Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

The Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) allow Canadian provinces and territories to nominate individuals who wish to immigrate to Canada and who are interested in settling in a particular province.

If you’re considering coming to Canada and aren’t sure which immigration class makes the most sense to you, consider which of the provinces you would best be able to qualify for under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). While the immigration process in general is confusing, the PNP doesn’t have to be. Read on or to learn about the five easy steps it takes to apply.

Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility

First step to applying to immigrate through the PNP is to determine whether you are eligible.

Remember that Quebec has its own rules for accepting provincial nominees, and the province doesn’t accept the same forms as the other provinces and territories.

Each participating province has their own different eligibility requirements. Please visit the website of each province to determine whether you’re eligible. Please note that these requirements can change without notice, so keep checking during the application process.

Step 2: Start the Application Process

The PNP application process has two stages. There are two streams of the PNP application - Express Entry and non-Express Entry.

Express Entry as the name implies, helps skilled workers to emigrate to Canada quickly.  The non-Express Entry stream is for candidates who are not skilled workers. Regardless of which stream’s eligibility requirements you meet, the first stage is to decide where in Canada you want to live and apply through the PNP.

Stage two depends upon you being accepted to the PNP. After a province or territory nominates you, you will apply to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent residence. You will also need a medical exam and a background check undertaken by the police as part of the application process. No matter where in Canada you plan to live, all applicants must go through these two steps.

Step 3: Check Processing Times

When applying through the non-Express Entry stream, you can check online to see how long it will take for your application to be processed.

The Canadian government updates processing times for this stream on a weekly basis. You don’t need a computer to check, either - the system is optimized for mobile devices.

Step 4: What happens after your application?

After you submit your application:

First, the government acknowledges that agents at its offices have received it. You will receive a letter saying the government is assessing your application, whether you applied through the Express Entry stream or the non-Express Entry stream. If your application is incomplete, the government will reject it and refund your money.

If you’ve applied through the non-Express Entry stream, you will be told when to submit a police background check and the results of your medical exam (Express Entry applicants must provide these documents when they apply).

Based on the information in your application, the government will decide whether you are eligible to come to Canada. Immigration officials might ask for further documentation or information, and they might invite you for an interview.

If the Canadian government approves your application, immigration officials will request that you submit your passport so they can include a visa in it (if you’re the citizen of a country that requires a visa to enter Canada). They’ll also send you a confirmation of permanent residency. When you arrive in Canada, you’ll need that confirmation as well as a visa (if you require one).

Next task you will have to prepare for life in Canada. Before you arrive, it’s a good idea to reach out to organizations that help immigrants settle in this country. They provide free services about how to integrate into Canadian society.

Step 5: Preparing for Your Arrival

If you are already in Canada when you apply for permanent residency, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will contact you and let you know what the next steps are.

You will either must book an appointment at IRCC to present your documentation, or you can cross the border and enter Canada again and submit your documents to an immigration official.

What if you’re outside of Canada when you receive your permanent residency status? Upon arrival, you’ll meet with an immigration official and present the same documentation you would if you were already in Canada.