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Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

There are different demands for skilled foreign workers across Canada, so most provinces and territories have collaborated with the Canadian national government to create a PNP that meets their local needs.


Although there is an ongoing demand for people to work in various jobs all across Canada, there is also a shortage of skilled workers who are needed to fill specific job openings in different Canadian provinces and territories. Therefore, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) was established as a partnership between Canada’s national government, which has the sole authority to issue a Canadian visa, and most of the provinces and territories in Canada, which have created unique criteria for their particular PNPs. A key goal of the Provincial Nominee Program is to grant Canadian permanent residency to qualified skilled foreign workers and their eligible family members who meet the criteria for a particular PNP, and who satisfy the national requirements for immigration to Canada, so they can live and work in the province or territory that nominated them.

Canadian provinces and territories currently participating in the PNP include: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, and Yukon. It should be noted that the Canadian province of Quebec does not participate in the Provincial Nominee Program, but has established its own Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP).


Each Canadian province or territory that participates in the PNP establishes its own criteria. Many provinces or territories have created certain Canadian immigration “streams” (i.e., pathways) with unique requirements for defined categories of skilled foreign workers. Since 2015, several provinces and territories have adopted their own points-based Express Entry system, patterned after the national Express Entry Canadian immigration system


While the eligibility requirements for each Provincial Nominee Program will be different, they all use the same two-step procedure, which will vary depending on whether someone applies for Canadian immigration through the “traditional” PNP process or using the newer Express Entry procedure.  The basic two-step process is to (1) apply to a PNP and receive a provincial nomination; then (2) apply to the national government for a Canadian visa.