How to Move to Canada – Provincial Programs
Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) are immigration procedures unique to Canadian provinces. They help in distributing the population of immigrants in all provinces of Canada.
Canada consists of 10 provinces and three territories. The ten provinces of Canada are Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. The three territories are Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon [Wikipedia]. The territories are more dependent on the federal government of Canada than the provinces.
Most provinces and territories have special immigration programs to attract population, skills, and capital to their provinces. Provincial Nominee Program or PNP is the common phrase referring to these programs.
Quebec has the strongest PNP in place. They deal with all aspects of immigration to their province. Although the final decision-maker is a Federal immigration officer, they generally do not interfere with the selection process conducted by Quebec officers.
The federal government of Canada negotiates with the provinces and puts limitations on PNPs. For example, they put a cap on the number of applicants each province may select. They also screen applicants for inadmissibility to Canada or validity of their applications. If the federal officer decides to refuse an application, they get in touch with the provincial officer and share their concerns with them.
One the reasons for PNPs is to distribute population in all different regions of Canada. As a result, if an area traditionally receives few immigrants they may loosen up their criteria for getting provincial nominees. Consequently, an applicant who does not qualify for immigration under federal programs may be eligible to immigrate to Canada under a provincial program.
When someone applies for a PNP, they must show they intend to live in the specific province they have selected. For example, if you apply for Manitoba PNP you must demonstrate to the officer you plan to move to Manitoba. To ensure the integrity of PNP, provinces may ask you to sign an intent or performance agreements, visit the province before immigration, or show strong ties with the province such as close family members or valid job offers.
A typical PNP application goes like this.
- The applicant shows interest in the program (normally by submitting an online form).
- The province allows successful applicants to proceed.
- The applicant submits several forms and documents to the province.
- The province issues Certificate of Nomination for the selected candidates.
- The applicant submits several forms and documents to IRCC.
- IRCC reviews the application and allows successful applicants to enter Canada as Permanent Residents.
The preceding steps do not apply to every PNP. Sometimes the first step is not necessary. Sometimes the candidate enters Canada on a work permit which eventually could turn into permanent residency.
If you want to apply under PNP, you need to keep an eye on opportunities that rise in the province of your choice. The following list could help you with your quest.
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
- Northwest Territories
The opportunities may come and go quickly. The websites may also change from time to time.
If you need more information contact us.
Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
- How to move to Canada? General Info
- How to move to Canada? Federal Programs
- Some immigration acronyms
“This article provides information of a general nature only. It may no longer be current. It does not provide legal advice nor should it be relied upon. If you have specific legal questions you should consult a lawyer. If you are looking for official immigration advice contact us.”