Provincial Nominee Programs, or PNPs, are often considered beneficial ways for immigrants with specific skills or a specific destination in mind to get through the immigration application process with additional support, and accelerated review through the support of provincial governments before their application is reviewed at a federal government level.
Each separate province or territory has its own program and each sponsors different types of visas depending on the needs of the province. The only exception to this is Quebec, which does not have a program, but still offers a specific Skilled Worker Program to those looking to immigrate to Quebec with a desirable, in-demand skill set.
What do these terms mean, and what does a PNP consist of beyond just a ticket for immigration to specific areas of Canada? Well, each province has individual needs and if you want to participate in the program, you must carefully consider what it is you want out of a Canadian lifestyle and what skills, experience, or knowledge you can offer to Canada, as it must be worthwhile enough for the government to approve your application.
The Provincial Nominee Program allows a province to nominate an immigrating applicant and their immediate family that are looking to reside in that province to the government. Provinces consider each application based on their own specific criteria, which then allows them to nominate applicants to the Canadian government as being supported by the province for immigration.
Provinces in the program offer several ‘streams’ or subprograms, depending on what kind of visa an applicant might be asking for, and each province sets the criteria that an applicant must meet, which are individual to each province.
Some provinces prefer to focus on in-demand specialized skills, while other provinces may prioritize French speakers, though all will have more than one criterion which must be met. All applicants must prove that they have the experience, skills, and knowledge to contribute to the local economy in a positive way to be considered eligible for the PNP.
So, getting provincial support for immigration consideration by the Canadian government sounds fantastic – but how do you achieve this? Firstly, you must determine your eligibility by going through the criteria of each province and ensuring that you meet all the requirements.
You must complete a Provincial Nominee Program application form which will then be sent off to the province or territory in question. If you meet all the eligibility requirements and have completed a form you may then be approved for nomination. If so, the province will send you a Provincial Nomination certificate, which then means that you can apply to the federal government for your permanent residency application for residential status.
Some provinces operate on a first-come-first-served application consideration policy, while others do not, so it is always best to check which your desired province offers. Streams operating on an Express Entry route mean applicants can apply using the digital Express Entry, which is a federal initiative to increase the speed at which an applicant can immigrate. It must be noted that there are both PNP streams and federal immigration programs that do not use the Express Entry initiative, and only those who match another, different, set of criteria from PNP criteria can use Express Entry as part of the process.
Express Entry PNP nominations count as advanced and earn potential immigrants 600 additional Comprehensive Ranking System (or CRS) points, which are needed to be successful in federal Express Entry draws from their pool of immigration candidates.
CRS points are invaluable, as a CRS score is assigned to every Express Entry user to help the government decide who should get an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency in Canada. This is scored out of 1200, so by applying through a Provincial Nominee Program within Express Entry, you automatically gain 600 points, providing a bonus that would almost ensure that you receive an ITA. If you are interested in using Express Entry to apply for a PNP application, then you must first sign up to Express Entry and therefore be placed in the immigration application pool.
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