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Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

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Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is the pathway for foreign nationals to immigrate to Canada to a particular province or territory of their choice after being nominated by the Canadian province or territory. Canada has 13 provinces and territories, and each province and territory has its own PNP program makes it easy for individuals to immigrate to Canada and eventually apply for Permanent Residence. That’s why Provincial Nominee Programs are considered one of the most popular and easiest pathways to Canadian Permanent Residence. 

Each province and territory has its own PNP, with its own eligibility requirements and application processes, the only exceptions are the Northern Canada territory of Nunavut and Quebec. Instead, the province of Quebec has the authority to establish its own selection criteria for economic immigration. 

If a candidate is nominated through a PNP which is aligned with Express Entry, and Enhanced streams, you will receive an additional 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. This means the candidate is practically guaranteed to receive an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence in a subsequent Express Entry draw.

Candidates can also come to Canada through PNP which isn’t aligned which Express Entry System, base stream. Candidates who meet the required skills needed in a specific province or territory can use this pathway if they don’t qualify for the Express Entry pool.

Canada Provinces and Territories

Each province has instituted various net worth, investment, and business requirements, and interested applicants are encouraged to apply. The provinces each have their own selection criteria in order to best fulfill the immediate and long-term needs of their respective region. Following that nomination, qualified applicants can apply for permanent residency granted by the Canadian government.

PNPs application and requirements processes differ greatly between provinces, so interested individuals should consult each of the provinces to determine their eligibility.

All the provinces in Canada for PNP

The province of Nunavut does not have a Nunavut PNP. The province of Quebec Provincial Nominee Program is referred to as Regular Skilled Worker Program RSWP and is administered by the Government of Quebec.

How to Apply for a Provincial Nominee Program

  1. Find the PNP right for you: There are over 80 provincial nominee streams an individual should take time to consider the right immigration pathway. You can as well consult us to make the process much easier for you, filling out our free assessment form is another great step for us to help you. An individual should carefully check the requirements for each PNP to determine eligibility.
  2. Apply to your preferred PNP: Directly submit an application to the province or territory of your choice.
  3. Obtain a Provincial Nomination Certificate: If your application is successful, the province or territory will nominate you to apply for Canada permanent residence.
  4. Submit your application for permanent residence: Apply to the Canadian federal government for permanent residence. If your chosen PNP is aligned with Express Entry, you can do this online. If not, you must submit a paper-based application. You can submit your application for Canadian permanent residence to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada through IRCC’s online Permanent Residence Portal.
  5. Pass a medical exam and get a police check. Applicants are required to provide they are not threats to Canada and its citizens. 
  6. Once you are approved by IRCC, you can complete your permanent residence landing in Canada.

How to apply for PNP through Express Entry System

The process for submitting an application and receiving a nomination through the Express Entry system is different depending on the program because all PNPs are different. Here is the general essential procedure: 

  1. Create an account and submit an Express Entry profile. If you want to make your Express Entry profile ready for PNP or go through a checklist on preparing your Express Entry profile, here is a comprehensive guide to creating a strong Express Entry profile
  2. Apply to an Express Entry-aligned PNP
  3. Receive an Express Entry stream nomination
  4. Confirm the Express Entry on your profile and receive 600 additional points
  5. Wait to receive an invitation for permanent residence
  6. Apply for Canadian permanent residence through the Express Entry system

Some PNPs use an Expression of Interest (EOI) system, where qualified applicants submit a profile that is ranked on a points-based system for the chance to receive an invitation to apply for nomination. Some PNPs always accept applications from qualified applicants, so if you are qualified for the PNP you can submit whenever you are ready. Finally, some PNPs invite foreign nationals to submit applications, either by selecting candidates directly from the Express Entry pool or by having interested individuals submit a formal Expression of Interest.


The PNP application process can be confusing, and applications can be refused if they are submitted incorrectly or if they are incomplete. Applicants should take care to ensure that applications are completed correctly and submitted through the proper channel.

PNP processing time through Express Entry

The processing time set by the IRCC for application for PNP through an Express Entry profile is 6 months.

How to apply through the Paper Base PNP process

The base stream allows individuals to apply for PNP without having an Express Entry profile. Though it’s easy to apply through the Paper Base PNP, the processing times for Canadian Permanent Residence are much longer, they are averaged to be 18 months. This is one of the reasons applicants consider applying for PNP through Express Entry because it takes shorter months, 6 months. 

Step-by-Step guide to applying to a Canadian PNP:Provincial Governments in Canada as well, offer immigration programs that suit the labour market needs of their provinces, and give weightage to applicants who have ties to the province- for example, applicants who have a relative in the province, who have some work experience/ education completed in the province and /or intend to settle there permanently. This program is for workers who:
● have the skills, education and work experience to contribute to the economy of a specific province or territory
● want to live in that province, and
● want to become permanent residents of Canada Each province and territory has its own “streams” (immigration programs that target certain groups) and requirements. For example, in a program stream, provinces and territories may target:
● students
● business people
● skilled workers
● semi-skilled workers

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Related Programs

Questions? You’re covered.

Because Canadian provinces and territories cannot approve permanent resident status on their own, all decisions regarding Canadian permanent residence must be approved at the national level by the federal government. 

There are more than 80 different provincial nominee programs. Each Canadian province and territory has its own PNP program with several streams with the exception of Quebec and Nunavut. 

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