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Canada Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) 2024

Updated on 01 April, 2024

Many immigrants choose to work and settle in Canada every year due to the country’s good salaries and excellent lifestyles. 

The government has immense scope for professionals with varied specializations and degrees. Housing some of the top multinational brands and global conglomerates offering high-paying salaries in the market, deserving and ambitious candidates always seek to settle in Canada for the country’s vibrant city life, a rich multicultural environment, and the best standard of living. Canada is an immigration-friendly country and very welcoming when it comes to international workers settling down in Canada and contributing to the Canadian economy. The Canadian government has designed the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). The PNP Program Canada aims to welcome more immigrants to Canada to help develop the economy of the provinces and territories of Canada, and offer less competition, low living costs, and great opportunities.

Read More: Permanent Residency in Canada

About the Provincial Nominee Program

The Provincial Nominee Program offers immigrants a quick gateway to attaining a Canada Permanent Residence Visa. The PNP permits provinces and territories of Canada to welcome immigrants that are inclined to migrate to Canada, work, and develop the economy of Canada. It applies to all semi-skilled and skilled workers who settle down permanently in one particular province or territory in Canada to contribute to the Canadian economy. The PNP program in Canada is different for each province and Canadian territory, so the rules and regulations will be about that. Each province or Canadian territory will have its streams, and they will target a particular stream, as stated below: 

  1. Students
  2. Semi-skilled workers
  3. Business people
  4. Skilled workers

Recommended Read: Study in Canada after 12th

For Whom does the Provincial Nominee Program Work? 

The PNP program is an initiative taken by the Canadian government to welcome skilled workers who aim to get permanent residency and contribute to the Canadian economy.

  • Immigrants with skills, degrees, education degrees, and prior work experience want to live in Canada and work to benefit the specific province in terms of the economy. 
  • Immigrants who want to settle in a particular province or territory in Canada
  • People want to become permanent residents of Canada. 

How does Canada Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Work?

The purpose of the PNP program in Canada is to promote economic growth. The application process can be either paper-based or online via Express Entry. 

Read below the step-by-step procedure of how PNP works:

  • Look if you are eligible for the Canada immigration provincial nominee program.
  • Apply to the eligible PNP stream.
  • If the province or territory approves your application, you can submit the permanent residence application form to IRCC or Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.
  • Then, you need to clear the medical test and police verification. 
  • Once the IRCC approves you, you can complete the permanent residency process in Canada.

Read More: TCF Exam Canada Format, Structure and Tips

Eligibility Requirements for PNP Program Canada

The people who can fulfill the eligibility criteria of a specific province or territory are only eligible for PNP Canada. Several economic factors and the labor market can affect the candidate’s eligibility. Although the eligibility criteria vary per the province, there are some basic requirements to be met for British

Columbia Skilled Immigration:

  • A full-time job offers except the International post-graduate, BC Degree category.
  • The candidate must meet the minimum requirements of the specific stream.
  • The wage/salary must be competitive in the British Columbia province.
  • The language test results need to be submitted. However, it also depends on the occupation classified under the B, D, or C section of the National Occupational Classification.
  • The candidate’s job must add value to the British Columbia economy.
  • The job should not negatively affect the British Columbian economy.

Documents for the Provincial Nominee Program

The Provincial Nominee Program has a proper checklist of documents to submit and the application form filled out. Incomplete applications, which means missing information or documents, will lead to rejection. Here is a complete list of documents an applicant needs to submit: 

  1. Generic Application form duly filled in
  2. Have a valid travel document, like a passport.
  3. be in good health.
  4. Personal identification
  5. Financial stability records
  6. No criminal or immigration-related convictions.
  7. Documents will convince the immigration officers that applicants have ties, such as home, financial assets, family members, or employment, that they want to return to their home country. 
  8. Employment offers
  9. Documents of work experience
  10. Education and skills experience documents
  11. Background declaration form
  12. Family background form
  13. Representative form

Recommended Read: What is the Student Direct Stream in Canada?

Application Options for the PNP Program

The PNP program has two modes of application, one by using the paperwork process and the other would be an electronic digital process through the Express Entry program. The medical examination and police verification certificate are the same for both methods. Refer to the process of paperwork and online applications, as each has a different application process.

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Paperwork Application Process

  1. Applicants need to apply to any Canadian province for PNP without the Express Entry program. 
  2. The eligibility criteria are different for each province and territory. The applicants need to fulfill the criteria of the particular province that will not nominate them. 
  3. Once the nomination is done, submit the documents and applications for a PR Visa to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.
  4. A medical examination and police verification are essential, no matter what situation arises. It is irreversible. 
  5. The application process will take longer than the Express Entry program, so applicants must be patient. 

