Sun | Mar 29, 2020

Immigration Corner | I need help to understand the PNP

Published:Tuesday | April 23, 2019 | 12:21 AM
Deidre Powell
Deidre Powell

Dear Miss Powell,

How do I know which province I can apply to get permanent residence? I’m confused as one minute I hear I can apply and the next I hear, no, I won’t qualify. Can you please help me understand the provincial nominee programme (PNP)? I would love to apply as soon as possible. Thank you.


Dear AD

Canada has 10 provinces and three territories that each have their own PNP. These provinces will make changes to their rules and the criteria based on their current labour force and the demand by employers. These updates are posted on a regular basis on each province’s website. It is your duty to review the website before your you apply.

How to apply

Before you apply, you will need to examine the various categories of each PNP to ensure that you have the minimum requirement and able to submit proof of education, skills, work experience, along with reports to show your competency in English and/or French.

An examination of the PNP of some provinces such as Nova Scotia or North West Territories have an ‘in-demand’ list of occupations or ‘critical impact workers’ from whom they will accept applications.

Many provinces require you to apply directly to them via their website, while some provincial programmes have been linked to the express entry system. British Columbia, Alberta, North West Territories, Nova Scotia, Alberta and Ontario have linked some of their programmes to the express entry system.

Anyone thinking of applying under the PNP should note that for any provincial nominee programme the emphasis is on selection of candidates who have education, training, skills, language, work experience and the programmes are geared towards individuals who can contribute to the economy of the province. Applicants will also need to be able to demonstrate the potential to integrate into the province easily and to be productive.

Some Programmes that are open April 2019

As mentioned before the provinces will accept applications based on factors such as their quota, the demands and budgetary considerations and this can change at any time. So, a programme could be open today and closed next week. Therefore, when you are ready to apply, you will need to examine the province’s official website, to see if they are accepting applications at that particular time.

As of April 2019, most provinces are accepting application. It is the ‘categories’ to which you must pay close attention. For the province of New Brunswick, the following categories are open: Express Entry Labour Market, Post Graduate Entrepreneur, Skilled Worker with Employer Support. Alberta is also accepting applications under the category of self-employed farmer and international workers who are currently working in Alberta. Also, international students who have completed studies in Alberta may also apply, provided that their post-graduate work experience fall within the national occupation classification codes that are required.

For the province of British Columbia, some skilled workers such as healthcare professionals and international students who are graduates from a Canadian university or college within the last three years, may apply.

Ontario has announced that it is lowering the minimum investment/net worth requirement under its Entrepreneur Stream. That means that individuals with as low as CAD$200,000 to invest in the province of Ontario, can submit applications under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program. The proposals should be for investments outside the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). For investments within the GTA, the minimum requirement has been lowered to CAD$600.000.

You should choose the PNP based on your qualifications and objectives. I recommend that you consult with an immigration lawyer to find out more about opportunities to become permanent resident of Canada and the best programme for you, based on factors such as your resources, education and skills.

Deidre S. Powell is an immigration lawyer, mediator and notary public. Submit your questions and comments to or call 613.695.8777/ 876.922.4092. You can also find her on