Most provinces in Canada now have negotiated agreements with the Government of Canada that allows them to nominate immigrants who wish to settle in that province. A Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is operated on behalf of one of our provincial-level Governments in conjunction with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to expedite the processing of an application for permanent residence. Provincial Nominee Programs are designed to meet the labour market needs that will support a province’s economic growth by attracting immigrants destined to that particular Province.
Here is a list of the provinces and territories currently participating in this program.
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
- Northwest Territories
In order to qualify, individuals must be nominated by a provincial program. Once nominated, the nominee, together with their spouse and dependent children, are eligible to apply for a permanent resident visa through CIC under the Provincial Nominee Program. CIC undertakes to expedite permanent resident applications from a provincial nominee, yet retains the authority to make all final decisions on the permanent resident application. The Provincial Nominee must be admissible to Canada and meet all requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in order to be granted admission to Canada under the Provincial Nominee Program. However, while subject to minimum language proficiencies requirements, Applicants are not subject to the points system of assessment as found in the Federal Skilled Worker program.
With current backlogs under Canada’s skilled worker program surpassing 800,000 applicants at Canadian missions around the world, processing delays are inexcusably exceeding reasonable expectations. For Canadian employers and HR managers, this creates and frustrating environment that stifles trade and commerce in Canada. In fact, to put in perspective, delays experienced in some of Canada’s leading source countries for immigrants routinely exceed 5 years under the Federal Skilled Worker program.
Such realities are prompting potential applicants to explore Provincial Nominee Programs as a viable alternative to long processing delays to Canada. Applying for admission to Canada as a permanent resident under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) will follow a different and generally far more expedited process, with results typically expected within 12-18 months. In some instances persons who are otherwise not qualified for admission under the Federal skilled worker program, may qualify for admission to Canada under a Provincial Nominee Program and may even qualify for a temporary Canadian work authorization in the interim, permitting the nominee and their accompanying dependant’s early entry into Canada while their Application for permanent residence undergoes processing.
In order to qualify, most Provincial Nominee Programs require a sponsoring employer. However, our experience is such that a majority of Canadian employers are often unwilling to offer employment to those foreign nationals not able to attend a personal interview. Therefore, if you are from a country whose citizens require a visa to travel to Canada, you should first seek to obtain the proper documentation to facilitate travel to Canada. If you are unable to obtain, or otherwise unwilling to travel to Canada to attend a personal interview, you may find it difficult to qualify under a Provincial Nominee Program. For the provinces where immigration programs are not employer driven but are intended to increase population, such as Manitoba, and Quebec, processing delays are often prohibitive.
As an alternative to an Employer sponsor, those with qualifying business experience may apply under a Provincial Nominee Business category. If offered under a PNP, business categories can carry significant financial requirements that vary from program to program based upon the particular needs and objectives being served by a Province’s nomination program.
Since the criteria for eligibility varies greatly among the provinces, you should contact Eddie H. Kadri for a comprehensive evaluation of your Canadian Immigration options as it relates to potential nomination through a Provincial Nominee Program. Mr. Kadri works closely with different Provinces and the private sector and has a unique familiarity with the needs of those provinces and the requirements for participating in their nomination programs. He will assess you against all relevant PNP programs and he will draft a legal strategy that will match a PNP your short and long term immigration objectives.