Provincial Nominee Programs: Attractive Alternative to Obtaining Canadian PR

More immigrants are being accepted under Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). This year CIC plans to admit approximately 40,000 immigrants under PNPs, more than five times the number accepted under PNPs in 2005.

Each Canadian province and one territory have their own unique Provincial Nomination Programs tailored to meet their specific needs. Applicants who apply through PNPs must first receive a Provincial Nomination Certificate from the province or territory. Once a nomination is successful, an application is sent over to federal immigration authorities for a Permanent Residence Visa under the Provincial Nominee stream – which can be faster than applying through federal immigration streams.

There are more and more family re-unification categories where families in certain provinces can sponsor their relatives from overseas. These programs are open to more distant relatives who are not covered under the federal family class category immigrations such as cousins, nieces and nephews. Also, PNPs encourage international students to stay and work in the provinces after graduation. In addition, there are investment opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors who wish to establish or buy a business in certain provinces.

More importantly, PNPs offer an attractive alternative for those who may not have qualified under the Federal Skilled Worker Program. While the Federal Skilled Worker Program accepts applicants who have high skilled work experience or a skilled job offer from a Canadian employer, many PNPs offer permanent resident status to workers in the low-skilled or semi-skilled occupational categories.

For examples, the British Columbia Nominee Program accepts entry-level or semi-skilled workers in select occupations in the tourism/hospitality, food processing and long-haul trucking industries. These occupations normally only require education up to a secondary level. Similarly, the Alberta Nominee Program accepts applicants in several semi-skilled occupations, including those in the Food and Beverage Processing Industry, the Hotel and Lodging Industry and the Foodservice Industry.

As well, most applicants under provincial nomination programs are not required to undergo rigorous language testing to prove their language skills.

As the Federal Skilled Worker Program is limiting the number of new applications and proposing to place more weight on language ability and youth, the number of immigrants to be granted permanent residence under PNPs is expected to increase this year and for the foreseeable future.


Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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