candidates will be chosen by the province based on their skills, education, and work experience to best contribute to the economy of that province.
The eligibility criteria for the Provincial Nominee Program are set by each province. A province, for example, may seek certain abilities in people to alleviate a shortage of skilled workers in a certain industry or profession. On the other hand, a Canadian province, for example, may prioritize candidates who have French-language expertise. Each province determines its criteria based on current demands.
Every province other than Nunavut and Quebec has its own Provincial Nominee Program, with differences in PNP eligibility across the country. To improve your chances of acceptance, you may apply to all the programs you are eligible for from over 80 provincial immigration streams.
You can apply for the PNP program if you are:
- Business owner
- Skilled worker
- Semi-skilled worker
- Self-employed (in some cases)
Requirements for Provincial Nominee Programs
Some of the common PNP requirements are:
- Work skills
- A certain level of education (graduates and above)
- Training or work experience
- Language abilities
- Canadian connections
- Police clearance
- Medical clearance
- Proof of funds
The requirements of each province may vary from time to time. To learn the precise criteria and standards, you should visit the website of the province you're interested in.
PNP Programs of Canadian Provinces and Eligibility
Following are the popular Provincial Nominee Programs:
The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP), now called Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP), is an economic immigration program that seeks to attract and retain skilled workers and international graduates with the intention of permanently living and working in Alberta.
AAIP has several application streams:
- Alberta Opportunity Stream
- Alberta Express Entry Stream
- Rural Renewal Stream
- Graduate Entrepreneur Stream
- Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream
- Farm Stream
- Rural Entrepreneur Stream
If you are a skilled worker outside Canada, then Alberta Express Entry Stream is the relevant pathway for you. You could be nominated if you have an active Express Entry profile, your job is in an occupation that promotes Alberta's economic development, and you are interested in immigrating permanently to Alberta. You must also have a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System score of 300.
British Columbia PNP
British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) is an economic immigration program that encourages skilled and experienced workers, international graduates, and entrepreneurs from around the world to move to BC and invest in the provincial economy.
To qualify for BC PNP as a skilled worker, you must:
- Have accepted a full-time job offer from a B.C. employer in a skilled occupation (NOC Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B).
- Be qualified to perform the duties of the job
- Have a minimum of two years of full-time work experience
- Show you can support yourself and your dependents
- Have, or be eligible for, legal immigration status in Canada
- Meet minimum language requirements (for NOC skill level B occupations)
- Have a wage offer in line with B.C. wage rates for the occupation
You must have an IRCC Express Entry Profile Number, a Job Seeker Validation Code, and fulfil the federal language requirements to utilize the Express Entry BC option.
In 1998, Manitoba was among the first to create a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). It needed the PNP to market itself as a desirable choice for skilled immigrants due to its tiny size and a low influx of new residents.
Manitoba invites international candidates under many streams like-
- Skilled Workers stream
- The International Education Stream
- Business Investor Stream
The Skilled Workers Stream is locally driven and based on the needs of Manitoba employers. The program selects internationally trained and experienced workers who have the skills needed in the local labour market, and nominates them to receive Canadian permanent resident visas to settle and work in Manitoba. There are two pathways:
Skilled Workers in Manitoba
The Skilled Workers in Manitoba route is open to individuals who have a solid connection to the province through ongoing employment and adequate skills, education and training, work experience, and official language proficiency to make a rapid and long-term contribution to the Manitoba economy and community at large.
Skilled Workers Overseas
The Skilled Workers Overseas route considers applicants who have a prior connection to Manitoba through family or friends; previous education or work experience in the province; or an Invitation to Apply received directly from the MPNP as part of a Strategic Recruitment Initiative.
New Brunswick PNP
The New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) is a way for skilled workers and graduates with experience
in an occupation required in New Brunswick to gain permanent residence.
New Brunswick is a safe, tranquil place to establish new lives. The province operates several immigration streams:
The Express Entry Stream
The express entry stream is linked to the federal Express Entry system. This stream is designed to target high-skilled foreign workers who can contribute to the New Brunswick economy.
- Candidates must have an active Express Entry profile in order to be considered.
- Candidates must fulfil the prerequisites for the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program in order to be eligible for this track.
- Candidates must be able to communicate effectively in English or French in accordance with Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 7.
