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Canada PNP (Provincial Nominee Program)-All You Need To Know

Last Updated On 21 March 2023, 10:08 AM EDT (Toronto Time)

The provincial nominee program (PNP) serves as a pathway to permanent residence in Canada for people who want to immigrate to a particular Canadian province or territory. 

Each province and territory has its own “streams” and requirements. Wherein immigration programs target specific groups to help meet the province’s economic needs.  

For example, provincial immigration programs may target students, business people, skilled and semi-skilled workers, etc. 

In this article, you can learn how PNPs work under the Express Entry and non-Express Entry systems. As well as understand the difference in the application process for the same.

PNP overview and application options 

Except for Quebec and Nunavut, every province operates a variety of PNP streams. The qualifying requirements and application processes for these streams vary since the provinces created them to assist in achieving their own immigration goals.

However, Canada’s provinces cannot decide who qualifies for permanent resident status on their own; the federal government must make this decision at the national level. The provincial programs are referred to as “nominee” programs because of this.

A successful PNP candidate will receive a nomination from the province to apply for permanent residency with the federal government. It indicates that immigrating via PNP is a two-part process. Therefore, as an interested candidate, you must first receive provincial approval before applying at the federal level.

Moreover, the Provincial Nominee Program stream you are applying to will determine how you should submit your application. You may need to submit your application through Express Entry or a non-Express Entry process.

Accordingly, you must pass a medical exam and obtain a police check certificate. Everyone must get these checks regardless of where they plan to live in Canada. 

Non-Express Entry Process for PNP

When applying through the non-Express Entry process, you must: 

  • Apply to the province or territory to be nominated in a non-Express Entry stream.
  • Meet the eligibility requirements of the province that nominates you.
  • If nominated, you can apply for permanent residence online
  • You need to get medical exam and police check certificate

However, the application processing times are generally longer than with Express Entry. 

Applying through the Express Entry Process 

If you are planning to apply online, the Express Entry process has two options:

Option 1: 

  • You get in touch with the territory or province and apply for a nomination under an Express Entry stream.
  • If the province or territory agrees to nominate you, then create (or update, if you already have one) an Express Entry profile to demonstrate that you have been nominated.


  • Create an Express Entry profile, express your interest in the province and territory, showing the province that you are interested.
  • If you receive a “notification of interest” in your account by a province or territory, contact the province directly.
  • Then, apply to their Express Entry stream.
    • If you receive a nomination, the province or territory will send a nomination certificate to your account, and you can accept it electronically.

Nevertheless, in both cases, you need to:

  • Meet province or territory’s eligibility requirements 
  • Submit Express Entry profile 
  • Show how you meet the minimum criteria for Express Entry, meaning show how you are eligible for one of the programs within Express Entry (Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades and Canadian Experience Class).
  • Then if you receive an invitation to apply, you’ll submit your application to IRCC electronically. 

Selecting a province or territory 

Below are the official links to PNPs operated by various provinces of Canada.

Source: IRCC


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