Provincial Nominee Programs

The Canadian government made an agreement with local provinces in which they can nominate immigrants who wish to live, settle and work in that particular province. In order to receive a visa through the Provincial Nominee Programs(PNP), the candidate is required to choose a province they seek to live in and subsequently apply for nomination.
The province will then consider the application based on its immigration and labor needs, while also assessing your genuine intention to settle in the province.

The Following Provinces and Territories Have Provincial Nominations:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Nova Scotia
  • Northwest Territories

NB: that the province of Quebec has its own unique immigration selection system and a points system that is also different from other provinces.

PNPs and Express Entry

Since its introduction in early 2015, most provinces and territories have streams that are 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 single most important factor in the CRS. A nomination means that it is almost certain that the candidate will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) at the following pool draw.

The CRS is a score out of a possible 1,200 that is assigned to an Express Entry candidate, which also in effect decides which candidates should get an ITA for permanent residency. In nearly every Express Entry draw, these 600 bonus points guaranteed that the candidate received an ITA.

All individuals who wish to apply for a provincial nomination under an enhanced PNP stream are first required to create an Express Entry profile.


Provincial Nominee Programs (“PNPs”) that allow accelerated immigration processing according to provincial needs have been set up in most provinces in Canada. There are basically two types of PNP programs. The first type is the skilled worker PNP. This program will allow expedited processing for skilled workers that have a job offer from a local provincial business in an occupation or business sector that meets local provincial needs.

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.

In 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 PNP. After the PNP approval, federal approval consisting of police, medical and security checks are still required. This generally takes 6-8 months at most. After PNP nomination has occurred the PNP can assist the nominee to obtain a work visa on an expedited basis.