Canada’s provincial nominee programmes (PNPs) provide a pathway to Canadian permanent residence for individuals who are interested in immigrating to a particular Canadian province or territory.

Each Canadian province and territory operates its own PNP tailored to meet its unique economic and demographic needs.

How the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) works

This initiative is for employees

  • To contribute to the economy of a particular province or territory, possessing the expertise, education, and work experience
  • Who want to live and live in that province.
  • Who want to become permanent Canadian citizens.

Footnote* It has its own “streams” (immigration systems targeting specific groups) and criteria for each province and territory. For example, provinces and territories in a programme stream may target

  • Students
  • Entrepreneurial people
  • Employees with qualified expertise
  • Semi-skilled employees

Understand the application options

How you apply depends on which stream of the Provincial Nominee Program you apply to. You may need to apply using the paper-based form, or by Express Entry via the online process.

You’ll have to pass a medical test as part of the procedure to get a police check (certificate). All, no matter where they intend to live in Canada, must have these checks.

Paper-based process
  • Under the non-Express Entry stream, you apply to the province or territory for nomination.
  • You need to meet the requirements of the province that nominates you for eligibility.
  • You need to pass a medical test and have a police inspection (certificate).
  • Everyone needs to have these checks, no matter where in Canada you intend to live.
  • Processing times for applications are longer than by Express Entry.
Express Entry Process

There are 2 ways to apply within the online Express Entry process

  • You contact the province or territory and apply under an Express Entry stream for a nomination.
  • If your province or territory decides to nominate you, you can build an Express Entry profile (or, if you already have one, update your profile) and display that you have been nominated.


  • You build a profile for Express Entry and demonstrate the provinces and territories in which you are involved.
  • If a "notification of interest" is sent to your account by a province or territory, you can contact them directly.

In their Express Entry stream, you apply

  • The province will give it to you via your account if you are nominated, and you approve it electronically.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible for a Canadian PNP?

The eligibility variables vary from province to province for PNPs.


As PNPs are part of an economic immigration policy, they are typically structured in such a way that they recruit employees who are willing to contribute easily to the economy and who are very likely to stay in that province. Therefore some PNPs give preference to immigrants who have experience in-demand occupations in that province. Other PNPs favor immigrants who like a parent, have a connection to the province, as this increases the likelihood that they will stay in the province.

Young applicants who have good language skills, high levels of schooling, and professional job experience are ideally qualified to succeed, as in most economic immigration programmes. 

How many PNPs are there in Canada?

With multiple streams, each of Canada’s thirteen provinces and territories runs its own PNP programme. There are more than 80 separate provincial candidate systems altogether!

Can I qualify for a PNP if I don’t qualify for Express Entry?

In the Express Entry pool, many PNPs require that applicants have an active profile. However, there are exceptions to this where applicants who do not have Express Entry eligibility are nominated by certain provinces. Such programmes differ in their criteria for eligibility, so it is best to contact a representative to clarify your eligibility. All PNPs resulting in a nomination require that the applicant apply permanent resident application to the federal government.

If the PNP is not compatible with Express Entry, the application for federal permanent residency must be submitted in paper format instead of electronically.

Which is the easiest province to immigrate to Canada?

Each PNP has specifications unique to the province or territory’s needs. If by the school or work experience, you have a connection to the province or territory, you will have a better chance of obtaining a provincial nomination.

As the labor market of every province and territory in Canada is distinct, the expertise and job experience will also play a part.