The Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are economic immigration programs that allow Canadian provinces and territories to nominate individuals who wish to immigrate to Canada and are interested in settling in a particular province. This is a two-step process, where the issuance of the provincial nomination allows the Foreign National to apply for permanent residence at the Federal level.

Each Canadian province and territory (except for Nunavut and Quebec) have their own Provincial Nomination Program, with specific annual allocations for the number of nominations it can issue. The provinces and territories determine their own program “streams” and requirements, generally targeting students, skilled and semi-skilled workers, and business investors. This strategy benefits the provinces and territories, which can proactively seek residents to address their regional labour and skill shortages, while ensuring that the newcomers have access to labour market which requires skills they have.

There are two types of PNP programs: regular or ‘base’ streams, and streams aligned with the Express Entry (referred to as “enhanced”). Under the base programs, Applicants submit their applications directly to the province they are seeking their nomination from. Upon approval of the Provincial Nomination, Applicants submit their Permanent Residence application to the Federal government to complete the immigration process.

To participate in Express Entry-aligned streams, the Applicant must have a valid Express Entry profile, which indicates the province(s) or territories they are interested in immigrating to. This allows the specific province(s) to view the profile and assess the applicant’s experience in light of the Provinces’ own requirements. If the Applicant is selected, she or he will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for the provincial nomination, with a deadline to submit their application. If the application is approved, the Applicant will receive their official Nomination letter.

Receiving a provincial nomination is the single most valuable factor in the Express Entry pool, resulting in additional 600 points, thus practically guaranteeing that the candidate receives and invitation to apply for PR.

Types of Provincial Nomination Programs

There are over 80 different PNP streams, with various requirements, targeting Students and Foreign Workers. Some of the common requirements include:

  • Completion of post-secondary education in Canada;
  • Canadian work experience;
  • One to two years of work experience in specific occupation or field;
  • Minimum language requirements;
  • Personal connections to the province (ex. family or friend know to the Applicant);
  • Minimum funds.

Some categories targeting Foreign Workers may require an Employers’ involvement in the application process. In addition to providing the Foreign National with a valid job offer, Employers may have to provide their company’s financial documents and previous recruitment details.

In some instances, provinces have a standing list of in-demand occupations, which allow Foreign Workers with a job offer to submit their application for nomination. International students who graduate from Canadian institutions are also eligible for number of provincial streams.

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) serves as a great example of a successful provincial program. With the current annual allocation of 7,350 nominations, the program consistently meets its targets, with many streams filling up within days, and most recently even hours of opening. The program’s individual streams address various circumstances and provides a path to permanent residency for International Students and Workers of all skill levels. It serves as a great example of the types of programs offered under the PNP.

The specific streams include:

Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills Stream

 Available to Foreign Workers with a job offer from an Ontario employer, who have at least 9 months of experience in Ontario, in the same occupation as the role they are being offered. The list of the qualifying roles is very specific and includes occupations at skill level C or D of the National Occupation Classification (NOC).

Under this stream, Employers must also meet minimum requirements with regard to annual revenue and number of Canadian employees. Application process includes online submissions and processing fee of $1,500 or $2,000 (depending on the location of employment).

Employer Job Offer: International Student Stream

This program targets International Students who received a degree, diploma or certificate from an eligible Canadian institution, and have a job offer from an Employer in Ontario. The role must be in an occupation with skill level of 0, A or B of the NOC. While the International Student is not required to be residing in Canada at the time of the submission of the PNP application, they must apply within two years of completion of their Canadian studies.

Employers must also meet minimum requirements with regard to annual revenue and number of Canadian employees. Application process includes online submissions and processing fee of $1,500 or $2,000 (depending on the location of employment).

This stream is currently closed. It most recently opened on August 19. It closed within hours, after its registration intake limit of 1,250 was met.

Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker Stream

This program targets Foreign Workers who have a job offer from an Employer in Ontario, in occupation with skill level of 0, A or B of the NOC. To qualify, foreign worker must hold the mandatory license or authorization from the appropriate regulatory body for occupations where said license or authorization is required. In cases, where the occupation does not require license, foreign worker must have at least 2 years of experience.

As with other streams with job offer requirement, Employers must meet minimum requirements with regard to annual revenue and number of Canadian employees. They are also required to demonstrate their attempts at recruiting Canadians and permanent residents to fill the role. Application process includes online submissions and processing fee of $1,500 or $2,000 (depending on the location of employment).

