In recent years, Canada has become a new home to more than 400,000 newcomers annually, all immigrating through different immigration programs. On this page, you will learn about Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), which are often used for personal immigration and business immigration.
Does securing a Canadian permanent residency sound appealing to you? Do you envisage turning over the page and moving to Canada to start the next chapter of your life? If yes, then this page is for you!
What is PNP Canada?
The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP Canada) is an immigration system and a way to respond to Canada’s need for new and urgent immigration. Essentially, as the name suggests, PNP Canada is designed to give the provincial/territorial governments the discretion to invite immigrants depending on labour needs through local discretionary nominations. Under Canada’s PNP programs, applicants obtain permanent residency as a final outcome of their efforts.
There are 80 immigration PNP streams in Canada which seek to provide individuals with Canadian permanent residency. Some territories, such as Quebec and Nuvanut, have their systems – for instance, Quebec has opted to determine its economic immigration selection process.
To put this into context, Canada comprises 10 provinces and 3 territories governed under the Canadian Constitution. Although the federal government is responsible for national immigration laws and regulations, provinces also enjoy some freedom regarding immigration through the Provincial Nominee Programs. It is referred to as concurrent jurisdiction over immigration matters.
PNP Canada Requirements: Who are Eligible for PNP Canada?
The PNP Canada requirements in 2022 can be divided into:
PNP Business Immigration Canada
Entrepreneurs can enjoy owning and growing a business in Canada through the Business Immigration PNPs. Typically, entrepreneurs need a financial business plan to develop their business and declare their net worth and the capital they are willing to put into the provincial economy. Usually, a net worth of CAD $250,000 will add points to the entrepreneur’s PNP depending on the province they seek to relocate to. Most times, relevant work experience in managing a business from the same category plays a beneficial role in your application.
Although PNP programs are one of Canada’s most searched-for immigration pathways, they might not be the fastest or the best for you. We strongly suggest you consider the Intra-Company Transfer program, Entrepreneur Work Permit program, Canada’s Start-up visa program, or LMIA work permits when searching for a suitable immigration program.
Entrepreneurs will typically need to hold at least 33.33% shares in a business, and their investment in a province or territory will be set at a certain minimum from as low as CAD $125,000 to as much as CAD $3,000,000. Investment amounts may differ within provinces. For instance, the Vancouver and Abbotsford areas in the Province of British Columbia require that investors bring twice as much net worth and investments as what they would contribute to the other parts of the province. Exploratory visits are usually also recommended, with New Brunswick even setting a term of five business days to complete this activity.
PNP Personal Immigration Canada
Personal Immigration PNPs are available to skilled and semi-skilled workers with certain abilities, industry knowledge, and work experience within their industry. Not every PNP scheme mandates that candidates ought to have a job offer. However, nominees must meet certain education, linguistic proficiency (English and/or French), age, and medical fitness criteria. Individual nominees should be committed to obtaining a permanent residence in their chosen province and will sign paperwork proving their intent to reside. Those invited to the province as a nominee are usually also able to bring their spouses, dependents and/or children.
Workers should pay all PNP and subsequently arising charges. The federal governments have designated PNP dates when invitations to nominees are issued through the PNP draw. Following the latest PNP updates and PNP draws is a good practice.
How to Apply for PNP in Canada?
You can apply for a PNP program by:
- Applying to a PNP program directly – the province will review your application based on the selection criteria and the points system. If you are found to be a suitable candidate, the province will give you a nomination letter, which you can use to apply for PR;
- Applying through the Express Entry System – your profile will be visible to all provinces and territories in this case. If selected, you will receive an invitation to apply for an Express Entry stream of that province’s or territory’s PNP.
If you are successful at your PNP application in either of the pathways, you will be granted 600 points under the Comprehensive Ranking System. You will be able to use these points in your Express Entry application.
A preliminary piece of advice is first to give your very best in researching the labour market and employment needs of the province you intend to immigrate to. There is no point going for a certain role in a chosen province or territory if you cannot meet the PNP requirements, let alone if the region does not need people from your area of employment.
