Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) – Eligibility and Application Process
- 1 What is the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)?
- 1.1 First-come, first-served PNP streams:
- 1.2 Expression of Interest:
- 1.3 Passive:
- 1.4 PNPs in Canada
- 1.4.1 Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) –
- 1.4.2 British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) –
- 1.4.3 Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) –
- 1.4.4 Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program –
- 1.4.5 Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program –
- 1.4.6 Nova Scotia Nominee Program –
- 1.4.7 New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program –
- 1.4.8 Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP) –
- 1.4.9 Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP) –
- 1.4.10 Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP) –
- 1.4.11 Yukon Nominee Program (YNP) –
- 1.5 Eligibility for PNP
- 1.6 Process of application under PNP
- 1.7 PNP and Express Entry Program
Located in North America, Canada is one of the countries that has the highest rate of immigration every year- around 300,000 new immigrants. In 2019, there were around eight million immigrants with permanent residence living in Canada, which is 21.5 percent of the total Canadian population.
There are few ways in which you can immigrate to Canada, the Express Entry Program being the most popular one. Another term is gaining popularity when it comes to application for immigration to Canada, “Provincial Nominee Program, or, PNP”.
PNP can be done:
- Via Express Entry Program
- The candidate can also apply directly under PNP through a paper-based method.
In July 2021, Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) issued over 6,000 invitations to immigrants to apply for permanent residency through the provincial nominations.
What is the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)?
There are 13 provinces – Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador – and three territories – Northwestern territories, Yukon, and Nunavut – in Canada. A series of agreements were made by the sub-national governments of Canada with the federal government and Quebec was the first one to have one of these agreements. Later, in the late 1990s, agreements based on parts of the one made with Quebec led to the launch of the Provincial Nominee Programs in the other provinces and districts.
Under this program, the provinces and territories nominate candidates who have the skills, education, and work experience needed to make an immediate economic contribution to Canada for immigration.
Each of Canada’s provinces and territories administers its own PNP program except Quebec, which conducts its own Skilled Worker Program. In total, there are more than 80 different provincial nominee programs in Canada at present.
Within each PNP, there are multiple sub-categories, usually known as “streams”. The different approaches used by Express Entry-linked provincial immigration pathways to select candidates are: first-come first-served, Expression of Interest, and passive.
First-come, first-served PNP streams:
When a particular Provincial Nominee Program stream begins, applications are accepted in the order they are submitted until the quota is completed. Some examples of these types of PNP (high-demand) streams include Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry Category B and Ontario Masters Graduate stream.
For some other first come, first served applications, the process is done on a continuous basis, rather than short application intake periods. If you fulfil the requirements, you can submit your application at any time. Examples of this type are Saskatchewan International Skilled Worker: Employment Offer and Newfoundland and Labrador Skilled Worker.
Expression of Interest:
This process is the most followed one for provinces that include points systems into their PNP streams. In some ways, this method is similar to the Express Entry system, with applicants having to submit their candidacy first though an Expression of Interest form. The minimum scores needed for an invitation changes from draw to draw. But the points systems followed here are often different from the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) used for the Express Entry candidates. Examples of this stream include British Columbia Express Entry Skilled Worker and Manitoba Skilled Worker Overseas.
Some PNP streams are considered passive because applicants (who are mostly Express Entry candidates) cannot apply actively or declare their interest in being selected for a nomination through these streams. They have to wait until they are contacted by the province and the invitation is sent directly to their IRCC online account. Some examples of this type are all three of Ontario’s Express Entry-linked streams (Human Capital Priorities, French-Speaking Skilled Worker, and Skilled Trades), Alberta Express Entry, and Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities.
PNPs in Canada
Before applying for the PNPs, you should always check the details of the particular program. Listed below are all the PNPS in Canada.
Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) –
Ontario has one of the most dynamic PNPs in Canada. Skilled workers, graduates, and businesspeople can plan their immigration to Ontario. In 2020, the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program issued 21 invitations to apply to the entrepreneur stream.
British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) –
British Columbia offers a variety of streams and categories for workers, graduates, and entrepreneurs in its PNP. It includes categories aligned with the Express Entry immigration selection system.
Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) –
Alberta is one of Canada’s most popular destinations for new immigrants. It offers PNP streams for Express Entry candidates and non-Express Entry candidates and welcomes workers, graduates, and entrepreneurs to the province.
Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program –
The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program has been undergoing changes over the last several years.
Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program –
Saskatchewan, located in the Canadian Prairies, is looking to welcome Express Entry candidates, as well as workers in in-demand occupations.
Nova Scotia Nominee Program –
Nova Scotia is an increasingly popular destination for graduates and entrepreneurs.
