Sun | Oct 17, 2021

Immigration Corner | How does the provincial nominee programme work?

Published:Thursday | July 12, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Dear Ms Powell,
I've 40 years old and have a sister living in Canada. I stayed in Jamaica as our mother was very ill.  She died recently died and now I want to join my sister in Canada. I am in the express entry pool, but I can't seem to get selected. Can you tell me about the provincial nominee programme and how the system works?  I would really like to join my sister. I am a teacher by profession what options do I have?

Dear WP,
Congratulations for being admitted into the express entry pool. You have passed the first hurdle towards becoming a permanent resident of Canada. Having a sister in Canada will give you extra points and improve your chances of being granted a provincial nominee by the province in which your sister lives.  
Although there is no strict occupation list under the Express Entry System, you should note that many provinces including British Columbia, Ontario, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan, to name a few, have Provincial Nominee Programmes (PNP) that offer a candidate the opportunity to apply to be nominated for permanent residence. This is done as a part of the effort to bolster each province's workforce.
Most province  have a list of in-demand occupations and strict requirements such a valid job offer from an employer in the province; so I would recommend that you examine the province's website to see what they have to offer and apply immediately, as the only a limited number of qualified individuals worldwide are usually selected and the  programmes usually close within days of being open.

Express Entry vs. Provincial Nominee Programme
There are significant differences between the express entry system and the PNP. However, they work hand in hand. If you receive a nomination from a province, then you will automatically get enough points to be selected from the express entry pool and given an invitation to apply for permanent residence. So I strongly recommend that you investigate to see which province is accepting applications at this time and submit an application to them immediately.
You are required to submit a separate application to the provinces and pay their processing fees. British Columbia PNP does not require a fee; however, you must have a valid job offer (in most cases) in order to apply.
To submit an application under the express entry system you do not need to pay a fee to be admitted into pool of applicants for the government of Canada to evaluate whether or not you qualify. However, once you are in the pool and if you have the required scores based on your language, education and work experience, then you could be granted an invitation to apply (ITA)  for permanent residence. Once you have received an ITA, have submitted all the relevant supporting documents and deemed qualified, at this point you will be required to submit an application fee and a right of permanent residence fee based on the number of persons in your immediate family. Medical and security checks are done at this stage.
Under the express entry system, you are not required to provide proof of licensure to work as a teacher prior to submitting an application under the express entry system. However, licensure in the province that you are interested in could bolster your application. So you should look into that.
There are strict requirement for both applications. You must provide proof of education and language competency.  Additional proof may be required by each province so you must check to ensure that you are able to satisfy the requirements for the province that you are interested in.
There are many options available for individuals who have the education, training and work experience to become permanent residents of Canada, especially if individuals are able to demonstrate that the potential to integrate into the society easily and to be productive. Individuals with high English language scores, degrees and who have siblings in Canada are encouraged promptly, as it is anticipated that the Canadian government and provinces will be increasing the number of individuals selected this summer. I recommend that you consult with an immigration lawyer to find more about the best route to becoming a permanent resident and to be able to join your sister in Canada.

- 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/ 876.922.4092. You can also find her on