Bearing this in mind, you will then have to decide which province you will apply to in order to be nominated for PNP. You can familiarize yourself with the different streams in this page’s ‘List of Programs’ section below, where you can access each stream’s application guide and forms through the provided links.
PNP Canada Costs
PNP Canada costs are reflected in the provinces’ discretionary immigration powers, so prices vary. This section only refers to application fees paid to the government and associate expenses – it does not include investment costs or lawyer fees for business PNP streams. You can estimate your PNP business immigration costs with our fee calculator.
There are several free-of-charge PNP programs, though provinces tend to provide PNPs for minimal fees ranging between $250 and $350. These fees apply to the New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program, the Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program, the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program and the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program.
Medium-priced PNP programs include a $500 fee for the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program and Quebec schemes capped at $785, the latter of which may be supplemented by $168 each for the primary applicant’s spouse/partner and child to move to Canada. The most expensive PNPs include the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program ($1,150) and the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program, which can be topped at $2,000 and no less than $1,500.
Due to extra expenditures, PNP fees range between $2,300 and $3,800. Let us take Quebec as an example of additional fees:
- Mandatory visa fees ($550 for the applicant and their spouse and $150 for dependents);
- Right to Permanent Residence Fees ($490);
- Language tests ($300);
- Police verification fees ($100);
- Medical examination payments ($450 for adults and $200 less for children); and
- Government fees ($225 per child jumping to $1,325 per adult).
In other words – it is advisable to have enough savings to cover the total costs, not just the PNP fees.
PNP Canada Processing Time
The PNP PR processing time depends on the applicant’s entry type and the province they have applied to.
An Express Entry PNP applicant will receive priority in their application review, so their PNP Express Entry would take about 5 to 6 months. A standard non-Express Entry application for PNP vs an Express Entry would always come second on the province’s list, so expect the processing time to be anywhere between 12 and 24 months.
Quebec, a province with distinctive PNP requirements, previously processed PNP nominations in just 20 days, although it has instead elected to adopt the maximum 6 months processing model.
PNP Canada: List of Programs 2022
This section will provide a convenient summary of all PNP programs across Canadian provinces. They are divided into PNPs for individuals and business owners.
|Name of Alberta PNP||Type||Details|
|Alberta Opportunity Stream||Individuals||Not aligned with the Express Entry option, this PNP is for skilled workers presently employed the province.|
|Alberta General Express Entry Stream||Individuals||Aligned with the Express Entry option (score of at least 300), this PNP requires employment history in the province or alternatively a family connection of citizenship/permanent residency in the province.|
|Alberta Accelerated Tech Pathway||Individuals||Aligned with the Express Entry system, this PNP is available to workers from 38 professions currently working in Alberta or having a job offer in the province.|
|Rural Renewal Stream||Individuals||Not associated with the Express Entry system, this PNP requires a job/job offer in a rural part of the province, where the candidates intend to reside and be part of a rural community.|
|Farm Stream||Business||This Stream is available for those who wish to become Alberta Farmers. Does not require any work experience in the province.|
|Graduate Entrepreneur Stream||Business||This Stream is for graduates from domestic universities and foreign institutions who wish to start a business in the province. Does not require any work experience in the province.|
|Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream||Business||This Stream is for graduates from domestic universities and foreign institutions who wish to start a business in the province. Does not require any work experience in the province.|
|Rural Entrepreneur Stream||Business||This Stream is for those who want to purchase a rural business. Does not require any work experience in the province.|
|Name of BC PNP||Type||Details|
|Skilled Worker||Individuals||There are several sub-streams under this category costing $1,150 and taking 2 to 3 months to process: the Skilled Worker Category, the Healthcare Professional Category, the International Graduate Category, the International Post-Graduate Category and the
Entry Level and Semi-Skilled Worker Category.*
* The first four sub-streams are covered under both the Skilled Worker and the Express Entry categories.
