Immigrate to Canada Via the Provincial Nominee Program in 2024

Provincial Nominee Program

Know all about the Provincial Nominee Program which is designed for skilled workers and immigrants who want to live in Canada as permanent residents.

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is a great way for immigrants to obtain permanent residence in Canada. Launched in 1998, PNP aims to attract skilled workers from around the world to strengthen Canada’s economy through a diverse labor force.

PNP allows every province and territory in Canada to nominate individuals who wish to immigrate to Canada and settle in a specific region based on their skills, work experience, and other factors. 

Almost every province, as well as territory in Canada, runs PNPs to welcome eligible workers from other countries to boost the economies of their respective provinces and territories.

Starting your journey to move to Canada through the Provincial Nominee Program can be quite an adventure. This guide will walk you through how the program works, who can apply, and what steps you need to take to apply.

Provincial Nominee Program Overview 

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is a pathway to obtaining permanent residence in Canada. Individual provinces and territories (except Quebec and Nunavut) operate PNP. The Provincial Nominee Program was launched in 1998 as a joint effort between the Canadian federal government and the individual provinces. Each province offers different streams or categories for PNP eligibility, including work experience, education, and language skills.

The primary goal of the Provincial Nominee Program is to increase immigration to Canada and its positive impact on the Canadian economy. Before the launch of PNP in 1998, most immigrants coming to Canada from other countries were in a few specific provinces, such as Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec. But as a result of the launch of PNP, immigration to Canada has become more widely spread across the country.  

The Prairie Provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Saskatchewan) and the Atlantic Provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland) have been successful in attracting more immigrants due to the influence of PNP. Each PNP includes at least one immigration pathway that matches the federal Express Entry immigration selection system. Provincial nominations issued through these Express Entry-aligned pathways are called ‘Enhanced nominations.”

How the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Works

The Provincial Nominee Program helps distribute immigrants across Canada, not just in major Canadian cities. The PNP is designed for individuals who wish to immigrate to Canada and settle in any province or territory of their choice.

  • To be eligible for the PNP, applicants must meet certain criteria set by the specific province or territory. These generally include,
  • Applicants must have the required education, skills, language proficiency, and work experience to meet the labor market needs and contribute to the economic development of a specific Canadian province or territory. 

They must be interested in living in Canada and becoming permanent residents.

As mentioned above, each province and territory has its PNP with specific eligibility criteria and streams. In an immigration program, provinces and territories usually target four categories of people. These include

  • Skilled workers, 
  • Entrepreneurs, 
  • Students, and 
  • Semi-skilled workers

After being nominated by a specific province or territory under the PNP, applicants can apply for permanent residence to the Canadian government through the Express Entry system or a paper-based process. This will depend on which stream they are applying under.

How to Apply for a Provincial Nominee Program in Canada

To apply for the Provincial Nominee Program in Canada, you can follow the step-by-step instructions that we are going to explain.

1. Choose a Province or Territory 

Your first step is to choose a province or territory in Canada where you want to live and work as a permanent resident. You can search for provinces and territories that operate Provincial Nominee Programs, although most provinces operate PNPs.

2. Explore the Right PNP

Each province has different PNP streams. So, you need to find the right PNP for you. Each stream also has different eligibility requirements. Therefore, you should check the eligibility requirements of each PNP program to apply for a specific PNP.

3. Apply Directly to Your Selected PNP

Apply directly to your chosen Provincial Nominee Program by completing the application form provided by the specific province or territory. You must ensure that you include all the required documents with your application.

4. Receive Your Provincial Nomination Certificate

If your application is approved, you will be nominated to apply for permanent residence in Canada. Your chosen province or territory will issue a Provincial Nomination Certificate, which will enable you to apply for permanent Canadian residence to work anywhere in that country.

5. Submit Your Application to Obtain Permanent Canadian Residence

To complete the process, proceed with your application for permanent residence to the Canadian federal government. If your selected PNP matches with Express Entry, you can submit your application online. Otherwise, you will need to submit a paper application for permanent residence in Canada.

Base PNP Application Process

Provincial Nominee Programs that do not require an Express Entry profile for application are called Base PNPs. While the application process for each PNP program is different, the following are the general requirements:

  • You must apply for nomination.
  • If you are nominated, you will be allowed to apply for permanent residence in Canada through the Permanent Residence Portal.

Once you receive a nomination from a Canadian province or territory, you can submit your Canadian permanent residence application to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) through the online permanent residence portal. Paper-based PNP permanent residence applications take longer to process than online submissions through Express Entry.

Express Entry Application Process

Following are the step-by-step instructions to apply for the Provincial Nominee Program through the process of Express Entry:

  • First, create an Express Entry profile by creating an account and then submitting your profile details.
  • Apply for a Provincial Nominee Program that aligns with the Express Entry system.
  • Upon receiving a nomination through the Express Entry stream, you must verify and confirm it on your Express Entry profile.
  • Earn an additional 600 points on your Express Entry profile after confirming the nomination.
  • Wait for an invitation for permanent residence from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
  • Once invited, proceed to apply for Canadian permanent residence through the Express Entry system.

How many Provincial Nominee Programs are there in Canada?

