Canadian Immigration News

How Does the Provincial Nominee Program Work?

3 minute read
Provincial nominee programs (PNPs) are pathways to permanent residence in Canada. Almost every Canadian province and territory has its own PNP. You can learn more about each one here.
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Jun 12, 2023
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Provincial nominee programs (PNPs) are pathways to permanent residence in Canada. Almost every Canadian province and territory has its own PNP. You can learn more about each one here:

Each province designs their program to address labour market needs that are specific to its province or territory, so each PNP will have different streams that you may be eligible for.

Provincial nominee programs are aimed at immigrant workers with the skills and experience a province believes they can benefit from. These streams may target recent graduates, business professionals, or skilled and semi-skilled workers. They may also highlight a specific work industry, such as healthcare or tech. Applicants should commit to living and working in the province they apply for a nomination, as successful applicants will be granted permanent resident status.

How to Apply for a Provincial Nominee Program

You can apply for a provincial nominee program in a couple of different ways. You can apply directly to the province, or you can apply via Express Entry.

Applying Directly for a PNP

If you apply for a provincial nominee program directly, you must apply under a province-specific stream and ensure it is not an Express Entry stream. You will need to meet all eligibility requirements of the province and stream you choose to apply to and submit your application.

If you receive a nomination from your province, you must apply online for permanent residence. Your permanent residence application process will require a medical exam and a police check.

An important thing to note about applying directly for a provincial nominee program is that processing times can be long, especially compared to Express Entry. Processing times typically range from 15 to 19 months. 

Applying Through Express Entry

If you are applying for a provincial nominee program via Express Entry, there are two ways to go about the process.

In one option, you directly contact the province or territory about applying for a nomination under an Express Entry stream. After the province nominates you, you can create or update your Express Entry profile to demonstrate that you have received a nomination.

Another way you can apply is by creating an Express Entry profile and clarifying which provinces you are interested in. In return, a province may send you a notification of interest. In this case, you should contact the province directly and apply to their Express Entry stream. If you receive a nomination, the province will send your nomination certificate to your Express Entry account directly, and you can accept it online.

The Express Entry system has a processing time of 6 months, so applying for a PNP via Express Entry can lead to a much quicker immigration process. Adding a nomination to your Express Entry profile would also give you 600 additional points, which puts you in a good place to be selected during the next draw.

PNP Draws

As Express Entry draws, you’ll find that provinces will draw PNP applicants from their pool of candidates. These are program-specific invitations to apply for permanent residence. For example, these targeted draws can focus on different PNP streams like International Graduate and specify specific jobs or industries in which the selected individuals can work. Provinces can draw applicants from specific PNP streams or applicants who applied through an Express Entry stream.

If you are selected for a nomination, you must accept it and apply for permanent residence as outlined in your invitation. Your nomination will be valid for a limited time. If you do not take action, you will return to the pool of candidates and have to wait for another nomination before being able to apply for permanent residency.

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