How Do I Qualify for a Provincial Nominee Program?

Provincial Nominee Program

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is a key part of the immigration policy. Over 250,000 people are expected to be given permanent residency through this program between 2021 and 2023.

Once you’ve been nominated by a province or territory, you can apply for permanent residence. Importantly, Canadian provinces do not have the ability to give out permanent residency status. 

However, as a result of a nomination, you get a whopping 600-point boost to your CRS score. Applying for a provincial nomination is not the same as applying for Canadian permanent residence.

Provinces are given the mandate to nominate individuals to reside in the province as PR in order to meet their economic needs. Provincial Nominee Programs are the fastest-growing economic Canadian immigration pathway.

Over recent years, the federal government has gradually increased provinces’ annual allocations for their respective PNPs, showing the increasing importance of these programs within the overall Canadian immigration landscape.

Each Canada Provincial Nominee Program has its own unique selection criteria. The selection criteria and occupations vary from province/territory to province/territory.

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.


The PNP reserves the right to nominate any person/family that wishes to reside in their province. Each province has different selection criteria depending on what they really need at the time.

For example, one province might prioritize bringing in provincial nominees with experience in a certain occupation, while another province might prioritize bringing in provincial nominees with French-language experience. It depends on the needs of each specific province and territory.

To be eligible, applicants must meet the various selection criteria. This will show that the applicant has the skills, education, and work experience to be able to make a positive contribution to the local economy and society.

Some PNP streams operate on a first-come, first-served basis, while other PNP streams require potential applicants to first register an Expression of Interest.

Within each PNP, there are multiple sub-programs and categories, usually known as “streams”. 

Most importantly, candidates need to create an Express Entry profile. After that, you have to make a separate application to a PNP program. You can receive a permanent residence invitation by applying through Express Entry directly and skipping the PNP process.

Each province and territory have 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

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