There are over 80 Provincial Nominee Programs in Canada. As mentioned, every province and territory in Canada, except for Quebec and Nunavut, has its own PNP program. The PNP program consists of several streams that meet the specific immigration needs of that particular province or territory. Here is an overview of the PNP program in some provinces:

1. Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)

Manitoba Provincial Immigration Program (MPNP) is designed to better attract skilled workers as well as their families seeking permanent residence in Canada. Through various streams, the program aims to attract individuals who are eager to contribute to the province’s workforce and community. Additionally, the MPNP’s renewal process aims to enhance efficiency and meet specific province immigration needs.

2. Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP)

The Alberta Advantage Immigration Program, once referred to as the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP), presents a range of options through its eight distinct streams.

 It is divided into two categories – for skilled workers and for entrepreneurs. It offers provincial nominations to qualified foreign citizens who meet specific criteria and express an intention to settle in the Prairie province.

3. New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP)

New Brunswick’s immigration program (NBPNP) provides pathways for international graduates, entrepreneurs, and skilled workers with employer sponsorship. It also provides a path for those included in the federal Express Entry system. The program facilitates immigration through customized streams for different backgrounds, contributing to the economic development and cultural diversity of the province.

4. Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) nominates international students, skilled foreign workers, and entrepreneurs who have the qualifications, experience, and dedication to establish themselves as permanent residents in Ontario. 

5. Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)

The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) facilitates the selection and nomination of qualified foreign citizens to immigrate to Saskatchewan. The program’s primary pathways include the International Skilled Worker – Express Entry and Occupations in-Demand categories, which provide skilled workers with opportunities to contribute to the province’s economy and society.

6. Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)

Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) serves as the province’s platform for nominating skilled workers, entrepreneurs, international graduates, and professionals seeking permanent residence in Canada. The program includes several economic immigration streams, three of which are tied to Canada’s Express Entry system.

How Much Does It Cost to Immigrate Through a PNP in Canada?

The cost of immigrating to Canada through the Provincial Nominee Program varies depending on a few factors. However, the cost generally ranges between $2,300 CAD and $3,800 CAD. Here is a breakdown of the major immigration costs:

  • Provincial Nominee Program Processing Fees: Processing fees can range from zero to $1,500 CAD, depending on the specific province. For example, Ontario charges close to the maximum amount. You can find details and application fees for each province on their immigration websites.
  • Federal Government Fees: These fees are standard for all immigration applications and include the permanent resident rights fee, biometrics fee, and processing costs. They total approximately $1,325 CAD per adult and $225 CAD per child.

Additional Costs 

  • Language Test: Average $300 CAD
  • Educational Credential Assessment (ECA): Average $200 CAD (if applicable)
  • Medical Test: Average $450 CAD per adult and $250 CAD per child
  • Police Clearance Certificate: $100 CAD for each country you have stayed in for more than 6 months
  • Proof of Funds: You must show that you have enough money to cover your expenses when you arrive in Canada. The amount varies depending on the size of the family

Can You Immigrate to Canada Through PNP Without Any Job Offer?

Yes, you can immigrate to Canada through a PNP without a job offer. There are several PNP streams available that specifically cater to candidates without a job offer. These Provincial Nominee Programs seek out people who have sufficient skills or work experience to contribute to the improvement of the economy by meeting the labor market needs of a specific province.

Here’s an Explanation 

  • PNP programs: Each Canadian province runs its own PNP with unique eligibility criteria. Some programs prioritize applicants with job offers, while others focus on factors, such as education, work experience, language proficiency, etc., which align with the province’s labor market needs.
  • Eligibility Without a Job Offer: These PNP streams typically evaluate your educational background, work experience in specific fields, and language proficiency. Some may also consider factors, such as adaptability and your intention to settle in that particular province.


1. Do immigrants who come through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) secure quality employment in Canada?

Yes! PNP immigrants in Canada have good job prospects, as they are nominated by a specific province or territory based on their skills, education, and work experience. The Provincial Nominee Program often fills labor market shortages in their respective provinces, increasing the chances of immigrants finding job opportunities.

2. How long does it take for a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) application to be processed?

The duration for processing nomination applications varies across provinces. It usually takes a few months. Canadian permanent residence application through a PNP program involves a two-step process. 

3. If I don’t meet the requirements for Express Entry, am I still eligible for a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)?

Yes! The Provincial Nominee Program may still be an option. While some PNP streams require an Express Entry profile, others do not. You will need to explore the different provincial programs to see if your skills and experience match up with their in-demand occupations.

4. Is work experience necessary for immigration through a PNP?

While many Provincial Nominee Programs in Canada require at least one year of work experience, there are exceptions for recent graduates. Some PNP streams specifically target international students who have completed their studies in Canada. This allows them to apply for the PNP without any prior work experience.


Provincial Nominee Programs are significant for Canada’s economic growth as well as for immigrants who want to settle in Canada. By allowing provinces to nominate skilled workers who match their specific labor needs, PNPs address regional shortages and stimulate local economies.

PNPs allow immigrants to gain permanent residence which often comes with fewer requirements than federal programs. If you want to increase your chances of getting a provincial nomination, simply submit your Express Entry profile.

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