The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) in Canada is a key part of the country’s immigration policy, allowing provinces and territories to nominate individuals who wish to immigrate to Canada and who are interested in settling in a particular province or territory. Each PNP is designed to meet the specific economic and demographic needs of its province, making it a dynamic and essential component of Canada’s overall strategy to promote regional development through immigration.

What is PNP?

The PNP allows provinces and territories to choose immigrants who match the region’s economic needs. It targets individuals with the necessary skills, education, and work experience to boost a specific province or territory’s economy. Once a province nominates them, these individuals can apply for permanent residency through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and must pass medical and security checks.

PNP Programs Across Provinces

Each Canadian province (except Quebec, which has its own selection criteria) and two territories participate in the PNP. Here’s an overview of some of these programs:

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)

BC PNP targets skilled workers, healthcare professionals, international graduates, and entrepreneurs.The program encompasses two primary pathways: Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC. Importantly, each pathway provides a variety of categories, including Skilled Worker, Healthcare Professional, International Graduate, International Post-Graduate, and Entry Level and Semi-Skilled Worker, thereby catering to a wide range of applicants.

Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)

The AINP consists of three streams: the Alberta Opportunity Stream, the Alberta Express Entry Stream, and the Self-Employed Farmer Stream. It focuses on candidates who have skills and abilities to fill job shortages in Alberta or who can buy or start a business in the province.

Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)

SINP offers options for skilled workers, entrepreneurs, and farm owners and operators through its International Skilled Worker, Saskatchewan Experience, Entrepreneur, and Farm categories. The International Skilled Worker Category stands out for its popularity, notably featuring streams such as Employment Offer, Saskatchewan Express Entry, and Occupation In-Demand. These options offer diverse pathways for applicants, emphasizing the category’s appeal to a broad audience.

Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)

The MPNP seeks skilled workers, international students, and business people. Its streams include Skilled Workers in Manitoba, Skilled Workers Overseas, and the International Education Stream, designed for Manitoba graduates.

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

OINP targets skilled workers who want to live and work in Ontario. The program is structured around three key categories. Firstly, the Human Capital category caters to professionals and graduates through specific streams. Secondly, the Employer Job Offer category is designed for individuals possessing a job offer in Ontario. Lastly, the Business category targets entrepreneurs eager to establish a business within the province, providing a streamlined pathway for each distinct group.

Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP)

Though not part of the PNP, Quebec’s immigration program deserves mention. The QSWP selects candidates with the potential to become economically established in Quebec, focusing on factors like work experience, education, age, language proficiency, and ties to Quebec.

Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP)

While not a PNP, the AIPP is a partnership between the Atlantic provinces (New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island) and the federal government. It aims to attract skilled workers and international graduates to meet regional labor market needs.


The PNP is a vital mechanism for supporting Canada’s regional development, allowing provinces and territories to attract immigrants who can contribute to their economies. Each province and territory sets its own criteria and categories, making the PNP a diverse source of opportunities for potential immigrants. It’s crucial for applicants to research and understand the specific requirements and streams of the PNP in their desired province or territory to enhance their chances of successful immigration to Canada.

FAQ on Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) in Canada

What is the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)?

The PNP allows Canadian provinces and territories to nominate individuals for immigration to Canada based on their own set criteria. It aims to address the specific economic and demographic needs of each province and territory.

Who can apply for PNP?

Individuals who have the skills, education, and work experience to contribute to the economy of a specific Canadian province or territory and who want to live in that province, and become permanent residents of Canada, can apply for the PNP.

How do I apply for PNP?

The application process varies by province and territory. Generally, you must apply to the PNP of the province or territory where you wish to settle. If nominated, you then apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent residence.

Can I apply to more than one PNP?

Yes, you can apply to more than one PNP, but you must meet the eligibility requirements for each province or territory you apply to. Keep in mind that being nominated by more than one province does not increase your chances of obtaining permanent residence.

Does a PNP nomination guarantee permanent residence?

No, a nomination does not guarantee permanent residence. It does significantly increase your chances, but you must still meet the eligibility and admissibility requirements of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), including health and security checks.

How long does the PNP process take?

Processing times vary by province and territory and depend on the specific stream or category you apply under. After receiving a provincial nomination, the federal processing time for permanent residence applications also varies.

Can I include my family in my PNP application?

Yes, most PNPs allow you to include your spouse or common-law partner and dependent children in your application for nomination. If nominated, your family members can be included in your application for permanent residence to IRCC.

Is there a fee to apply for PNP?

Yes, most provinces and territories charge an application fee for their PNP. These fees vary and are subject to change, so it’s important to check the specific PNP website for up-to-date information.

Can I work in Canada while my PNP application is being processed?

Some candidates may be eligible for a work permit while waiting for their PNP application to be processed. This depends on the province, nomination, and your current status in Canada.

What happens if I am not nominated by a province?

If you are not nominated, you can consider applying to other PNPs for which you may be eligible, or explore other immigration pathways to Canada, such as the Express Entry system.

Pax Law can help you!

Our immigration lawyers and consultants are willing, ready, and able to assist you. Please visit our appointment booking page to make an appointment with one of our lawyers or consultants; alternatively, you can call our offices at +1-604-767-9529.


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