How Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) Works

Provincial Nomination Program

What is the Provincial Nominee Program (PNPs)?

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is a set of immigration programs operated by the Canadian federal government in partnership with certain provinces and territories. Through these individual programs, participating provinces and territories can nominate a foreign national for permanent residence that is interested in settling within their province or territory and who meet their specific economic criteria. The criteria will vary across Canada but are generally aimed at bringing foreign skilled workers, international students, business owners or entrepreneurs to help worker shortages and boost the economy. These programs help thousands of foreign nationals from within and outside Canada gain permanent residency each year.

How to Apply for a Provincial Nominee Program

In order to apply through the PNP, a Canadian province or territory has to nominate you. The first step is to apply to the PNP in the province or territory where you want to settle. The participating provinces and territories are:

  • Alberta;
  • British Columbia;
  • Manitoba;
  • New Brunswick;
  • Newfoundland and Labrador;
  • Northwest Territories;
  • Nova Scotia;
  • Ontario;
  • Prince Edward Island;
  • Saskatchewan;
  • Yukon.

The criteria and the various immigration streams available to foreign nationals vary across all participating provinces and territories. However, a foreign national must meet all necessary qualifications to work and settle within the province and territory they are interested in. Once you have applied through an individual provincial or territorial nomination program, your application will be assessed and then approved if you were found to meet all requirements and fill an economic gap in that province or territory.

It is important to check which Provincial Nominee Program stream you are applying to, as there are different methods to apply for permanent residence once you are nominated. If your program stream is not aligned with the federal Express Entry system then you will have to submit a paper application for permanent residence to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). However, if your program stream is aligned with the federal Express Entry system, then you will have to complete your Express Entry profile and have your province or territory electronically acknowledge your nomination. 

Once your profile is confirmed, you will be entered into the Express Entry pool and awarded an additional 600 points to add to your CRS score that will help you get invited to apply for permanent residence. The Express Entry pool ranks candidates using their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score and then the Government of Canada will select the highest-ranking candidates from the pool and invite them to apply for permanent residence. Express Entry draws take place approximately every two weeks.

If you are already interested in the Express Entry system and do not have a provincial or territorial nomination. While creating an Express Entry profile, you can highlight the specific provinces and territories you are interested in, so that provinces and territories can send you a notification to contact them directly to apply to their nomination program.

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We have years of experience assisting applicants with their permanent residence applications through the Express Entry system. Use our FREE CRS Calculator to see if you qualify.

Ontario’s Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) is the economic immigration program run by the Province of Ontario that works in partnership with the Government of Canada. The OINP operates by nominating people for permanent residence who have the skills and experience that their economy needs. Similar to other provinces and territories, the Government of Canada makes the final decision to approve applications for permanent residence. The OINP has nine streams that foreign nationals can apply through:

  • Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker stream;
  • Employer Job Offer: International Student stream;
  • Employer Job Offer: In Demand Skills stream;
  • Masters Graduate stream (Masters degree from an Ontario university);
  • PhD Graduate stream (PhD degree from an Ontario university);
  • Human Capital Priorities stream (Express Entry System);
  • Skilled Trades stream (Express Entry System);
  • French-Speaking Skilled Worker (Express Entry System);
  • Entrepreneur stream.

These streams nominate individuals for permanent residence from a variety of different backgrounds and experience. In 2021, the Government of Ontario nominated 9’000 individuals that came from over 130 different countries.

How We Can Help

The Law Office of Matthew Jeffery has years of experience assisting clients to apply for permanent residence through the Provincial Nominee Program and Express Entry system. Use our FREE CRS Express Entry calculator to see if you qualify.