Provincial Nominee Programs

People who want to move to a certain province or region in Canada can use Canada's provincial nominee programs (PNPs) to become permanent residents of Canada. 

Each province and territory in Canada has its own PNP, which is created to meet the economic and population needs of that area.

The Canadian federal government raises the number of PNP candidate offers every year. These programs are the fastest-growing way for people to move to Canada for work.

What are Provincial Nominee Programs?

Quebec and Nunavut are the only two provinces that do not have any PNP lines. These programs were made by the provinces to help them meet their own immigration goals, so the requirements to be eligible and the way to apply vary. PNPs, on the other hand, are popular because they can be the fastest way to get permanent residency in Canada.

All decisions about permanent residency in Canada must be made at the national level by the federal government. This means that the provinces of Canada can't make decisions about permanent residency on their own. The state programs are called "nominee" programs because of this.

If you are accepted into a PNP, the province will recommend you to the central government so that you can get permanent residence. This means that using a PNP to move to Canada is always the first step in a two-step process. First, a person who wants to move to Canada must get approval from their province. Then, they must apply at the government level.

The Provinces and Territories

Except for Nunavut and Quebec, all of Canada's provinces and territories run their Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). These programs are meant to meet the economic and population needs of each province or territory. Program requirements and how to apply change a lot from province to province, so applicants should check with each province to see if they are eligible.

You may also know the complete information about the

  • Alberta

  • British Columbia

  • Manitoba

  • New Brunswick

  • Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Northwest Territories

  • Nova Scotia

  • Ontario

  • Prince Edward Island

  • Quebec

  • Saskatchewan

  • Yukon

How to apply to a Provincial Nominee Program in Canada

Step-by-step instructions for applying to a Canadian PNP:

Choose the right PNP for you: Look at the list of provinces and regions at the top of this page to decide where you want to move. Check the standards for each PNP to see if you meet the criteria.

Apply to the PNP of your choice: Send an application to the province or region of your choice.

Get a Provincial Nomination certificate: If your application is accepted, the province or territory will recommend you apply for permanent residence in Canada.

Send in your application to live there permanently: Apply to the federal government of Canada to become a permanent resident. If the PNP you want to apply for is compatible with Express Entry, you can do this online. If not, you must apply to paper.

How to apply through the 'base' PNP process

To apply for some PNPs, you do not need an Express Entry application. The name for these apps is "base" PNPs. Even though the nomination process for each school is different, the general steps are:

  • Nominate yourself

  • If you are chosen, use the Permanent Residence Portal to apply for permanent residence in Canada.

Once a Canadian province or territory has selected you, you can use Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada's online Permanent Residence Portal to apply for permanent residence in Canada.

Processing time for Base PNP permanent residence applications is much longer than processing time for Express Entry applications. A permanent resident application sent through Express Entry takes an average of 6 months to process, while a paper-based application takes an average of 18 months to process.

How to apply using the Express Entry Process

  • Set up an account and send in a resume for Express Entry.

  • Apply to a PNP that works with Express Entry.

  • Get a recommendation for the Express Entry stream

  • If you confirm Express Entry on your page, you'll get 600 more points.

  • Wait to get an offer to live there permanently.

  • Through the Express Entry method, you can apply for permanent residence in Canada.

  • As each PNP is different, so is the process for applying and getting a nomination through the Express Entry method.

Some PNPs always take applications from qualified people, so if you qualify for the PNP, you can send in your application whenever you're ready. 

Other PNPs use an Expression of Interest (EOI) method, in which qualified applicants submit a profile that is ranked on a points-based system for the chance to be invited to apply for nomination. 

Lastly, some PNPs let foreigners apply, either by picking people directly from the Express Entry pool or by having people who are interested send in an official Expression of Interest.

The process of applying for the PNP can be confusing, and applications can be turned down if they are sent in wrong or aren't complete. Applicants should make sure their forms are filled out properly and sent through the right channel.

How many PNPs does Canada have?

Quebec and Nunavut are the only Canadian provinces and territories that don't have their own PNP program. The rest of Canada's provinces and territories do. There are more than 80 different programs for regional nominees.

Provincial Nominee Programs for Express Entry

In 2015, Canada started using Express Entry as a way to handle applications for permanent residence through the same big economic immigration programs. 

Since then, many provinces and territories in Canada have made PNP lines that are "enhanced" and work with Express Entry. This means that some PNPs require applicants to have an Express Entry background to qualify for the PNP.

If an applicant is nominated through a PNP that is aligned with Express Entry, the applicant can then claim 600 extra Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. 

This almost guarantees that the applicant will get an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence in the next Express Entry draw. 

If a person gets a nomination through a PNP that is not linked to Express Entry, they must submit a federal application for permanent residence as a provincial nominee that is not linked to Express Entry. 

