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December 19, 2022

Understanding the basics of Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs

Published on December 18th, 2022 at 08:00am EST

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) exist in nearly all Canadian provinces and territories (excluding Quebec and Nunavut) as a tool for each individual region to nominate immigration candidates who are interested in settling in a particular area within Canada.

Designed to disperse the benefits of immigration throughout Canada—especially because Canadian immigration has historically been disproportionate to Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec—there are currently over 80 country-wide PNP streams available for prospective Canadian immigrants.

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The following is an overview of each province and territory’s specific PNP.

Note: Many streams have unique and varying fees, application criteria/requirements — including whether the PNP stream requires candidates to have an existing job offer — and steps involved with the application process.

Hyperlinks found below for each province/territory’s specific stream as well as links to each stream within a province will provide precise details beyond the following overviews.

Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP)

The Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) provides eight different streams for both workers and entrepreneurs who are interested in calling Canada’s most populated “prairie province” their new home.

These streams are:

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)

The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) provides three general streams for prospective newcomers to Canada that would love to reside in one of Canada’s most picturesque provinces.

These streams, which provide different immigration pathways for several groups, are as follows:

  • Skills Immigration Stream: Divided into individual categories for Skilled Workers, Healthcare Professionals, International Graduates, International Post-Graduates and Entry-Level/Semi-Skilled Workers
  • Express Entry British Columbia Stream: Divided into individual categories for Skilled Workers, Healthcare Professionals, International Graduates, and International Post-Graduates only
  • Entrepreneur Immigration: Divided into a Base Category, a Regional Pilot category, and a Strategic Projects category

Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)

Manitoba’s Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) can be used by people interested in coming to the country’s central-most province through the following five PNP pathways:

New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP)

For anyone seeking to immigrate to Canada and live in the country’s largest Maritimes province, the New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) offers five different routes through which someone can explore this possibility.

These streams are:

  • Express Entry Stream: For candidates identified as most likely to help meet specific New Brunswick needs/goals demographically and with respect to the labour market

Note: This stream, as of the time of writing, has suspended the receipt of applications until further notice (as of May 20, 2022)

  • Skilled Workers Stream: For candidates with an existing full-time, permanent job offer
  • Business Immigration Stream: who plan to own and actively manage a business
  • Strategic initiative Stream: for Francophone workers who desire to reside and work in New Brunswick permanently and have the skills, education, and work experience to contribute to the province
  • Atlantic Immigration Program: To address generalized Atlantic Canada labour shortages in New Brunswick

Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP)

Five different possible streams exist for a prospective immigrant to Canada who is interested in making the country’s easternmost province their home.

The different streams in Newfoundland and Labrador’s Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP) are as follows:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador Express Entry Skilled Worker: For skilled workers with an existing job offer and an Express Entry profile through IRCC
  • Skilled Worker Category: For skilled workers with a job offer, including candidates who are already in the province with a valid work permit
  • International Graduate Category: For recent graduates who have obtained both a post-graduate work permit and a job offer
  • International Entrepreneur Category: For candidates who have been operating their business for one year on a Temporary Work Permit and want to start, co-manage, or purchase a business
  • International Graduate Entrepreneur Category: For graduates of a provincial post-secondary institution who seek to establish, co-own or run a business
  • Atlantic Immigration Pilot: A federal fast-track immigration program used to hire foreign nationals for jobs that can’t be filled locally

Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)

Nova Scotia is a province known as “Canada’s Ocean Playground” for its 13,000 kilometres of coastline.

For anyone that sees the appeal in moving to this quaint and serene province, Canada’s second smallest, here are the nine different streams available through the Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NSNP):

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

Canada’s most populated province, and its most popular historically for immigration, is Ontario. Ontario has four different categories within the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) for eligible Canadian newcomers to explore.

These categories are:

Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP)

Canada’s smallest province gives prospective newcomers to Canada three different ways to come and settle in the country’s potato-famous region through Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP).

These options are:

Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)

Saskatchewan’s Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) provides prospective newcomers to Canada with four different streams through which they can immigrate to Saskatchewan.

These streams are:

Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP)

The Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP) contains two distinct programs that give interested Canadian newcomers a total of four streams through which they can explore settling in this region—home to two of North America’s largest freshwater lakes and the largest national park in the country.

These streams are:

Under the Northwest Territories Employer Driven Program:

  • Express Entry System for Skilled Workers
  • Skilled Worker: For candidates that have received an offer of employment in a skilled position and have already worked in that position for at least six months
  • Entry Level/Semi-Skilled Occupations: For candidates that have already worked in an entry-level position for at least 6 months and the territory deems capable of helping fill entry-level employment shortages

Under the Business Immigration Program:

  • Business Stream: For candidates who demonstrate the ability to start, acquire, or invest in an existing Northwest Territories business

Yukon Nominee Program (YNP)

Yukon’s version of the PNP is called the Yukon Nominee Program (YNP), and it has five streams through which Canadian newcomers can settle in the territory.

These streams are:

  • Yukon Express Entry: For candidates with existing full-time and permanent employment offers
  • Skilled Worker: For candidates sponsored by a local employer for Canadian permanent residence
  • Critical Impact Worker: For semi-skilled or unskilled candidates sponsored by an employer in a high-demand occupation
  • Yukon Business Nominee Program: For candidates with proven business experience wishing to start a new business, partner with an existing business or purchase and operate an existing business
  • Yukon Community Pilot: For already-nominated candidates, allowing them to work for multiple employers simultaneously

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