Canada has a number of programs and initiatives in place to attract temporary foreign workers, international students, and new immigrants.
In response to the growing need for skilled labor in Canada, provincial governments have developed their own programs to help attract foreign workers who meet specific criteria.
These initiatives are known as the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and they’re an excellent way for individuals with desired skills and experience to move to Canada permanently from another country.
This article will go into more detail about what you need to know about the Provincial Nominee Program before you apply.
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What Is The Provincial Nominee Program?
The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is a Canadian immigration program designed for foreign workers who:
- would like to become a Canadian permanent resident
- possess education, experience and skills needed in a Canadian province/territory
- are willing to live and work in that particular province/territory in Canada
Which Provinces Have a PNP?
Nine provinces and two territories in Canada have developed their own Provincial Nominee Programs in cooperation with the Canadian immigration agency.
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
Territories in Canada that have a PNP are Northwest Territories and Yukon. The province of Quebec and the territory of Nunavut do not have a PNP.
Foreign workers who want to live and work in Quebec can, however, apply for Canadian immigration through the Quebec Regular Skilled Worker Program or other Quebec immigration programs.
Each province and territory that participates in the Provincial Nominee Program develops its own eligibility requirements, based on its local needs, in coordination with the federal Canadian immigration agency which makes the final decision about approving a PNP applicant for immigration to Canada.
Who Is Eligible for Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program?
Anyone from any country who satisfies the eligibility requirements for a particular Provincial Nominee Program and Canadian immigration can apply.
The provinces and territories that participate in the PNP create their own eligibility criteria, however, applicants generally must:
- Have skills, education and work experience needed in a participating province/territory
- Possess English or French language abilities that are at a certain level
- Be willing to live and work in the province/territory that nominates you for its PNP
- Some provinces require applicants to have a “connection” to the province such as:
- Having family members who live in the province
- Previously living in the province (for example, as an international student)
Canadian Immigration Requirements
In addition to meeting the specific PNP criteria, you must also satisfy the general requirements for immigration to Canada as a permanent resident such as:
- Possessing good health (medical exams will be required)
- Not having a criminal record (police certificates may be requested)
- Having enough resources to support yourself and your family while living in Canada
- Paying governmental fees (such as the Canadian Permanent Resident Application Fee)
What Does the Provincial Nominee Program Offer?
Canadian immigration through the Provincial Nominee Program offers many benefits such as:
- Becoming a Canadian permanent resident
- Living and working in Canada long-term in the nominating province/territory
- Receiving free or subsidized public healthcare in Canada
- Getting access to world-class Canadian education programs
- Being able to travel to and from Canada
- Sponsoring eligible family members for Canadian immigration
- Having the opportunity to buy a home and open a business in Canada
- Experiencing equality and freedom in a country that embraces diversity
- Enjoying beautiful beaches, forests, mountains, lakes and other scenery
- The option to become a Canadian citizen after living in Canada 3 out of 5 years
How to Apply to Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs
Although each Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) has its own eligibility requirements and application procedure, they basically follow a two-step process summarized below.
You must first apply to the PNP of a province/territory where you want to live in Canada.
If the provincial/territorial immigration officials approve your PNP application, they will nominate you for Canadian immigration through their Provincial Nominee Program and you will generally need to “accept” or “reject” the nomination.
Canadian Immigration Application
The second major step, once you receive a PNP nomination, is to apply for Canadian permanent residency with the federal immigration agency (this can be done by filing an Express Entry profile and indicating that you have a PNP nomination from a specific province/territory).
Please note that there are different ways to apply for Canadian immigration through the PNP and this is a general overview.
After you accept your PNP nomination, you will need to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) from the Canadian immigration agency.
Once you get an ITA, you will have up to 60 days to file your complete Application for Canadian Permanent Residency and should receive a decision within about 6 months.
If you are approved for immigration to Canada through the PNP, you will receive a Certificate of Permanent Residence (COPR) and must move to Canada while it is still valid.
In the event that citizens of your country need a visa to enter Canada, a Canadian Permanent Resident Visa will also be placed on a page of your valid passport.
As part of the process for new immigrants, you will pay $50 CAD per person to receive the plastic Canadian Permanent Resident Card, which you will carry with you while living in Canada as official identification and proof that you are authorized to live and work in Canada long-term.
When you immigrate to Canada through the PNP, you will settle in the province or territory that nominated you for its Provincial Nominee Program.
Final Words: Is the PNP Right for You?
Around 100,000 people immigrate to Canada as new permanent residents each year through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).
Canada’s provinces and territories desperately need foreign workers to help fill around one million Canadian job openings across the country in all major business sectors.
Perhaps, you are wondering: Is the Provincial Nominee Program right for you?
To answer that question, you might start researching the eligibility requirements and application procedures for PNPs in provinces or territories where you are interested in living in Canada.
You can also learn more about living in Canada’s various provinces and territories.
There are many pathways available for living in Canada and the Provincial Nominee Program is just one of them (containing 11 different routes!).
A good starting point in this process is to find out which Canadian immigration program you are eligible to apply for.
Since 2012, Canadian Visa Expert has been working with authorized immigration consultants who can provide you with an Eligibility Evaluation of your options for immigration to Canada and guide you through the application process if you qualify.