Federal applications for permanent residence that aren't made through Express Entry can take a lot longer to process than internet Express Entry applications.

How much does it cost to move to a country using a PNP?

Depending on the scheme, it costs between $2,300 and CAD 3,800 to move to Canada through a Provincial Nominee scheme. Some governments don't charge processing fees for applicants, while others, like Ontario, charge up to CAD 1,500.

  • The average fee for a language test is $300.

  • If you need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA), the average cost is $200.

  • $85 per person for biometrics

  • Government fees are $1,325 for adults and $225 for kids.

  • The average cost of a medical checkup is $450 for an adult and $250 for a child.

  • The average cost of a police clearance certificate is $100 per country.

  • Fees to handle the Provincial Nominee Program: up to CAD 1500

  • Total cost: $2,300 CAD to $3,800 CAD

Can I move to a country through a PNP if I don't have a job offer?

There are many Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) for people who want to move to Canada but don't have a job offer. Most of the time, these programs look for people with skills or work experience that can help the state fill gaps in the labor market or its population.

Do I qualify for a PNP in Canada?

You might be able to get a Canadian PNP if you have ties to a state or if you have work experience or skills that are in demand. Different provinces have different rules about who can get PNPs. As part of an economic immigration strategy, PNPs are generally set up to attract workers who can help the economy quickly and who are likely to stay in that province. 

Because of this, some PNPs give preference to immigrants who have experience in jobs that are needed in that area. Other PNPs like foreigners who already have ties to the province, like family member, because it makes it more likely that they will stay there. As with most economic immigration programs, young applicants with good language skills, high levels of education, and skilled work experience are more likely to succeed. If not, you'll need to look at the list of PNPs listed above to find out what each program's eligibility requirements are.

What do you need to do to get one of Canada's PNPs?

In addition to language and education standards, provinces and territories often look for applicants with work experience that fits their local job market. Each province has its standards for language skills, education level, and set of skills. You must also show that you will be able to help the local economy and that you want to live in that province or territory to apply.

How long does it take to process an application for a PNP?

Different provinces have different times for processing nomination forms, but it usually takes a few months. Through a PNP program, you have to take two steps to apply for permanent residence in Canada. You must first send an application to the state. After that is accepted, you must send your application to the federal government. 

PR can only be given by the federal government. Whether your PNP application was "base" or "enhanced" will determine how long it will take to finish your application for permanent residence. 

If I don't qualify for Express Entry, can I still get a PNP?

Many PNPs demand that people who want to apply have a profile in the Express Entry pool that is still active. But there are some exceptions to this rule. Some areas give nominations to people who don't qualify for Express Entry. Different schools have different rules about who can join, so it's best to talk to a representative about your eligibility. 

All PNPs that lead to a nomination require the candidate to then send the federal government an application to become a permanent resident. If the PNP is not set up to work with Express Entry, the application for permanent residency with the federal government must be sent through a different site or on paper. When a PNP application is not for Express Entry, it usually takes longer to process.

Tracker for Provincial Nominee Program Updates

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are the immigration programs that each province and territory in Canada runs. No two PNPs are the same because each province has a different population and different work needs. Different programs may start at different times of the year and last for different amounts of time. Since PNPs are always changing, check this page often for the most up-to-date information on all of Canada's PNPs.

PNP Updates


Province offering nomination program


August 17, 2023

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island sent invitations to 138 candidates for Express Entry and Labour. Under the Business Work Permit Entrepreneur stream, four more people were asked to apply. 

August 16, 2023


Saskatchewan invited 297 applicants through the Occupations In-Demand Streams and 345 through Express Entry. Candidates who were asked to apply had experience in one of a few in-demand jobs.

August 15, 2023


Targeted 1131 people through the Tech and Health Occupations Draw and sent them invitations.

August 15, 2023


Invited 375 people, who were chosen through a draw for skilled trades jobs.

August 10, 2023


1384 people were asked to apply for formal selection by the Minister of Immigration, Franchising, and Integration.

August 10, 2023


Manitoba asked a total of 615 people to move there through three ways.

August 9, 2023

British Columbia

The general pool of 139 was selected (does not exclude STEM fields)

August 3, 2023


201 individuals were extended invitations to submit nomination applications through the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program's (AAIP) Express Entry stream.

August 1, 2023


Forty-three individuals were extended an invitation to apply for nomination through the Alberta Express Entry stream of the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP).

July 28, 2023:


Measures of Exceptional Importance for Immigration: Ukraine


How do points for the Provincial Nominee Program work?

Since each state has its own rules about who can apply and who gets an invitation, they all use different point systems to decide who can apply and who gets an invitation. Most of the time, points are given based on a mix of age, work experience, schooling, language, and ties to the province. Not all nominee programs rank their prospects using a points system.