- Candidates must have at least the equivalent of a Canadian high school diploma.
- Candidates must have worked full-time for a year in an occupation identified as National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill Level 0, A, or B.
- They must be between the ages of 22 and 55 on the day their application is accepted.
- The selection criteria of the stream include 67 points or more.
- Candidates must be eligible to submit an Expression of Interest to the stream.
- Candidates must fulfil the required settlement funds as established by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Additionally, you must meet one of the three connections criteria below:
- Currently working in New Brunswick or have received a job offer from a New Brunswick employer, or
- international students from any designated institutions located in New Brunswick, who have completed their studies in last six months or about to complete their studies, or
- have the experience to meet the province’s labour market demands (occupations in demand).
Skilled Worker Stream
This stream is designed to target high-skilled foreign workers with a valid job offer from a New Brunswick employer.
- Candidates must have a valid job offer from an eligible New Brunswick employer.
- Candidates must meet the following criteria: English or French proficiency in accordance with Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4.
- Candidates must have a high school diploma or its equivalency in Canada. They must also have all of the education, certificates, or licenses necessary to perform the responsibilities of the job they will be offered in New Brunswick.
- Candidates must have enough work experience to carry out the responsibilities of the job they have been offered in New Brunswick.
- On the day their application is accepted by NB PNP, applicants must be between the ages of 19 and 55.
- Candidates must earn a minimum of 60 points (out of 100) on the New Brunswick Skilled Worker Applicant Points Assessment Grid.
Business Immigration Stream
This stream is designed to target experienced business owners or senior business managers who want to live in New Brunswick.
The New Brunswick Business Immigration stream operates on an Expression of Interest (EOI) system. Eligible candidates must submit an EOI and a business concept to the New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP).
Applicants must meet the minimum eligibility requirements for age, language, education, personal net worth, business ownership and/or senior management experience, and business concept.
Nova Scotia PNP
Nova Scotia recognizes the growing need for skilled and educated workers and the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) strives to make the province more attractive to skilled workers, international graduates and entrepreneurs from around the world.
Through the NSNP, prospective immigrants who have the skills and experience targeted by Nova Scotia may be nominated to immigrate.
Here are the different NSNP streams:
Nova Scotia Experience - Express Entry
This stream is for highly skilled individuals who want to live in Nova Scotia permanently. Applicants must have at least one year of experience working in Nova Scotia in a high skilled occupation.
To apply you must:
- Have a minimum 1 year of work experience in Nova Scotia;
- Be 21 to 55 years old;
- Have a Canadian high school credential or equivalent as verified by ECA;
- Prove language ability in English or French at minimum level of CLB 7 for skilled work in the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 0 and A, and CLB 5 for NOC B positions;
- Have a profile registered in Canada’s Express Entry system
Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities
The Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities stream nominates candidates from the federal Express Entry system who satisfy provincial labour market needs. Only candidates who have received a Letter of Interest from the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration can apply.
To apply you must:
- Receive a Letter of Interest from the Nova Scotia Nominee Program in the Express Entry system;
- Submit your application within 30 calendar days of the date on which your letter of interest was issued;
- Meet the minimum work experience requirements of the relevant Express Entry stream;
- Show sufficient funds to establish yourself and your family in Nova Scotia and to pay your immigration costs and travel expenses;
- Have legal status in your current country of residence;
- Meet eligibility criteria in place at the time you are issued a Letter of Interest; and
- Have a valid Express Entry number and meet all IRCC criteria for the Express Entry pool.
The Entrepreneur Stream is for professional business owners or senior management personnel who wish to settle in Nova Scotia. They must establish a new company or purchase an existing one and must actively participate in its operations. The entrepreneur may be nominated for permanent residency status after running the company for a year.
Occupations in Demand
The Occupations in Demand stream targets high employment demand for NOC C and D occupations. The Office of Immigration decides which jobs are in demand based on labour market data and can update this list as needed.
The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) is an immigration program that helps employers in the province recruit foreign workers and international students for jobs that they have been unable to fill with permanent residents or Canadian citizens.
The OINP considers and nominates applicants for permanent residency who possess the talents and experience required by Ontario's economy, with the ultimate decision on approval resting with the Government of Canada.