Recommended Read: Quebec Experience Program: Process & Eligibility

Express Entry Program Application Process

Applicants can apply in 2 ways  in the online Express Entry Program application process for PNP:

The First Way and Its Process

1. Applicants can contact the province or territory and apply for a nomination under their Express Entry stream.

2. Once the province or territory agrees to nominate the particular applicant, the applicant has to create an Express Entry profile (or update if they already have one) and show that the applicant has been nominated.

3. If the applicant gets a nomination through their account, the applicant needs to accept it electronically.

Second Way and Its Process

1. Applicants need to create an Express Entry profile and show the provinces and territories that he or she is interested in.

2. If a province or territory sends the applicant a “notification of interest” to their account, the applicant needs to contact them directly and apply to their Express Entry stream.

3. If the applicant is nominated, they will offer it to the applicant through the account, and the applicant must accept it electronically.

Moreover, person needs to make an express entry profile in both cases, not the personal profile as mentioned in the text.

However, the below requirements must be fulfilled in both the ways-

1. The eligibility requirements of the province or territory must be met.

2. Candidate must submit an Express Entry profile and show that the minimum requirements for Express Entry are met

3. An electronic application to IRCC must be submitted by the applicant once the applicant is invited to apply.

Apply for Immigration Under PNP: 

To apply for immigration under the Canada Provincial Nominee Program, you need to select a province or territory that can nominate you under PNP. But, for that, you need to meet their academic and work requirements or economic and market needs. Once your application is approved, you can apply for permanent residence within the set period. 

Who can apply for the provincial nominee program in Canada?

  • If you have recently completed your graduation from a recognized post-secondary institution in Canada,
  • Or you are a skilled worker in an eligible profession or business.
  • You are an investor or an entrepreneur.

Read More: Visitor Visa in Canada

Cost of Immigrating through PNP

The overall cost of immigration via a PNP is about $2,300 – CAD 3,800. However, it depends on the program that the person is immigrating through. Ontario, as an exception, charges CAD 1,500 as an application processing fee; however, other provinces do not charge anything.

Here is a list of some charges/fees required to be paid for PNP:

  • The average cost of language test: $300
  • Government Fees: $1,325/adult & $225/child
  • Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) average cost: $200
  • Medical examination fee average cost: $450/adult & $250/child
  • Police verification certificate average cost: $100/country

Choose a Province or Territory in Canada

The PNP program has various streams and it differs from one territory to another. It is not a generalized program that is applicable to every province in Canada. Applicants seeking a PNP need to choose the province or territory right. To be nominated by the particular province of Canada, the applicants need to fulfill the eligibility and the instructions as stated on the website of the particular province. Contact the officials directly to seek any kind of information or solve any query. Below are the provinces and territories that accept PNP. The criteria, instructions, and eligibility keep changing without any notice, so applicants must keep a track of the official website. 

Note: The province of Quebec does not have a provincial nominee program. Refer to the website to find every detail about their immigration process and the various programs that they have. 

1. Alberta

2. Ontario

3. Northern Territories

4. Yukon

5. Nova Scotia 

6. Manitoba

7. Newfoundland and Labrador

8. New Brunswick

9. British Columbia

10. Saskatchewan

11. Prince Edward Island

Recommended Read: Importance of Educational Credential Assessment in Canada

Immigrate through PNP without a Job Offer

The Immigration Program in Canada is designed to fill the gap between the skilled resources and employers’ demands. Each Canadian province has its own immigration rules that run per the National Occupation Classification (NOC) code and have a list of different jobs under its official classification system. Young talent is motivated to work and stay in Canada and contribute to the economy. Few provinces in the country allow immigration the of candidates without a job offer. These provinces are:

  • Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)
  • Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)
  • Quebec Skilled Worker Program (NSNP)
  • Prince Edward Island PNP through Express Entry
  • Ontario Immigration Nominee Program (OINP)
  • Alberta PNP through Express Entry

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Easiest Province to Immigrate to Canada

There are many nominee programs, and each has its eligibility requirements. Some PNP may need specific requirements such as job offer, experience, or education; some candidates may be selected basis their ability to cater to the labor and demographic gaps. With such requirements in place, Provinces that are considered easier for PNP.

Saskatchewan – 

Saskatchewan is high in demand and a popular destination for immigration due to its robust economy and the multiple job opportunities offered. The province invites applications through Express Entry System and Occupation in demand. Unlike other provinces that prefer blood relatives, Saskatchewan allows additional scores to candidates having cousins living in Canada. Candidates with more than 10-year experience also get a great chance to get the nomination in the province. 

