Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are an important part of Canada’s immigration policy. The country expects more than 200,000 people to obtain Canadian Permanent Residence through a Provincial Nominee Program in the next three years.
Provincial Nominee Programs are the fastest-growing economic immigration pathway to Canada. Over recent years, the Canadian government has gradually increased provinces’ yearly allocations for their respective PNPs. It shows the increasing importance of these programs within the overall Canada immigration scenario.
How can you apply for a Provincial Nominee Program?
The final immigration decisions rest with the federal government of Canada and not the provincial government. Hence, PNPs are a two-step process.
First, you have to apply to a province for your provincial nomination. Then, if the province approves you, you have to submit a second application to the federal government for your Canada PR process.
Here are the step-by-step instructions to apply for a PNP of your choice:
- Check if you are eligible: Check which PNPs are accepting applications and determine your eligibility for the many options available.
- Complete a PNP application: Submit your provincial nomination application to the province or territory.
- Receive your Provincial Nomination certificate: If you are eligible and your application is approved, you will receive an official Provincial Nomination certificate which will allow you to continue to the next step.
- Submit your Canada PR application: Apply to the Canadian government for a Permanent Resident Visa. If you were nominated through an Express Entry-linked PNP, you can apply through Express Entry. Otherwise, you must submit a paper-based application to IRCC.
Some PNP streams work on a first-come, first-served basis, while other PNP streams require you to first register an Expression of Interest. Further, some PNP streams operate outside the federal Express Entry immigration system – these are known as “base” streams – while other PNP streams are linked with Express Entry.
Provincial Nominee Programs and Express Entry
Most provinces and territories in Canada have streams that are aligned with the federal Express Entry Program. These are also known as “enhanced” streams. These provincial nominations award nominees 600 extra Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points by using CRS Calculator
A provincial nomination accounts for half of the available CRS score and is the single most valuable factor in the CRS. It effectively guarantees that the candidate receives an Invitation to Apply (ITA) at a subsequent draw from the pool.
The CRS is a score out of 1,200 points assigned to Express Entry candidates, which decides who should get an invitation for Canada PR. In almost every Express Entry draw, these 600 bonus points would guarantee that the applicant would receive an ITA.
If you wish to apply for a provincial nomination under an Express Entry-aligned stream, you must first create an Express Entry profile and enter the pool.
What Provincial Nominee Programs are available in Canada?
The following PNPs are available in Canada:
Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program – OINP
Ontario has one of the most varied and dynamic of Canada’s PNPs. Skilled workers, graduates, and businesspeople can immigrate to Ontario through the OINP.
British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program – BC PNP
British Columbia offers several streams and categories for workers, graduates, and entrepreneurs in its PNP. It includes categories linked with Canada’s federal Express Entry Program.
Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program – AINP
Alberta is one of the most popular destinations for new immigrants in Canada. It offers PNP streams for Express Entry candidates and non-Express Entry candidates. Its PNP welcomes workers, graduates, and entrepreneurs to the province.
Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program – MPNP
The Manitoba PNP has been changing over the last several years. It facilitates international students, entrepreneurs and skilled workers to apply for provincial nomination through its different immigration programs.
Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program – SINP
This prairie province in Canada is looking to welcome Express Entry candidates, as well as workers in in-demand occupations. Express entry candidates with provincial nomination certificates are awarded with 600 CRS points.
Nova Scotia Nominee Program – NSNP
With many Express Entry-linked streams and room to welcome graduates and entrepreneurs, Nova Scotia is becoming an increasingly popular destination for newcomers, NSNP provides them immigration pathway to permanent residency in the province.
New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program – NBPNP
The NBPNP includes a popular Express Entry-linked stream, as well as opportunities for workers with job offers and immigrant entrepreneurs to live in the province of New Brunswick.
Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program – PEI PNP
The PEI PNP welcomes applications from candidates in the Express Entry Pool, skilled foreign workers, international graduates, and business investors.
Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program – NLPNP
The NLPNP includes immigration pathways to Canada for Express Entry candidates, international graduates, foreign workers, and business people.
Northwest Territories Nominee Program – NTNP
If you have a job offer from the Northwest Territories, the NTNP could be your immigration pathway to Canada. The NTNP has a dedicated stream for Express Entry candidates.
Yukon Nominee Program – YNP
Yukon is looking for Express Entry candidates and other foreign workers, as well as entrepreneurs, to contribute to life in the territory.
Processing Times for Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs
Processing times for Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs largely depend on whether or not the application has been submitted under an Express Entry-linked PNP stream, or any other stream not aligned with Express Entry.
The processing time would be different for the two phases- first for the initial application to the province, and then the additional processing period for the final Canada Visa process.
Most provinces have brought their processing times down to a few months, or even weeks. For applications through the Express Entry Program, the processing time for most applications is 6 months. Non-Express Entry linked applications typically take between 1-2 years to process at the federal stage.