If you’re considering coming to Canada and aren’t sure which immigration category makes the most sense for you, consider the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). While the immigration process in general is confusing, the PNP doesn’t have to be. Read on to learn about the 5 easy steps it takes to immigrate to Canada through the PNP.
Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility
The first step to applying to immigrate through the PNP is to determine whether or not you’re eligible. It’s important to remember that Quebec Immigration has its own rules for accepting provincial nominees, and the province doesn’t accept the same forms as the other provinces and territories.
Moreover, the provinces that participate in the PNP have different eligibility requirements. You’ll have to visit the website of each province to determine whether or not you’re eligible. Keep in mind that these requirements can change without notice, so keep checking during the application process.
Step 2: Start the Application Process
The PNP application process has two stages. There are two streams of the PNP application - Express Entry and non-Express Entry.
Express Entry, as the name implies, helps skilled workers immigrate to Canada quickly. The non-Express Entry stream is for candidates who are not skilled workers. Regardless of which stream’s eligibility requirements you meet, the first stage is to decide where in Canada you want to live and apply through the PNP.
Stage two is dependent upon you being accepted to the PNP. After a province or territory nominates you, you’ll apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent residence. As part of the application process, you’ll need a medical exam and a background check undertaken by the police. All immigrants must go through those two checkups, no matter where they intend on living in Canada.
Step 3: Check Processing Times
If you’re applying through the non-Express Entry stream, you can check online to see how long it will take for your application to be processed.
The way the Canadian government processes immigration applications has changed. Until the end of 2015, visa applications were always processed at the visa office nearest to the applicant. That’s no longer the case - the Canadian government now has the ability to shift workloads to other offices. This means processing times displayed online will be more accurate. The Canadian government updates processing times for this stream on a weekly basis. You don’t need a computer to check, either - the system is optimized for mobile devices.
Let’s say you’re applying through the Express Entry stream. Since it’s still fairly new (as of 2016), the government doesn’t have an average processing time to display online. That being said, their website says that these applications should be processed in six months or less.