The OINP has nine streams you may qualify for:
If you have a job offer in Ontario, you can apply for the following streams:
- Foreign Worker stream: Apply in this stream if you are a skilled foreign worker with a job offer in Ontario.
- International Student stream: Apply in this stream if you are a recent graduate from a university or college in Ontario and you have a job offer in Ontario.
- Apply in this stream if you are a foreign worker in an in-demand occupation with a job offer in Ontario.
If you have a Masters or PhD degree from an Ontario university, you can apply for the following streams:
- Masters Graduate stream: Apply for this stream, if you have a masters degree from an Ontario university.
- PhD Graduate stream: Apply for this stream, if you have a PhD degree from an Ontario university.
If you have the skills and experience that Ontario employers need, you can apply for the following streams:
- Human Capital Priorities stream: Apply for this stream if you have the required skilled work experience, education and language abilities
- Skilled Trades stream: Apply for this stream if you are a foreign worker with Ontario work experience in an eligible skilled trade.
- French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream: Apply for this stream if you are a French-speaking foreign worker with strong English language abilities.
If you are a foreign entrepreneur with a great business idea
- Entrepreneur stream: If you own a firm and wish to grow it in Ontario, the Entrepreneur track is for you. If you're a self-employed individual, you may try to start a new business or purchase and develop an existing one in Ontario.
To qualify for Ontario PNP, you must create an expression of interest and be invited to apply.
How to register an expression of interest
- Read the stream requirements to ensure you are eligible.
- You must provide accurate information at the time you submit your expression of interest or modify it.
- The Attestation Form must be completed on the same day you submit your Expression of Interest (EOI).
- Only one expression of interest may be registered per OINP stream at a time.
Prince Edward Island PNP
The Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP) is designed to attract and retain skilled workers, international graduates, and entrepreneurs from around the world who are interested in immigrating to Prince Edward Island.
The PEI PNP offers prospective immigrants the opportunity to apply for a provincial nomination through one of its many immigration programs, which may speed up their path to Canadian permanent residence. The province has three different categories of immigration:
PEI Express Entry
Candidates for the Express Entry Stream of the Prince Edward Island Provincial Nomination Program (PEI PNP) are not required to have a job offer from a PEI employer at the time they submit their Expression of Interest.
To be accepted into the PEI PNP Express Entry stream, applicants must already be registered in the federal Express Entry pool. To add a profile to the pool, candidates must meet at least one of three federal Economic programs' requirements.
There are two methods to obtain permanent residency in PEI through the PEI Express Entry Category, depending on whether or not you have a job offer there. Applicants who live and work in PEI will be preferred.
Skilled Workers Outside Canada
If the Prince Edward Island employer has obtained permission from the Office of Immigration before issuing a job offer, the Skilled Worker Stream may be used for talent recruitment from outside of Canada.
To be eligible for the PEI Skilled Worker Program, you must have a full-time long-term job offer from a PEI employer in the National Occupation Classification (NOC)(link is external) skill level 0, A, or B.
Occupations in Demand
The Occupation in Demand stream is an employer-driven program that allows PEI companies to fill hard-to-fill jobs by recruiting people from abroad.
To be considered for this stream, you must have a full-time, non-seasonal permanent employment offer from a PEI employer in NOC 3413 (Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates); NOC 7511 (Transport truck drivers); NOC 7611 (Construction trades helpers and labourers); or NOC 6731 (Light duty cleaners).
The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) is a way to immigrate to Canada by getting a nomination from the province. It is an economic immigration program designed to attract foreign workers and international students with the skills and experience needed by Saskatchewan employers.
- You must have at least 1 year of work experience in your intended occupation in the last 10 years.
- You must possess suitable language abilities demonstrated by a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4.
- You must score 60 points or greater, out of 100, on the SINP points grid.
There are three SINP program categories you can apply to:
- International Skilled Worker: for skilled workers who want to work and live in Saskatchewan.
- Saskatchewan Experience: for foreign nationals who already live and work in Saskatchewan.
- Entrepreneur and Farm: for those who plan to start a business or buy and operate a farm in Saskatchewan.
- International Skilled Worker: Sub-categories that international skilled workers may apply for under the SINP are:
- Employment Offer: This sub-category is for skilled workers who have a job offer for a skilled occupation in Saskatchewan.
