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Provincial Nominee Program
Canada’s fastest-growing immigration program is several programs across Canada, known as the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). They are employer-driven immigration programs that give provinces and territories an active role in immigrant selection to meet specific local labor market needs, although each province and territory is only allowed a certain number annually. About 44,500 to 47,000 people are expected to immigrate to Canada under PNPs in 2014, including the nominees themselves, their spouses, and their dependents.
PNPs are an increasingly attractive option for people who want to immigrate to Canada, given the increasing restrictions in other immigration categories. As an immigrant, you can obtain a direct sponsorship or nomination from an employer, municipality, province, or territory to come to Canada, most commonly in the form of an employment offer. Employers facing labor shortages consider the program a good option for them to fill their staffing needs.
PNPs vary across the country, but virtually all provinces and territories have a program. In all PNPs, you can immigrate as a skilled worker, and with some programs, you can even be nominated as a semiskilled worker, student, graduate student, or businessperson, which is an alternative to the now terminated Federal Investor and Entrepreneur programs.
Of course, you must meet the basic criteria of the specific provincial or territorial program as well as Canada immigration requirements including medical exams, and criminal and security checks.
Note: As of January 1, 2015, the program will also be included in the new Express Entry program.
Your first step is to identify which province or territory you want to live in and then seek employment. Every province and territory have their own rules for this program, tailored to their special requirements. Currently, all provinces and territories, except Quebec and Nunavut, have Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). You will find a list of links for the PNP of each province in the Resources section at the end of this book.
To be nominated, you have to show that you have the skills, experience, and education necessary to make an immediate contribution to the economy of the province or territory that nominates you. You must also demonstrate that you have the intention to settle permanently in that province or territory.
Get a Job Offer
The most common way to immigrate under a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is to secure an employment offer from a company in that province or territory. Make sure that your employer meets any necessary employer criteria for the program you are considering.
This is perhaps easier said than done. How exactly does one get a job in Canada if you’re still living overseas? You can apply online for many jobs in Canada. However, similar to immigrants who have already landed here, finding a job in Canada comes with many barriers for newcomers. There are many industries in Canada with labor shortages so you may have some luck depending on your field and if you’re willing to move to smaller towns or outlying regions.
Some people who come here as temporary workers may find their employer is willing to offer them full-time employment. In that case, they can then apply under the PNP, although there may be some restrictions on the type of eligible employment.
Others may come to Canada as visitors and spend their time looking for work. If they are lucky enough to get a job offer, the person and employer can do the paperwork required to nominate the person. Employers often don’t have the time or the know-how to do the paperwork, but you can take the initiative and tell the employer that you would be willing to do the paperwork if you are given a job. As a visitor, you must then return to your home country to apply via the program. If the employer is willing, you can also seek a temporary worker visa first to get you here sooner. You can then apply for permanent residence while you are already working in Canada.
Other PNP Options
In addition to coming through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) as a skilled worker, you may also apply as a business applicant, farmer, student, or semiskilled worker depending on the province or territory. Some provinces and territories (i.e., British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Northwest Territories, and Yukon) have a business or investment side to their PNPs. So while you are no longer able to apply as an investor or entrepreneur under the federal Business Immigration Program, you might be able to get here directly to one of these provinces or territories looking for entrepreneurs to add to their economy.
In addition to business programs, some provinces have options tailored specifically to their economies; for example, Alberta’s and Saskatchewan’s PNP allows immigrants who want to come to the province and purchase or start a farming business. Alberta’s PNP also has a special focus on semiskilled workers (e.g., hospitality workers, manufacturing, long-haul trucking, and food services), tradespersons, and engineers. Saskatchewan’s semiskilled program focuses on health care, hospitality, and long-haul trucking industries.
The Northwest Territories and Yukon are open to “critical impact workers” in sectors such as hospitality and service. British Columbia allows you to apply for permanent residence as a semiskilled worker after working in the province for nine months, but again these are in very specific industry sectors.
Most PNPs accept applications from international student graduates, particularly in the health fields. Several provinces such as Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island also have a “family connections” option, which may allow you to immigrate if you have a close family connection in the province.
Ultimately, each province and territory have a program that best suits their needs, which may also change periodically, so research all the websites listed in the Resources at the end of this book. You need to become familiar with the various PNP options that exist in the province or territory in which you intend to reside. You may find the right fit for you in a province you had never even considered before.
The Application Process
The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) process has two steps: First, applying to the province or territory of your choice, and second applying to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). You will need to submit your PNP application to the provincial or territorial office with the appropriate PNP and CIC immigration forms together with the PNP processing fees. When your application is approved, you will receive a nomination certificate from that province or territory.
Once you have been nominated, you may apply to CIC for permanent residence. You may have already prepared the application forms at the outset of applying to the PNP office; each province and territory has a different process and requirements. If not, you need to download and print the application package and complete your application. You’ll need the following forms.
1. Generic Application Form for Canada (IMM 0008)
2. Schedule A: Background/Declaration (IMM 5669)
3. Schedule 4: Economic Classes: Provincial Nominees (IMM 0008 SCHEDULE 4)
4. Additional Family Information (IMM 5406)
5. Use of a Representative (IMM 5476)
6. Document Checklist (IMM 5690)
7. Fee Payment Form — Application for Permanent Residence (IMM 5620)
You must submit your application to the Centralized Intake Office (CIO) in Sydney, Nova Scotia at the following address:
Citizenship and Immigration
Centralized Intake Office
Provincial Nominee Program
PO Box 1450
Sydney, Nova Scotia
If the CIO determines that your application is complete, it will be sent to the appropriate CIC processing office. The processing office will contact you for further documentation once it is ready to process your application.
If your application does not include all of the documents and forms set out in the Document Checklist (IMM 5690), CIC will return it to you. Do not provide documents that are not listed on the checklist.
The procedure for PNP applications may vary slightly from one visa office to another. You will have to determine which visa office will process your application and then download the instructions of that particular office from CIC’s website. The instructions will cover different topics, such as paying your fees, obtaining your police certificate, and undergoing the medical exam.
You have to pay PNP fees when you apply to the province or territory and then CIC fees when you make the permanent residence application. You will find instructions on how to pay the fees in the guide that comes with the application package.
You will have to pay a processing fee for you and your spouse ($550 each) as well as your dependents aged 18 or younger ($150 each). These fees are refundable if your application is found to be ineligible. Be sure to include the correct application fees for you and your dependents. If you fail to include the correct fee payment, your application will be considered incomplete and returned to you.
If your application is approved, you and your spouse will also have to pay a Right of Permanent Residence Fee ($490 each), which is also refundable in case you withdraw your application, or you do not use your visa before its expiration date. You can pay your Right of Permanent Residence fee at any time throughout the application process. Paying this fee at the time you submit your application may speed up the application process by several weeks.
Any information published on this website is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional information about immigration. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Specifically this page that will help just to know if you are eligible to apply as a permanent resident or not.