This program is currently closed. It was more recently opened on July 23 and closed that same day, when the registration limit of 1,300 was met.

Masters Graduate Stream

This stream targets International Students who received their master’s degree from eligible Ontario university. Additional requirements include language test at CLB level 7 or higher, proof of settlement funds, and if the Applicant is currently in Canada, they must be residing in Ontario. The application must be submitted within two years of completion of the master’s degree, and it includes $1,500 processing fee.

This program is currently closed and has not been opened this year.

PhD Graduate Stream

For Applicants who have completed the requirements necessary to obtain PhD degree, with at least two years of the PhD studies completed while legally living and studying in Canada. Processing fee for this application is $1,500.

French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream

This is an Express Entry aligned stream, which means that the Applicant can only apply for the nomination if they were issued an Invitation to Apply through the Express Entry. In addition to meeting the requirements of the Express Entry, Applicants must have a Bachelor’s, Masters or PhD degree, and meet language requirements for both: French and English. Processing fee for this application is $1,500.

Human Capital Priorities Stream

This is another EE aligned stream. In addition to meeting the requirements of the Express Entry, Applicants must have a Bachelor’s, Masters or PhD degree, and at least one year of work experience in an occupation with skill level of 0, A or B of the NOC.

Some of the recent draws under this stream saw Ontario issue targeted invitations to candidates with experience in technology and finance related occupations, as well as health services.

Skilled Trades Stream

This stream is also Express-Entry aligned. In addition to meeting the EE requirements, the Applicant requires one year of work experience in Canada, in the skilled trade occupation groups listed under this steam. These include butchers and bakers; industrial electrical and construction related roles; maintenance and equipment operations trades; and supervisors and technical occupations in natural resources, agriculture, and related production.

Qualifying work experience must have taken place within two years prior to submitting of the PNP application and been obtained legally. Applicants in this category do not require a job offer but must hold a valid work permit and be legally residing in Ontario at the time of the application submission.

Entrepreneur Stream

This steam targets international entrepreneurs who want to start a new business or buy an existing business in Ontario. To qualify, Applicants must have at least 2 years of full-time business experience as an owner or senior manager in the past five years; have minimum net worth of $400,000 (the amount raises to $800,000 for Applicants seeking a business venture in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)); and make a personal investment of at least $200,000 towards the establishment and operation of the business ($600,000 in the GTA).

This stream requires Applicants to be actively involved in the management of the proposed business in Canada; control at least one-third of the equity; and commit to creating at least one permanent, full-time job to be filled by a Canadian or permanent resident (two jobs if the proposed business is in the GTA). (Entrepreneur Visa Lawyer)

This is a multiple stage process, which begins with the Applicant submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI). EOI is a self-declared points-based system, comprised of two components: self-declared scoring and business concept. At this stage, the Applicant submits their personal information, including work experience and net worth, as well as details regarding the business in Canada they are seeking to open or buy. Provided that the Applicant meets the requirements, they are entered into a pool of potential Entrepreneurs, who are ranked. Selected candidates are than invited to apply for the Entrepreneur Stream. (Investor Visa Lawyer)

To submit their application, Applicants must include their personal information, as well as include proposed business details and plans. Processing fee for this application is $3,500. Part of the application process includes mandatory interview. If the application approved, the Applicant will be required to sign a Performance Agreement, outlining commitments they have made in terms of investment and job creation. This is not the nomination but first stage of the process.

Once the approval is issued by the province, the applicant can apply for a work permit and travel to Canada to establish the business in Ontario. Once they arrive, the Applicant has 20 months to build the business and implement the business plan.

If the Applicant meets the commitments of the previously signed Performance Agreement and demonstrates additional requirements like minimum language abilities and residency in Ontario, they are issued the Provincial Nomination. This is the final step under the Entrepreneur stream of the OINP. Nominees have six months to submit the federal part of their application for permanent residence after the issuance of the Nomination.

Under this category, post-nomination monitoring by the OINP will continue for a period of three years after the attainment of permanent residence.

If you are looking for an Immigration lawyer in Mississauga, Brampton, anywhere in Ontario or anywhere in the world, call UL Lawyers today at 905-744-8888 or 519-891-8888 or email us at We can assist you with your Permanent Residence, Entrepreneur Visa, Investor Visa, Study Permit, Work Permit, Student Visa, Visitor Visa etc. application.