Canadian Immigration News

Can You Relocate After Obtaining Provincial Nomination for PR?

2.7 minute read
Are you applying for a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)? As we all know, to obtain provincial nomination through any of the streams under the PNP, you are required to demonstrate that you intend to live and settle in the province. But what about relocation?
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Sep 3, 2021
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Are you applying for a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)? As we all know, to obtain provincial nomination through any of the streams under the PNP, you are required to demonstrate that you intend to live and settle in the province. But what about relocation? It is the most commonly asked question among provincial immigrants: Can they relocate after immigrating to Canada through provincial nomination?

Now, to know the answer, you have to understand how the power to nominate applicants for permanent residence is divided by the federal and provincial governments. Apart from Quebec Immigration, the right to legislate in the field of immigration is shared equally between the provinces and the federal government. All provinces and territories have their selection process and eligibility criteria to select applicants for permanent residence

What Does the Canadian Immigration Law Say About the Mobility of Permanent Residents?

Permanent residents and Canadian citizens have the right to live and work in any province in Canada, according to Section 6 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Section 6 states the following:

  1. Every citizen has the right to enter, live in or leave Canada
  2. Every citizen and permanent resident has the right to:
  • Relocate and take residence in any province or territory
  • Work in any province or territory

How Do Mobility Rights Work for Provincial Nominated Immigrants?

Mobility rights implied by Section 6 under the Canadian charter only begin once the permanent residence has been successfully established. The federal government is responsible for processing an application for permanent residence after they gain the provincial nomination. 

Once the applicant travels to Canada, the Canadian Border Security Agency (CBSA) will also verify the applicant’s admissibility and their intention to reside in the province that nominated them. However, once the applicant is admitted to Canada as a permanent resident, the Canadian Charter will provide them with the right to work and live anywhere in Canada. This leaves the responsibility to the provinces to create the right conditions for attracting and retaining new immigrants. 

Why Are PNPs Being Considered As a Backdoor to Canadian Permanent Residence?

Some applicants use PNPs as a backdoor to Canadian permanent residence if they are ineligible for the federal economic immigration programs. This is one of the most pressing issues for many provinces, especially Quebec. Quebec admits approximately 20% of all permanent residents to Canada, however, only a fraction of the applicants continue living there. 

Many applicants change their minds about settling in Quebec and choose to relocate after gaining permanent residence. This is especially true for applicants to the Quebec Immigrant Investor program. Many other provinces including Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia find it difficult to retain immigrants.

Why Intention to Reside in the Province is Mandatory for PR Applicants

PNP applicants are required to demonstrate their intention to live and work in the province at the time of application. If the CBSA determines that the applicant no longer intends to reside in the province at the Port of Entry, then the applicant may get reported for non-compliance under Section A44 (1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

If the CBSA determines that the applicant never intended to live in the province, then they may be charged with misrepresentation, leading to a fine or a 5-year ban from entering Canada.

Can You Relocate After Obtaining Permanent Residence through Provincial Nomination?

Canada has the most flexible rules concerning permanent residence residency. New immigrants can theoretically leave Canada soon after receiving their permanent residence for up to 3 years while retaining their status as permanent residents. Section 6 of the Canadian Charter provides Canadian permanent residents with the right to live and work anywhere in Canada.

Therefore, there are no obstacles or formalities that a new permanent resident will face in relocating to a different province. This presents a dilemma for both the federal and provincial governments. As provincial programs become more and more popular, provinces are scrambling to find ways to nominate and retain the best applicants.

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