|Express Entry BC Stream||Individuals||Same as above|
|Entrepreneur Stream||Business||Immigration guide available here|
|Name of Manitoba PNP||Type||Details|
|Skilled Worker in Manitoba||Individuals||Nominees can choose between the Manitoba Work Experience Pathway and the Employer Direct Recruitment Pathway, pay $500 and wait six months for the nomination to be processed.|
|Skilled Worker Overseas||Individuals||The two sub-streams (the Manitoba Express Entry Pathway and the Human Capital Pathway cover In-Demand Occupations), cost $500 and take six months for the nomination to be processed.|
|International Education Stream||Individuals||Designed to help graduates receive permanent residence, the Career Employment Pathway ($500), the Graduate Internship Pathway: ($500) and the International Student Entrepreneur Pathway ($2,500) each take six months to process.|
|Morden Community Driven Initiative||Individuals||Morden received a city classification only in 2012 and is located 112 km southwest of Winnipeg and attempts to attract immigrants to grow its c.10,000 residents.|
|Manitoba Business Investor Stream||Business||Covers entrepreneurs and farmers, costs $2,500 and takes six months for the nomination to be processed.|
|Name of NB PNP||Type||Details|
|Express Entry Stream||Individuals||Temporarily suspended since May 2022.|
|Skilled Workers Stream||Individuals||Nominees must have secured full-time job offers on a permanent contract.|
|Strategic Initiative Stream||Individuals||Available to Francophone workers.|
|Atlantic Immigration Program||Individuals||New Brunswick, as one of the four Atlantic provinces, can hire foreign employees that are not able to fit with their profession locally.|
|Business Immigration Stream||Business||Requires that nominees invest $300,000 and have $600,000 in net worth.|
|Name of NL PNP||Type||Details|
|Express Entry Skilled Worker||Individuals||Cost $250 and take just 25 days to be processed.|
|Skilled Worker Category||Individuals||Same as above.|
|International Graduate Category||Individuals||Free of charge and take just 25 days to be processed.|
|Atlantic Immigration Pilot||Individuals||Newfoundland and Labrador, as one of the four Atlantic provinces, can hire foreign employees that are not able to fit with their profession locally.|
|International Entrepreneur Category||Business||The processing time is fluid and costs $1,000; nominees must be able to invest $200,000 and have $600,000 in net worth.|
|International Graduate Entrepreneur Category||Business||Nominees must pay $250 and must have graduated from the Memorial University of College of the North Atlantic in the last two years (two-year programs and above are recognized only).|
|Name of NS PNP||Type||Details|
|Nova Scotia Experience (Express Entry)||Individuals||Express Entry stream selects highly skilled individuals who wish to live in Nova Scotia permanently. Applicants must have at least one year of experience working in Nova Scotia in a high skilled occupation.|
|Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities||Individuals||Labour Market Priorities stream selects candidates in the federal Express Entry system who meet provincial labour market needs to apply for nomination.|
|Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities for Physicians||Individuals||The Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities stream for Physicians selects physicians to apply for nomination through the federal Express Entry system. Only candidates with an approved offer from the Nova Scotia Health Authority or the IWK Health Centre who receive a Letter of Interest from the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration may apply.|
|Skilled Worker Stream||Individuals||This Stream helps employers recruit foreign workers and recently graduated international students whose skills are needed in Nova Scotia. An employer can only hire foreign workers for positions they have been unable to fill with permanent residents or Canadian citizens.|
|Occupation In-Demand Stream||Individuals||The Occupations in Demand stream targets specific NOC C and D occupations that are in high labour market demand in Nova Scotia.|
|International Graduates In-Demand||Individuals||The International Graduates in Demand stream is for recent international graduates whose skills and education match specific National Occupational Classification (NOC) job categories.|
|Physician Stream||Individuals||This Stream assists Nova Scotia’s public health authorities – the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) and the Izaak Walton Killam Health Centre (IWK) – to hire general practitioners, family physicians, and specialist physicians to work in Nova Scotia.|
|Entrepreneur Stream||Business||The Entrepreneur Stream is for experienced business owners or senior business managers who want to live in Nova Scotia. They must start a new business or buy an existing business and must actively participate in the day-to-day management of the business.|
|International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream||Business||The International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream is for recent graduates of a Nova Scotia university or the Nova Scotia Community College. They must have already started or bought a Nova Scotia business and operated it for at least a year.|
|Name of Ontario PNP||Type||Details|
|Human Capital Category||Individuals||Covers Skilled Workers, French speakers and Skilled Traders.|
|Masters or PhD Category||Individuals||View the Masters stream
|Employer Job Offering Category||Individuals||Includes Students ($1,500; max. 120 days’ processing time) and In-Demand and Foreign Workers ($1,500 - $2,000; max. 90 days’ processing time; price depends on whether the job is outside of Toronto or not).|
|Business Category||Business||Nominees must have $400,000-$800,000 depending on whether they will do business inside or outside of the Great Toronto Area; an Economic Assessment must be completed.|
|Name of Saskatchewan PNP||Type||Details|
|International Skilled Worker||Individuals||The ISW PNP features several sub-categories: Tech Talent Pathway, Employment Offer, Occupations In Demand and Saskatchewan Express Entry at a price of $350, taking
4-37 weeks to receive a nomination.
