Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

About Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs

 The Canadian government agreed with local provinces which they can nominate immigrants who wish to live, settle, and work in that particular province or, essentially, immigrate to Canada. To receive a visa through the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP), the candidate must choose a province they wish to live in and subsequently apply for a nomination. The province will then consider the application based on its immigration and labor needs while assessing your genuine intention to settle there. For most provinces, Canadian immigration is an important part of not only boosting local economies and development in key sectors but also supporting an aging population. 

What is a Provincial Nominee Program?

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) that allow accelerated immigration processing according to provincial needs have been set up in most provinces in Canada. There are two types of PNP programs. The first type is the skilled worker PNP. This program will expedite processing for skilled workers with a job offer from a local, provincial business in an occupation or business sector that meets local provincial needs. The following may also be requirements for some PNP streams:
  • Job offer from a local employer;
  • Work experience in the province/territory; and
  • Adaptability and familial ties to someone living in the province.
The second type of program is a business immigration program. Most business immigration PNPs allow expedited immigration processing if the applicant does some variation of one of the following in the province:
  • Establishes a new business;
  • Invests money, or
  • Enters a joint venture with a local business.

There Are 11 PNPs:

11 Provincial Nomination Programs in Canada
Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)
British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)
Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)
New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NW PNP)
Newfoundland & Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NL PNP)
Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP)
Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NS PNP)
Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (OINP)
Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP)
Saskatchewan Provincial Nominee Program (SINP)
Yukon Nominee Program (YNP)
Note that the province of Quebec has its unique immigration selection system and a points system that is also different from other provinces.

What is the Processing Times for PNP Applications?

With the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) applications, the first step is for the application to be approved by the province. In most cases, this first step is completed quickly. The provincial processing time can range from two weeks to nine months, depending on the province. PNP approval is commonly called being “nominated” by the Provincial Nominee Program. After the PNP approval, the second step is federal approval consisting of police, medical, and security checks still required. This generally takes 6-8 months at most but can be longer depending on individual cases. After a PNP nomination has occurred, the PNP can assist the nominee in obtaining a work visa expeditiously before immigrating to Canada.

How Does the Provincial Nominee Program Work?

 When applying for permanent residence through a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) under the Canadian immigration system, there are two main options you can choose from:
  1. Apply directly to a province or territory
  2. The Express Entry-linked process

Direct Application Process

Applying for a provincial nomination directly to your chosen province sometimes means you must submit a paper application via mail or courier. This is generally a long process and could take 15 to 19 months to determine whether your application has been successful.

Express Entry Application Process

Taking the Express Entry-linked route has two pathways:

Expression of Interest

When you create your Express Entry profile, you can express interest in a particular province or territory. This allows a province to select your profile directly from the Express Entry draw pool and send you a provincial nomination, provided you have the skills and experience they seek.

Apply through a Provincial Nominee Express Entry Stream

Almost every province in Canada has an Express Entry stream along with a list of in-demand occupations. The benefits here are faster processing, averaging six to eight months, and a higher chance of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. Find out where your job is in demand in Canada’s provinces and territories.

Targeted PNPs in BC

Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are designed to meet the labor market needs of each province and territory. The BC PNP is one such program that nominates applicants who help address the province’s unique labor market needs and contribute to economic development. In 2022-2025, Canada will have a modest increase in its PNP target at 110,000 for 2024 and 117,500 for 2025, with 611 candidates selected in a draw targeting tech and healthcare occupations.

PNPs and Express Entry

 Since its introduction in early 2015, most provinces and territories have streams aligned with the Federal Express Entry system. Through the Express Entry system, these “enhanced” nominations award nominees with up to 600 additional Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. It is important to understand that a provincial nomination is the most important factor in the CRS. The CRS gives applicants a score out of a possible 1,200 assigned to an Express Entry candidate, which also, in effect, decides which candidates should get an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency. Most PNP streams have a lower CRS cut-off score than regular Express Entry draws. For example, Alberta’s minimum CRS score is 300, meaning simply having a nomination would almost certainly guarantee that you will receive an (ITA) at the following pool draw. It is important to note that to take the Express Entry immigration pathway to Canada under an enhanced PNP stream, you must first create an Express Entry profile.


1. Can I Apply for a PNP During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Yes, you can. However, several provincial departments in Canada have had to make temporary adjustments to operate during the pandemic. For example, the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) still holds weekly draws. However, occupations in highly affected sectors such as hospitality, tourism, and retail are now excluded. The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) now allows nominees to request a six-month extension to apply for permanent residency in the federal government. To give people a greater chance of immigrating, Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) can use non-consecutive work experience towards the applicants’ eligibility.

2. Are There Disadvantages to Canada’s PNPs?

The only significant disadvantage of applying through a Provincial Nominee Program is the processing time. Application processing time for your permanent resident visa can take 6 to 19 months.

3 . Which Province do Most Immigrants Choose to Work in?

Based on data collected from various Canadian provinces, Ontario was the top province foreign workers immigrated to through a PNP. British Columbia was the second most popular province, followed by Saskatchewan. Want to immigrate to Canada through the Provincial Nominee Program?