Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are considered to be the best option for economic-class candidates who want to obtain permanent residence in Canada. These programs were designed to help provincial and territorial governments fill specific labour gaps in their region. Most of the Canadian provinces and territories, except Quebec and Nunavut, operate a PNP. With the Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025 in motion, the number of PNP immigrants is set to exceed 105,000 in each of the next three years, with a rise to 105,500 in 2023 and 117,500 by 2025. As a result of recent developments, like the multi-year PNP plan, the two levels of government have more flexibility in planning immigrant settlements.
The Purpose of the PNP
The purpose of the PNP is to assist the Canadian government in achieving its goal of spreading the economic, social, and cultural benefits of immigration across the country. By participating in the program, every province or territory can offer Permanent Residency (PR) to hand-picked immigration candidates who are interested in calling their province or territory home. Each province and territory that participates in the program can set its specific requirements for immigration candidates that are chosen, so the criteria may differ depending on the region. In a separate agreement with the federal government, Quebec operates its own economic immigration programs.
Through PNPs, skilled immigrants can immigrate to Canada through base nominations and enhanced nominations. Base PNP nominations are processed through regular PNP streams outside of the Express Entry system. Meanwhile, many Canadian provinces and territories can nominate a certain number of immigration candidates for PR through the Express Entry system, called ‘enhanced’ nominations. As part of the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), candidates who receive a nomination from the PNP are given an additional 600 points out of a maximum possible 1,200 points under the Express Entry program. In essence, this almost guarantees that the candidate will receive an Invitation to Apply from the Express Entry pool at a subsequent draw.
Recent PNP Developments
Provinces have started to unveil their new PNP allocations since the meeting of Canada’s federal, provincial, and territorial immigration ministers in March 2023. Ontario’s PNP allocation is set to rise to 18,000 per year by 2025, as the province sought more control over its economic-class immigration programs. Other provinces, such as Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Yukon, have also announced their future PNP allocations.
A Guide to Applying for the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) in Canada
Applying for the PNP in Canada provides an opportunity for skilled immigrants to obtain permanent residency through base nominations as well as enhanced nominations. The difference between these two types of nominations is that enhanced PNP nominations are processed faster than base nominations. Currently, base nominations take 20 months to process, while enhanced nominations take 11 months.
To apply for a base PNP nomination, candidates must first meet the eligibility criteria for a base PNP stream offered by a province or territory. Once they meet the criteria and apply for a nomination, they will receive a nomination certificate if approved. With this certificate, they can then apply for permanent residency with the Canadian federal government. The base PNP application process involves three simple steps: creating an online account with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) upon receiving a provincial nomination, paying application fees, and submitting the online application.
To qualify for an enhanced Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) nomination, aspiring immigrants must be part of the Express Entry pool. From time to time, provincial and territorial governments review the pool and invite those who express interest in gaining permanent residency in their jurisdiction. However, some provinces, like Saskatchewan, ask candidates who want to move there to directly get in touch with them so they can assess their profile.
The enhanced PNP application involves four key steps. First, candidates need to create an Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) account and submit an Express Entry profile. Next, they must secure an Express Entry stream nomination, receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA), and fill out the appropriate application with IRCC online.
It is crucial to remember that if an enhanced PNP nomination is withdrawn before receiving an ITA, candidates should seek advice from a qualified immigration professional to figure out their next move.
To sum up, the PNP presents a viable avenue for skilled immigrants seeking permanent residency in Canada. The process involves meeting eligibility requirements for a base PNP stream or an Express Entry stream, securing a nomination certificate, and submitting an online application. With adequate information and support, candidates can navigate the PNP application process successfully and accomplish their immigration objectives.