|Saskatchewan Experience||Individuals||Covers six sub-categories, including students, truck drivers, agriculture workers and people in the healthcare/hospitability sectors. The processing time is remarkably quick: two weeks.|
|Entrepreneur||Business||Takes 14 weeks to process and the nomination covers farm owners and investors with half a million Canadian dollars net worth (there exist several sub-entrepreneur pathways with different requirements, e.g. for young investors). Costs $2,500.|
|Farm owner/operator||Business||Same as above.|
|International Graduate Entrepreneur||Business||Nominees should be aged 21 and have completed their education in a local institution. There are exceptions as to who is eligible to apply, e.g. illegal residents.|
|Name of NWT PNP||Type||Details|
|Express Entry for Skilled Workers||Individuals||Nomination of foreign nationals through these sub-PNPs: Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades and the Canadian Experience Class.|
|Skilled Worker||Individuals||Nomination of foreign nationals who have worked for six months in the Northwest Territories.|
|Entry-level/Semi-skilled Occupations||Individuals||Shortage job nominations for people with six months’ work experience in the Northwest Territories.|
|Business Stream||Business||Those eligible for the Northwest Territories Business PNP need to prove they can acquire/create and develop a business, provide a deposit, have a net worth of $250,000 to $500,000 (contingent on you business is in or out of Yellowknife) and invest between $150,000 to $300,000 (contingent on whether you business is in or out of Yellowknife)|
|Name of Yukon PNP||Type||Details|
|Yukon Express Entry||Individuals||For skilled foreign workers.|
|Skilled Worker||Individuals||For skilled foreign workers.|
|Critical Impact Worker||Individuals||Unskilled or semi-skilled foreign workers in occupations of high demand.|
|Yukon Community Pilot||Individuals||Can work for multiple Yukon employers and in multiple communities.|
|Business Nominee||Business||Available to those who have substantial capital to start or join the running of a business.|
The Best PNP Programs in Canada
The two most popular PNP programs are the Ontario Nominee Immigrant Program (OINP) and the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP).
The Ontario PNP is popular as Ontario hosts four of Canada’s ten wealthiest cities, including the capital city Ottawa. The local PNPs are separated into ‘Business’, ‘Employer Job Offer’ and ‘Human Capital’ streams available to investors, students, Ph.D. graduates and French Speakers, among others.
BCPNP has three streamlines: one for workers, one for entrepreneurs, and a third for Express Entry candidates. Some work schemes cater to individuals trained in the aviation (pilots) and technology sectors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find answers to the most commonly asked questions about PNP Canada.
Is PNP Canada easy?
Yes, getting a PNP is regarded as a straightforward process. Unlike other immigration systems, it enjoys the government’s support as local authorities get to make the nominations, i.e. the government wants you, so it will make the efforts to attain you. The popularity of this scheme comes from the dozens of streams within the PNP program, the flexibility of requirements on a province-by-province basis, and the fast processing time. However, in terms of business immigration, PNPs might not be the best choice, and you might have quicker and more certain immigration outcomes through federal immigration programs.
