The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is one way for skilled workers to immigrate to Canada and get permanent resident status.
The purpose of the program is to welcome skilled workers in order to strengthen provincial and territorial economies and spread the benefits of immigration across Canada. It has been a successful way of attracting skilled workers to provinces that have historically had small immigration populations, such as the prairies and the Atlantic provinces.
PNP allows Canadian provinces and territories to nominate individuals who want to immigrate to Canada and are interested in settling in a specific province. There are over 80 provincial immigration streams that are designed to attract workers, graduates and entrepreneurs. Each program is designed to respond to the provinces labour force needs.
All provinces are included in the program except for Nunavut and Quebec. Quebec has their own authority to determine the selection criteria for economic immigration.
There are two main ways to get permanent resident status through the PNP: the “base”” programs and the “enhanced” programs.
The first option are the “base” programs. This is when the applicant applies directly to a PNP stream. The province will then ensure that the application meets all the eligibility criteria for that stream. If all the criteria are met, the province will then issue a letter of nomination to the applicant and the applicant can then apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for permanent residence.
The second option are the “enhanced” programs, which are aligned with the federal Express Entry application management system. An applicant who is eligible for an Express Entry-managed program, such as the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) can increase their chance of an Invitation to Apply (ITA) by obtaining provincial nomination.
When an applicant creates their online Express Entry profile, they can indicate in their profile if there is a specific province they would like to settle in and the provincial government can decide if a candidate will be a good fit for the province. If this is the case, the province will issue a notification of interest to the applicant, meaning that the applicant is invited to apply for provincial nomination.
If the applicant accepts the nomination, they can then submit an application to the province. If they meet all the program criteria, they receive a letter of nomination and will automatically receive 600 points in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), which greatly increases the chances of permanent residency.
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