Fact Sheet — Provincial Nominee Program


The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) gives provinces and territories (PTs) an active role in immigrant selection as it authorizes them to nominate for permanent residence individuals who will meet specific local labour market needs.  PTs have various streams in their PNPs, but they tend to fall into five clusters: skilled workers; semi-skilled workers; business/investors; international student graduates; and family/community connections. 

The roles and responsibilities for the PNP are defined through bilateral agreements between CIC and PT governments.  All the provinces and territories except Quebec and Nunavut have signed nominee agreements with the federal government. Quebec has a separate arrangement under the Canada-Quebec Accord.

Advantages to Employers

PNP applications receive priority processing from CIC, and have an acceptance rate of more than 95%. Temporary foreign workers currently in Canada can also be nominated for permanent residence under the PNP. As of June 2012, CIC had finalized 80% of PNP applications within 16 months.

How It Works

Most PNPs include one or more employer-driven streams which allow workers to be nominated on the basis of a permanent, full-time job offer, provided they meet provincial or territorial nomination requirements (these may include specific occupations, education, work experience, official language proficiency and age). Details regarding individual PNPs are available on provincial and territorial government immigration websites.

PTs are responsible for due diligence in respect of their nomination decisions and for document verification.  CIC makes the final selection decision and may refuse a case if the applicant fails to demonstrate the ability to establish economically in the nominating province.  PTs are also prohibited from nominating an individual on the basis of a passive investment.  CIC is responsible for ensuring that nominees meet extensive health, criminality and security checks.

Facts and Figures

  • In the last ten years, the PNP has become the second largest source of economic immigration to Canada. In 2011, more than 38,000 provincial nominees (including their spouses and dependants) were admitted to Canada, an almost six fold increase since 2004.
  • In B.C. and Ontario, the PNP accounted for 20% and 3% respectively of economic immigrants in 2011. By contrast, it represented the primary source of economic immigration in provinces such as Manitoba (94%), P.E.I. (98%) and Saskatchewan (91%).

For more information, see the CIC website.

Last updated: October 1, 2012

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