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Canada Immigration:
Canadian Provincial Nominee Programs

Written by Henry J. Chang
Updated on April 15, 2012
Canada has entered into bilateral agreements with many of the provinces to allow those provinces to nominate a limited number of persons to become permanent residents based on the province's assessment of the nominee's ability to contribute to the economic growth and development of that province. The Provincial Nominee Class is designed to enable provinces to support the immigration of persons who have expressed an interest in settling in their province and who the province believes will be able to contribute to the economic development and prosperity of that province and Canada.

A Provincial Nominee Program ("PNP") is established under Section 87(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations ("IRPR"). A PNP is similar but distinct from the Quebec Skilled Worker Program, which is established under IRPR 86(1). Both the Quebec Skilled Worker Program and the PNPs offer the provinces an opportunity to select immigrants based on their specific needs.

Under a PNP, individuals nominated by the province, together with their spouse and dependent children, are eligible to apply for Canadian permanence through Citizenship and Immigration Canada ("CIC") under the Provincial Nominee Class. Citizenship and Immigration Canada will also give priority to processing permanent resident visa applications filed by provincial nominees. Given the considerable delays encountered by many Canadian permanent residence applicants, this priority processing makes immigration under a PNP program highly desirable.

Under the Provincial Nominee Class, each province establishes its own selection criteria. Applicants who wish to immigrate to a specific province as a provincial nominee, must first apply to the province where they wish to settle. The province will consider the application based on their immigration needs and the applicant's intention to settle there. If the applicant is approved, he or she will be given a provincial nomination certificate, which may be used to support an application for permanent residence.

Applicants interested in seeking permanent residence under one of the PNPs should refer to the official website of province to which they intend to immigrate. Links to each province's PNP website appear on our web links page.

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