How can I make it more likely that someone will nominate me?

You can improve your chances of getting a regional nomination just by filling out an Express Entry profile. A lot of the time, provinces look through the Express Entry pool and ask people whose profiles help them fill labor or demographic gaps. 

You can also improve your chances of being invited through an Express Entry PNP by making sure your profile is strong and shows that you are interested in more than one province. Since many PNPs require candidates to have ties to the province, learning or working in Canada can also help your chances.

Who makes the best person for the PNP?

The best PNP candidate has work experience and skills that help a province meet the needs of its job market or population. Other things that might raise a person's chances are:

  • Strong ties to the province, such as work experience, an offer of work, studies done there before, or family.

  • Work experience in a job that's in demand

  • Very good English skills

  • Being good at French

What does my IELTS number mean for my chances of getting a PNP?

When deciding who is eligible or who gets an offer in a PNP draw, many provinces look at how well an applicant did on a language test. Most programs will take this into account as one of their minimum standards for eligibility or as part of their scoring criteria if that's the case.

How to figure out what your PNP points are

Before you can figure out how many PNP points you have, you need to know if and how the provincial program you are applying to gives points to possible nominee candidates. If the school you are applying to uses a points system, you can then figure out your score by adding up your points for each factor.

Is an ECA report needed for PNPs?

Most PNPs need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report to show that an applicant's foreign qualifications are the same as Canadian ones. Check the eligibility requirements for the school you are applying for to see if you need an ECA. Some provinces also need you to give the group permission to give the PNP the results of your ECA report.

What does it mean for a provincial nominee program to ask you to apply?

An "Invitation to Apply" (also called a "Notification of Interest" or "Letter of Interest") is a request from a province to apply for nomination. When a state sends an invitation, it will also tell the person how long they have to send in their application. Depending on which school an applicant is invited through, the deadline will be different.

How does the process of applying for the PNP work?

Depending on which program a person is looking for, the process for applying for the PNP will be different. PNP processes come in three main types:

1. Process of Expression of Interest (EOI)

In some provinces, qualified candidates must first send an Expression of Interest (EOI) profile to the pool of candidates for the program. The government then holds draws called "Expressions of Interest" to find people who want to run for the nomination. 

Most of the time, the rules for these draws change from one to the next. The draws may be based on a candidate's score on the province's points grid, their work experience in a certain job, their ability to speak a language or their highest level of schooling.

The Prince Edward Island Express Entry stream, the Saskatchewan Occupation In-Demand and Express Entry streams, and the Manitoba Skilled Worker streams are all examples of programs that use an EOI method.

2. The process of submitting a Notice of Interest (NOI)

Other nominee programs directly call candidates from the Express Entry pool, even if they haven't applied. Most of the time, these programs look for people with certain work experience or skills that match the wants of the job market. 

Some programs that send Notifications of Interest to people in the Express Entry pool are Ontario's Human Capital Priorities stream, Ontario's French-Speaker stream, Nova Scotia's Labour Market Priorities stream, and Alberta's Express Entry stream.

3. Send your application right to the program

Some programs let people who are eligible apply straight for nomination.

The BC PNP International Post-Graduate stream, the Alberta Opportunity stream, and the New Brunswick Skilled Worker stream are all examples of schemes like this.

What you need to get a PNP

Candidates must show proof that they are eligible for the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) they want to join. Most provinces require language results, Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) reports proof of work experience, proof of settlement funds, civil papers, and status documents.

Many PNPs also need proof that the person applying plans to live in their area if they are chosen. The school you are applying for will tell you what other documents you need.

Canadian PNPs for people who work in healthcare

People need people who work in health care. Because of this, many states have PNPs just for healthcare workers. Some examples of PNPs for healthcare workers are:

  • BC Healthcare Professional

  • Nova Scotia Physicians

  • Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities for Physicians

  • Saskatchewan Health Professionals

Canada's PNPs for Foreign Students

Canada thinks that foreign students are the best people to come to Canada. In Canada, there are several Provincial Nominee Programs for foreign graduates that are meant to keep them in the country. Some schools available to international graduates are:

  • Manitoba International Education Stream

  • British Columbia International Graduate

  • British Columbia International Post-Graduate

  • Nova Scotia International Graduate Entrepreneur

  • Ontario International Students with a Job Offer

  • Ontario Masters Graduate

  • Ontario Ph.D. Graduate

  • PEI International Graduate

  • Saskatchewan Students

  • Alberta Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

  • Alberta Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

Canadian PNPs for IT workers

Canada's tech industry is going strong. To meet the needs of a business that is growing, provinces offer programs for IT professionals. Here are some examples of PNPs for IT professionals:

