Canadian Provincial Nominee Program

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is a path to Canadian Permanent Residency. The Canadian federal government has entered into arrangements Canadian Provinces and Territories that allows the provinces to select their own immigrants and have the flexibility to address their own unique economic needs. The PNP for each province varies depending on the specific priorities determined by the province


Generally, PNP programs are divided into three streams of applications, with additional subcategories under those streams:


  • International Graduates – for foreign nationals completing academic programs in Canada.
  • Skilled Workers – for those with specifically sought employment experience and skills.
  • Entrepreneur – for those seeking to establish new businesses and employment opportunities in Canada.


Many PNP programs require the process to be sponsored by a Canadian employer. In employer-sponsored cases, the first step requires the employer to apply for eligibility under the PNP program in the applicable province. Once an employer is approved, the applicant applies directly to the applicable PNP office. Not all PNP categories, however, require employer sponsorship. For those that do not, the applicant can apply directly to the province’s PNP office.

Approved applicants will be issued a Provincial Nominee Certificate. The applicant then applies for Permanent Residence relying on that Provincial Nominee Certificate. At that point, the applicant may also be eligible for a temporary work permit to allow them to work for their employer in Canada while the Permanent Residence application is in process. The work permit is restricted to the employer who supported the PNP application. Changing employers at this stage will invalidate the PNP Certificate


Some of the PNP programs are paper based applications and some of these programs are linked to the federal Express Entry (EE) system. If they are connected to the EE system, the issuance of the PNP certificate will give the applicant an additional CRS 600 points, which will almost guarantee their selection in the following round of invitations.


PNP programs do have caps on the number of nominations the province can issue annually. The cap varies from province to province. Once the cap is reached, the PNP will close until the following calendar year.

This document is a brief summary intended for information purposes only. It is not legal advice. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. Please consult with an experienced immigration lawyer before submitting a visa application.


For questions, please contact I.A. Donoso & Associates, LLC at


Donoso & Partners provide assistance with review and advice regarding eligibility for visas to the U.S. or Canada.