How the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Works

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 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

Understanding 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.

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. Currently, these applications can also be submitted online through the new PR portal.

In the {Paper-Based} Process:

In the Express Entry Process:

There are two ways to apply online.

1.) 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.


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.

2.) 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.

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