Alberta – 

It does not have a specific job or occupational list. It allows and selects candidates from the federal Express Entry list to apply for PNP. The province does not have a particular requirement or list of occupations or jobs. Candidates with a CRS score of 300+ in the Express Entry pool are also welcomed. 

Ontario – 

Ontario is a hub of the Information and Technology Industry. For those living outside Canada, Ontario’s Human Capital Priorities stream is a good option. Ontario also offers a PNP for French-Speaking Skilled Workers. The province hosts frequent draws to make PNP easier for deserving candidates. 

Nova Scotia – 

The Labor market Priorities of Nova Scotia select candidates directly from the pool of Express Entry. The province does not publish the criteria targeting ahead of intake rounds but also invites applications of candidates belonging outside the province.

Processing Time for a PNP Application

Processing time is the duration required to process an application to the British Columbia PNP. The program time starts from the date of submission of the application.

  • The estimated processing time for skills Immigration and post-nomination requests is three months. 
  • The estimated processing time for the registration score is six weeks from the registration date. 
  • The application decision notification estimated time is four months. 

Benefits of the Provincial Nominee Program

1. Low employment competition

Canada has one of the best economies in the world. The PNP program helps applicants to settle down and attain permanent residency that opens up economic opportunities and offers the best standard of living. If you are moving to cities like Vancouver and Toronto, you will find the competition for employment to be very high. On the other hand, with a PNP, if applicants settle down in provinces like Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, the competition will be low and the chances of employment will be easy and quick. Shifting to a province in Canada will open up opportunities in a shorter period of time, as compared to Canadian cities. 

2. Living costs will be lower

The provinces and territories are affordable as compared to elite and opulent cities in Canada. The living costs will be low for the applicants that decide to settle down in Canada in one of the provinces. The daily utilities, expenses, and transportation will be much more affordable than in high-rise cities. The PNP helps applicants to settle down at a low cost of living in Canada. 

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Study with upGrad Abroad 

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Canada welcomes immigrants from various parts of the world to be a part of Canada and contribute to the economy of Canada. The PNP is a pathway to immigration to Canada. It is an excellent opportunity for skilled workers and business people to settle down in a particular province, where the competition and cost of living are lower. Applicants that meet the eligibility criteria can easily get a permanent residency visa under the Canada Provincial Nominee Program. For any queries related to the Provincial Nominee Program, the applicants can consult the counsellors of upGrad Abroad.

Recommended Read: All About Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker Program

Frequently Asked Questions

How are Provincial Nominee Program points calculated?

Each province has its eligibility requirements and uses different point system to select the candidate to receive PNP. The points are calculated based on work experience, age, language, qualification, and acquaintances living in the province. A point to note is that not all the provinces use the point system to measure the candidates’ capability.

How can I increase my chances of receiving a nomination?

A candidate can increase their chance of receiving a PNP by submitting an Express Entry profile. The provinces check the pool of Express Entry and invite the profiles to help fill the labor and demographic gaps. The candidates must ensure that their profile is strong and show their interest in multiple provinces.

What is the ideal PNP candidate?

An ideal PNP candidate has skills and work experience that help a province fulfill the labor market and demographic needs. Some other factors that can increase the chances of a candidate:

  • Work experience of an in-demand occupation
  • Strong English proficiency
  • Proficiency in French.
  • Strong background (with previous work experience, job offer, education, family)

How does my IELTS score affect my PNP chances?

The language exam score of the candidates is one of the criteria that most provinces consider. Whether a candidate has received an invitation in a PNP draw Most programs consider this one of the eligibility requirements as part of the scoring criteria.

Do I need an ECA report for PNPs?

Most PNPs need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report to show the applicant’s international credentials equivalence. The candidate must check the eligibility requirements for the program they are applying for. Some provinces also need the candidate to authorize the organization to provide the ECA report results with PNP.

What does it mean to be invited to apply by a provincial nominee program?

“Invitation to Apply” (or the Notification of Interest or Letter of Interest) is an invitation from a province to apply for a nomination. While issuing an invitation, the provinces also offer a deadline for application submission. However, the deadline depends on the program to which the applicant is invited.

Can I immigrate through a PNP without IELTS or CELPIP?

A candidate can create an Express Entry profile without the IELTS or CELPIP but should clear at least one language knowledge test.


Shweta is a content professional who has spent over a decade in the field and has experience working in varied industries and domains.

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