Does PNP guarantee PR?
Probably yes, if you fulfill all requirements. The Provincial Nominee Program Canada is a way to obtain permanent residency (PR) in Canada. As the point of the PNP Visa for Canada is to attract skilled immigration to the country, it effectively also aims to retain these arrivals for the long-term and is, in a way, a fast track to PR.
Can I apply for PNP outside of Canada?
Yes, you may apply for PNP from overseas either by contacting your chosen province and requesting a PNP nomination or by being nominated by the province itself as a foreign national, the latter of which would be followed up by a self-creation of an Express Entry online profile.
How does PNP work?
PNP is a type of immigration program for students, entrepreneurs, and skilled (or semi-skilled) workers with education, capabilities, and plans to become permanent residents of Canada.
Suppose you request a nomination by a Canadian province or receive such a nomination. In that case, you must follow the PNP application procedures explained above (‘How to apply for PNP in Canada?’). This can be done through the Express Entry online service or a paper-based application.
You will also need to confirm the fees for your PNP depending on whether you apply as a worker or an entrepreneur and the province or territory in your spotlight.
In addition, you will be assigned points for the level of your skills, professional qualifications, language proficiency etc. You will also need to pay the PNP fees and other associated costs with the application, e.g. medical and language testing or governmental charges.
How long does it take to get a PNP nomination?
The more preferred application method involves the Express Entry online portal, which speeds up the processing time to 6 months. Otherwise, a paper-based application takes more time, which may take as long as 2 years.
While these are the general deadlines, remember that you can apply for 80 PNP schemes in 13 provinces/territories. Some PNP pathways may take less time, such as the British Columbia Entry Level and Semi-Skilled Worker Category being issued after 2 to 3 months.
What is provincial nomination in Express Entry?
An Express Entry for provincial nomination is a way to add to 600 bonus Comprehensive Ranking System Points and further compel a province to issue a nomination invitation. It is also known as an enhanced nomination. This type of nomination is a solid step closer to securing an Invitation To Apply.
Can I apply for multiple PNP in Canada?
Yes, you may be able to submit two PNP nominations to two different provinces/territories in Canada. Make sure you choose wisely because, in every province, you are required to sign a statement of intent. Some provinces, such as New Brunswick, may require you to sign a statement of commitment, which attaches a greater degree of legality to it.
Can I move to another province after PNP?
Immigration is a huge commitment, and the Canadian government wants you to commit to your province of choice. As such, moving to another province is not desirable after obtaining PNP. Let us explain this with an example.
You have, for instance, obtained a PNP to settle in Yukon, the second least dense region in Canada, but then you decided to move to Ontario. You may face a refusal to receive a PR due to an initial misrepresentation – after all, your actions do not back up your initially expressed commitment to Yukon. If you have PNP and are awaiting PR, this may be refused (or revoked if you have obtained it and moved) on the grounds of a false representation. You may even be deported and barred from entering Canada for 5 years.
Please think carefully about the province you want to be nominated by. However, after residing in your PNP province for some time and receiving PR, you may move to another province.
Ultimately, you should ask yourself how the province will help you develop and whether there are economic growth opportunities in the job sector that will make you a good fit for the relevant Canadian region of interest. It is best to settle in your preferred province from the start.
Can my family come to Canada with me if I obtain a provincial nomination?
Generally, administrative guidelines do not stop your closest family members (spouse and dependents/children) from following in your footsteps and moving to Canada. However, bringing your extended family to Canada may be a bit more difficult (parents, grandparents, siblings, nieces/nephews, cousins, aunts/uncles, etc.). Sometimes, only certain categories of workers can invite their families. For example, skilled workers can bring their families, unlike semi-skilled workers.
In case you have any doubts as to whether your family can come with you to Canada after you obtain a provincial nomination, it is always best to consult with an immigration lawyer.