  • Alberta Accelerated Tech Pathway

  • BC PNP Tech program

  • Ontario Human Capital Priorities – Tech Draws

The Canadian PNPs for entrepreneurs

All of Canada's provinces accept foreign entrepreneurs because they can help the economy grow and create jobs for Canadians and permanent residents. Some examples of PNPs for business owners are:

  • British Columbia Entrepreneur Immigration Stream

  • Manitoba Entrepreneur Pathway

  • Manitoba Farm Investor Pathway

  • New Brunswick Entrepreneurial Stream

  • Newfoundland International Graduate Entrepreneur category

  • Northwest Territories Entrepreneur

  • Nova Scotia Entrepreneur stream

  • Ontario Entrepreneur Stream

  • PEI Work Permit Stream

  • Saskatchewan Entrepreneur

  • Saskatchewan Farm Owners and Operators

  • Yukon Business Nominee

  • Alberta Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

Do I need to have worked before I can move to the U.S. through a PNP?

Most Provincial Nominee Programs need you to have worked for at least a year before you can apply. But to apply for some nominee programs for post-graduate students, you don't need work experience or a job offer. Some of these schools are the Masters Graduate stream in Ontario, the PhD Graduate stream in Ontario, and the International Post-Graduate stream in British Columbia.

Can I move to the U.S. through a PNP if I don't have IELTS or CELPIP?

Almost all PNPs require candidates to take a French or English language test to show that they are fluent in one of Canada's official languages. If you want to move to a certain province, check the language requirements for the school you are interested in to see what level of language skills are needed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Canada's Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

What are Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) in Canada?

Provincial Nominee Programs are immigration pathways designed by individual Canadian provinces and territories to address their specific economic and population needs. They allow individuals to become permanent residents of Canada by obtaining nominations from a specific province.

How many PNPs are there in Canada?

Except for Quebec and Nunavut, all provinces and territories in Canada have their PNPs. More than 80 different programs are catering to regional needs.

How do I apply for a Provincial Nominee Program in Canada?

The application process involves selecting the right PNP based on your desired province, meeting the program's eligibility criteria, and submitting an application to the chosen province. If accepted, you'll receive a Provincial Nomination certificate, and you must then apply to the federal government for permanent residence.

What's the difference between "base" and "Express Entry" PNPs?

Base PNPs don't require an Express Entry application, while Express Entry PNPs work within the Express Entry system. The processing time for base PNP applications is generally longer.

Can I apply for a PNP in Canada without a job offer?

Yes, many PNPs are designed for individuals without job offers. These programs often seek candidates with skills or work experience that meet the labor market or population needs of the province.

Do I qualify for a PNP in Canada?

Eligibility varies by province and program, but generally, PNPs target individuals with skills, work experience, and education that benefit the province's economy. Factors like age, language skills, and ties to the province can also impact eligibility.

How long does it take to process a PNP application?

Processing times vary by program, but generally, it takes several months. The two-step process, involving both provincial and federal government applications, contributes to the overall processing time.

What is the role of Express Entry in PNPs?

Many provinces have "enhanced" PNP streams that work with Express Entry. If nominated through an Express Entry PNP, you receive additional Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points, increasing your chances of an invitation to apply for permanent residence.

How much does it cost to apply for a PNP in Canada?

Costs vary, but the total fees typically range from $2,300 to CAD 3,800. This includes government fees, language tests, Educational Credential Assessments (ECAs), medical checkups, and other expenses.

Do I need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for PNPs?

Most PNPs require an ECA report to validate foreign qualifications. Check the eligibility requirements of your chosen program to determine if an ECA is necessary.

How can I improve my chances of receiving a PNP nomination?

Filling out an Express Entry profile, demonstrating strong language skills, and showing a willingness to settle in a province can enhance your chances of being nominated. Work experience in an in-demand occupation and ties to the province also help.

What are the PNP points, and how do they work?

Each PNP has its point system, which considers factors like age, work experience, education, language proficiency, and ties to the province. Points are used to assess eligibility and select candidates for nominations.

How do I know if I've received an Invitation to Apply (ITA) from a PNP?

An Invitation to Apply is a formal request from a province to submit your application for nomination. It will specify the deadline for submission, which varies depending on the program.

Are there specific PNPs for healthcare workers, international students, IT professionals, and entrepreneurs?

Yes, several provinces offer specialized PNPs for healthcare professionals, international graduates, IT workers, and entrepreneurs to address specific labor market needs.

Can I apply for a PNP without prior work experience?

Most PNPs require some work experience, but there are exceptions, especially for post-graduate students. Programs like the Masters Graduate and Ph.D. Graduate streams may not require prior work experience.

Is an English or French language test (IELTS or CELPIP) required for PNPs?

Yes, almost all PNPs require candidates to take a language test in either English or French to demonstrate proficiency in one of Canada's official languages. Check the language requirements of your chosen PNP for specific details.