The Rise of Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs

Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs

Canada is rapidly becoming the country to wholeheartedly welcome immigrants. The reasons for the rising numbers is plain and simple- Canada’s population is aging rapidly, its birth rate is declining and so labor shortages are increasing as a result.

This is especially the case for smaller provinces that are facing permanent loss in residence as their citizens are shifting to other parts of Canada. To tackle these provinces are taking advantage of the earlier dormant PNP programs as the federal government used to solely dominate the immigration policy.

What is the PNP program?

Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) was enacted by Canada’s Constitution Act 1867. According to this Act, each province of Canada has the ability to make laws on immigration for their respective provinces.

The PNP gives nine Canadian provinces and two territories the power to select some immigrants who meet their local labor market needs.

Quebec is the only Canadian province that does not take part in PNP as it has a separate agreement with the federal government that gives it the sole responsibility to select all its economic-class immigrants.

How does the PNP work?

The basic idea of the PNP is to allow each province to use a certain number of allotted spots and develop programs customized to the individual province’s needs and aspirations.

Thus the provinces identify a specific skill or profession of which it is in need and encourage investment in that particular area. It then retains persons meeting their priorities.

What do the numbers say?

The number of immigrants entering through the PNP is significantly on the rise. The 2019 target is for 61,000 permanent residents to enter Canada through PNPs whereas 55,000 immigrants did so in 2018.

Ontario’s program is the largest with 6,900 permanent residents allocated.

Manitoba was the first province to use PNP in 1998. Since then 1,30,000 economic immigrants have entered the province and almost 90% have stayed.

Is an invitation needed under PNP?

Canada’s most popular PNP pathways use invitations to apply as a first step in the nomination process. This means you need to be invited to apply for a provincial nomination.

Once the invitation is received, a complete application needs to be sent within a given time frame for the immigrant to be considered eligible.


Canada’s provincial nominee programs are very dynamic and constantly enhance their priorities. Targeting early childhood educators, people with work experience, registered nurses have been the trend.

The opportunities to immigrate under PNP are considerable and so an applicant aiming for Canada should look into it.

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