How the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) works

This program is for workers who:

  • have the skills, education and work experience to contribute to the economy of a specific province or territory
  • want to live in that province, and
  • want to become permanent residents of Canada

Each province and territoryFootnote * has its own “streams” (immigration programs that target certain groups) and requirements. For example, in a program stream, provinces and territories may target:

  • students
  • business people
  • skilled workers
  • semi-skilled workers

Understand the application options

How you will apply depends on which Provincial Nominee Program stream you’re applying to. You might need to apply using the paper-based process, or by the online process through Express Entry.

As part of the process, you will have to pass a medical exam and get a police check (certificate). Everyone must have these checks, no matter where they plan to live in Canada.

Paper-based process

In the paper-based process:

  • You apply to the province or territory for nomination under a non-Express Entry stream.
  • You need to meet the eligibility requirements of the province that nominates you.
  • Once you have been nominated, you submit a paper application for permanent residence to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
  • You have to pass a medical exam and get a police check (certificate). Everyone must have these checks, no matter where you plan to live in Canada.
  • Application processing times are longer than through Express Entry.

How to apply through the paper-based process

Express Entry process

In the online Express Entry process, there are 2 ways to apply:

  • You contact the province or territory and apply for a nomination under an Express Entry stream.
  • If the province or territory agrees to nominate you, you create an Express Entry profile (or update your profile if you already have one) and show you have been nominated.

    OR

  • You create an Express Entry profile and show the provinces and territories you’re interested in.
  • If a province or territory sends you a “notification of interest” to your account, you contact them directly.
  • You apply to their Express Entry stream:
    • If you’re nominated, the province will offer it to you through your account, and you accept it electronically.

In both cases:

  • You must meet the eligibility requirements of the province or territory. And,
  • You must submit an Express Entry profile and show that you meet the minimum criteria for Express Entry, including being eligible for one of the immigration programs it covers.
  • If you are invited to apply, you submit an electronic application to IRCC.

How to apply through Express Entry

Choose a province or territory

To be nominated by a province or territory,Footnote * you must follow the instructions on their website and contact them directly:

The criteria by province and territory vary and can change without notice.

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