New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program –
The NBPNP includes a popular Express Entry-linked stream as well as opportunities for workers with job offers and immigrant entrepreneurs.
Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP) –
The PEI PNP welcomes applications from Express Entry candidates, skilled workers, graduates, and business investors.
Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP) –
The NLPNP includes immigration pathways for Express Entry candidates, graduates, workers, and business people to Canada.
Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP) –
The NTNP could be your immigration route if you have a job offer up north in the Northwest Territories. Express Entry candidates have a dedicated stream under the NTNP.
Yukon Nominee Program (YNP) –
Yukon is looking for Express Entry candidates and other workers as well as business people in the territory.
Eligibility for PNP
The basic eligibility grounds for applicants are that they should possess strong language skills, high levels of education, and skilled work experience necessary to contribute to the economic development of the country.
But, at most times, the eligibility criteria depends on the needs of each specific province and territory. For example, while some PNPs give more importance to immigrants who have work experience in occupations that are in-demand in that province, other PNPs value immigrants who have a connection to the province, like a relative, as it increases the chance that they will remain within the particular province. Some other provinces might give precedence to bring in provincial nominees with French-language experience.
It is necessary to consult the specific PNP to determine the eligibility factors for each program individually, as the province or territory will consider the application based on the needs of the specific province, as well as the applicant’s genuine intention to settle there. Therefore, in order to become a provincial nominee, applicants must show that they meet the set criteria.
Process of application under PNP
In Canada, the federal government takes all final immigration decisions and not the provincial government. For this reason, there are two processes to apply for immigration in Canada. The first step is to apply to the PNP in the province or territory where you want to settle. In order to qualify, you should possess the skills, education, and work experience to settle in Canada and support yourself and your family. Then, if you receive approval from the province, you have to submit a second application to the federal government for your Canadian permanent resident status.
The province or territory will inform you whether you must apply through the Express Entry system or through the Non- Express Entry way application process. Let us discuss the steps in detail.
Nomination under an Express Entry PNP stream
Under the online Express Entry Program process, there are 2 ways to apply:
- First, you have to contact the province or territory and apply for a nomination under an Express Entry stream.
- Then, if the province or territory agrees to nominate you, you can create an Express Entry profile or update your profile if you already have one and show you have been nominated.
The second way is –
- First, you create an Express Entry profile and show the provinces and territories you’re interested in.
- Then, if any of the provinces or territories sends you a “notification of interest” to your account, you have to contact them directly.
- You apply to their Express Entry stream. If you get nominated, the province will offer it to you through your account, and you accept it electronically.
Nomination under a non-Express Entry PNP stream/ Paper-based process
Applicants for permanent residence who were nominated under a non-Express Entry PNP stream should apply for permanent residence using the regular paper-based application process.
- You need to meet the eligibility requirements of the province that nominates you.
- You have to apply to the province or territory for nomination under a non-Express Entry stream.
- Once you have been nominated, you submit a paper application for permanent residence to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
- You have to pass a medical exam and get a police check (certificate).
- Application processing times are longer than through Express Entry.
In both the above mentioned cases, you have to:
- You must meet the eligibility criteria of the particular province or territory.
- You must submit an Express Entry profile and show that you meet the minimum criteria for Express Entry.
- If you are invited to apply, you submit an electronic application to IRCC.
Processing times vary from one province to the next. For Express Entry linked PNP applications, it normally takes a few months for your application to be processed. On the other hand, Non-Express Entry linked applications, also called paper-based applications, usually take between 1-2 years to process at the federal stage.
PNP and Express Entry Program
The Canadian federal government introduced the Express Entry Program in 2015 for the management of applications for permanent residency. Since then, many PNPs have made it essential to have an active Express Entry profile. Each PNP has at least one immigration stream that is aligned with the federal Express Entry immigration selection system. But there are exceptions too. If the PNP is not aligned with Express Entry, the permanent residency application must be submitted in the regular paper-based format rather than electronically.
In the federal Express Entry selection system, “enhanced” nominations are available that award nominees 600 additional Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. A provincial nomination is the most valuable element in the CRS and guarantees that the candidate receives an Invitation to Apply (ITA) at the next draw from the pool. All PNPs resulting in a nomination require that the applicant submit a permanent resident application to the federal government.
To sum up, it is to be noted that there are three ways to apply for permanent residency that are related to PNP. Under the first one, you can submit an FSWP, and then if you achieve 67 points and the province expresses interest in you, you can go for PNP. Secondly, you need to apply for PNP and then support your application with FSWP/FSTP. But the last way does not need an Entry Express profile. You can directly apply for a permanent residency through the PNP application.