Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1. What are the Provincial Nominee Programs?
  • 2. Which provinces participate in the Provincial Nominee Program?
  • 3. Is the province of Quebec part of the Provincial Nominee Program?
  • 4. Is Provincial Nomination a requirement for Canadian immigration?
  • 5. What is the advantage of obtaining a Provincial Nomination?
  • 6. Where and when does an application under the Provincial Nominee Program get submitted?
  • 7. How do the Provincial Nominee Programs work with the Express Entry immigration selection system?
  • 8. What is a "base" Provincial Nomination?
  • 9. Does receiving a Provincial Nomination guarantee a Canada Immigration Visa?
  • 10. What criteria do most provinces look for in their Nominees?

The Provincial Nominee Programs were established by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC, formerly CIC) to allow Canada's different provinces and territories to select individuals who indicate an interest in settling in a particular province/territory and who will be able to contribute to that province/territory's economic development.

Most, but not all, provinces and territories of Canada participate in the Provincial Nominee Program.

The following provinces participate in the Provincial Nominee Program:

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

No. Quebec has a separate agreement with the Government of Canada, which allows the province to select individuals who indicate a desire to reside in that province. The government of Quebec is the only provincial government with the authority to determine the selection of individuals outside of the Provincial Nominee Program. Quebec has its own immigration selection criteria.

No. You can obtain a Canada Immigration (Permanent Resident) Visa without a provincial nomination. Fill out a free assessment to learn more about your Canadian immigration options.

A Provincial Nomination means that your application for a Canada Immigration Visa will be processed quickly and it provides another way of qualifying for a Canada Immigration (Permanent Resident) Visa apart from the Federal Skilled Worker category of Canadian immigration.

An application under the Provincial Nominee Program is submitted to the appropriate provincial government office, before submitting an application for a Canada Immigration (Permanent Resident) Visa.

Provinces and territories are able to nominate a certain number of candidates through the Express Entry system to meet local and provincial labour market needs. These portions of the PNPs are known as "enhanced" nominations.

Candidates in the Express Entry pool who obtain an enhanced nomination from a province are awarded 600 points under the Comprehensive Ranking System, out of a possible total of 1,200. When these additional points are added to a candidate's human capital and skills transferability points, it will result in an invitation to apply for permanent residence at a subsequent draw from the Express Entry pool.

All candidates must meet the eligibility criteria of one of the following federal economic immigration programs in order to enter and be selected from the Express Entry pool:

  • Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)
  • Federal Skilled Trades (FST)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

Provinces and territories may add additional criteria for their own immigration streams.

Depending on the province, candidates eligible to enter the Express Entry pool may either enter the pool first and then be nominated by a province or territory, or be nominated by a province or territory before completing an online Express Entry profile and entering the Express Entry pool.

Provinces and territories are also able to make nominations under their regular, or “base”, PNPs outside the Express Entry system. Individuals who wish to immigrate to Canada, but who are not eligible to enter the Express Entry pool, may still be able to make an application to immigrate to Canada through a base PNP, as long as they are eligible for the provincial program. Base nominations may therefore provide Canadian immigration opportunities to individuals who are not eligible for Express Entry.

Candidates who receive a base nomination have their applications processed outside Express Entry. The route from a successful base nomination to permanent residence is a two-step process. Candidates must first satisfy the criteria for a PNP stream, apply, and receive a nomination certificate. With this certificate in hand, candidates may apply to the federal government for permanent resident status.

No. IRCC must be satisfied that a Provincial Nominee meets statutory requirements - health, security and authenticity of documents - before issuing a Canada Immigration Visa

Most provinces are looking for individuals who will contribute to the province's economic growth, and are willing to settle in that province. Criteria that provinces take into consideration may include the following:

  • Job offer in the province
  • Education
  • Work experience in critical industries
  • English and/or French language skills
  • Close relations in that province
  • Ability to adapt to life in that province

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