How the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) works

April 29, 2021 sbordeos8888 0 Comments

This program is for workers who:

  • have the skills, education and work experience to contribute to the economy of a specific province or territory
  • want to live in that province, and
  • want to become permanent residents of Canada 

Each province and territory Footnote *  has its own “streams” (immigration programs that target certain groups) and requirements. For example, in a program stream, provinces and territories may target:

  • students
  • business people
  • skilled workers
  • semi-skilled workers

Understand the application options

How you will apply depends on which Provincial Nominee Program stream you’re applying to. You might need to apply using the paper-based process, or by the online process through Express Entry.

As part of the process, you will have to pass a medical exam and get a police check (certificate). Everyone must have these checks, no matter where they plan to live in Canada.

Paper-based process

In the paper-based process:

  • You apply to the province or territory for nomination under a non-Express Entry stream. 
  • You need to meet the eligibility requirements of the province that nominates you.
  • Once you have been nominated, you submit a paper application for permanent residence to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
  • You have to pass a medical exam and get a police check (certificate). Everyone must have these checks, no matter where you plan to live in Canada.
  • Application processing times are longer than through Express Entry. 

How to apply through the paper-based process

Express Entry process

In the online Express Entry process, there are 2 ways to apply:

  • You contact the province or territory and apply for a nomination under an Express Entry stream.
  • If the province or territory agrees to nominate you, you create an Express Entry profile (or update your profile if you already have one) and show you have been nominated. OR
  • You create an Express Entry profile and show the provinces and territories you’re interested in.
  • If a province or territory sends you a “notification of interest” to your account, you contact them directly.
  • You apply to their Express Entry stream:
    • If you’re nominated, the province will offer it to you through your account, and you accept it electronically.

In both cases:

  • You must meet the eligibility requirements of the province or territory. And,
  • You must submit an Express Entry profile and show that you meet the minimum criteria for Express Entry, including being eligible for one of the immigration programs it covers.
  • If you are invited to apply, you submit an electronic application to IRCC.

How to apply through Express Entry

Choose a province or territory 

To be nominated by a province or territory, Footnote *  you must follow the instructions on their website and contact them directly:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Saskatchewan
  • Yukon


The criteria by province and territory vary and can change without notice.

How Express Entry works

Express Entry is an online system that we use to manage applications for permanent residence from skilled workers.

Step 1: Find out if you’re eligible


There are two ways to find out if you’re eligible for a program that is part of Express Entry:

  • answer a few questions to see if you meet the minimum requirements
  • read the detailed requirements for each program

Step 2: Get your documents ready


You need documents, such as language test results, to show that you’re eligible for Express Entry. Some documents take a long time to get, so you should get them ready now.

  • Get the documents you need

Step 3: Submit your profile


Your Express Entry profile is where you give us information about yourself.
If you’re eligible, we’ll accept you into our pool of candidates.
You’ll be ranked in the Express Entry pool using a points-based system. Your score is based on the information in your profile.

  • Check your score
  • Submit your profile

Step 4: Receive an invitation and apply for permanent residence


We send invitations to apply to the candidates with the highest scores in the pool. If we invite you to apply, you’ll have 90 days to submit your application for permanent residence.

We’ll process most complete applications that have all the supporting documents in 6 months or less.

  • Apply for permanent residence