- Tech Talent Pathway: This sub-category is for high-skilled technology and innovation sector workers who have a job offer for a high-skilled occupation in Saskatchewan;
- Occupation In-Demand: This sub-category is for skilled workers who do not have a job offer in Saskatchewan but are highly skilled in an in-demand occupation.
- Saskatchewan Express Entry: This sub-category is for skilled workers who do not have a job offer in Saskatchewan and are applying through Express Entry.
- Hard-to-Fill Skills Pilot: This sub-category is for intermediate and lower-skilled workers who have a job offer for an eligible intermediate or low-skilled occupation in Saskatchewan.
If you are interested in an international career, attend our free webinar on Canada PR, you can register for a free webinar.
Which is the best Provincial Nominee Program to get PR in Canada?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Every Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) has different requirements and offers different benefits. Some provinces may be better suited for certain individuals than others. It is important to consult with an immigration professional to determine which PNP is best for you and your family.
In general, the Provincial Nominee Programs that are most popular with immigrants are those that offer a fast and direct path to Canadian permanent residency. The province of Ontario has PNPs that fall into this category. Other popular PNPs include Alberta's Immigrant Nominee Program and Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program. Each of these programs has its own distinct requirements and application process. However, all of them have proven to be effective in attracting and approving highly skilled immigrants from around the world.
Alberta PNP is one of Canada's easiest provincial nominee programs to get a nomination for Canada PR and subsequently the PR itself. The Express Entry aligned Stream of AINP invites the applicants with CRS score as low as 300 CRS points.
Here are the benefits of some of the popular PNP programs:
Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program:
The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program is one of the most popular Provincial Nominee Programs in Canada.
- The program offers a fast and direct path to Canadian permanent residency for highly skilled immigrants from around the world.
- It has a proven track record of attracting and approving highly skilled immigrants.
- It has a relatively low CRS score requirement of about 400 points, though it changes from time to time.
Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program:
The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program is one of Canada's easiest provincial nominee programs to get a nomination for Canada PR and subsequently the PR itself.
- The Express Entry aligned Stream of AINP invites the applicants with CRS score as low as 300 CRS points.
- It is a very popular destination for immigrants from all over the world due to its strong economy and high standard of living.
Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program:
The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program is one of the most popular Provincial Nominee Programs in Canada.
- It offers a fast and direct path to Canadian permanent residency for highly skilled immigrants from around the world.
- It has a proven track record of attracting and approving highly skilled immigrants.
- It has a relatively low CRS score requirement and applicants need to get 60 points out of 100 on the SINP points grid.
Express Entry vs PNP: Which is easier for PR?
There is no doubt that both the Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) are great options for those seeking permanent residency (PR) in Canada.
But which one is easier to obtain PR through?
To answer this question, we must first understand what each program entails.
The Express Entry system was created in 2015 as a way to streamline the process for skilled workers looking to immigrate to Canada. It is a points-based system, and potential candidates are required to create an online profile. If their profile is deemed eligible, they will be entered into a pool of candidates from which the Canadian government will invite the highest-scoring individuals to apply for PR.
The PNP, on the other hand, is a program that allows Canadian provinces and territories to nominate individuals who they believe will be successful in settling in their jurisdiction. Each province and territory has their own specific requirements and criteria for nomination.
So, which program is easier to obtain PR through?
The answer may depend on your individual circumstances. If you have the required skills and experience that are in demand by a particular province or territory, then the PNP may be your best bet. On the other hand, if you are confident in your ability to score high points in the Express Entry system, then this may be the better option for you.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which program is right for you and your family.
Here are the factors you should consider while deciding Express Entry vs PNP:
- The type of job you have: If you have a job that is in high demand in a particular province or territory, then the PNP may be your best bet.
- Your score in the Express Entry system: If you are confident in your ability to score high points, then this program may be the better option for you.
- Your language skills: You will need to be proficient in either English or French to qualify for Express Entry. If you are not very proficient in either language, then the PNP may be a better option as some provinces and territories do not require high language proficiency for nomination.
- Your ability to settle in a particular province or territory: Some provinces and territories may require you to have a job offer or ties to the province before you can be nominated. If you do not have these things, then Express Entry may be a better option as it does not require you to have ties to a specific province or territory.
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