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The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) in 5 Easy Steps

If you’re considering coming to Canada and aren’t sure which immigration category makes the most sense for you, consider the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). The immigration process, in general, can be confusing, but the PNP is not. Here are five easy steps for immigrating to Canada via the PNP.

Step #1: Assess Your Eligibility

Getting to know if you’re eligible for the PNP is the first step to applying. In order to accept provincial nominees, Quebec Immigration has its own rules, and the province does not accept the same forms as other provinces and territories.

Additionally, each province that participates in the PNP has its own eligibility requirements. To find out whether or not you are eligible, visit their website. Keep in mind that these requirements may change without notice, so keep checking during your application process.

Step #2: Begin the application process

There are two stages to the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) application process. Express Entry and non-Express Entry are the two streams.

Skilled immigrants are assisted with immigration to Canada quickly by Express Entry. For candidates who are not skilled workers, the non-Express Entry stream is available. Regardless of which stream’s eligibility requirements you meet, applying through the PNP is the first step.

Upon acceptance to the PNP, you will need to apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent residency. During the application process, you’ll be required to undergo a medical examination and a police background check. All immigrants are required to undergo these checks, regardless of where they plan on settling in Canada.

Step #3: Analyze processing times

If you’re applying through the non-Express Entry stream, you can check online to see how long it will take for your application to be processed.

The Canadian government has completely changed the way they handle immigration applications. No longer are they processed at the nearest visa office to the applicant – workloads can now be shifted around to other offices. This means that processing times that can be checked online will be much more reliable, and these times are updated weekly. Even better, this system is designed for easy access via mobile devices, so you don’t need a computer to find out information.

Considering Express Entry is still fairly new (as of 2016), the government does not have an average processing time to display online. That being said, their website says that these applications should be processed within six months.

Step #4: What Happens After Your Application?

There are a few things that happen after you submit your application.

As a first step, the government acknowledges that its agents have received it. No matter whether you applied through Express Entry or a non-Express Entry stream, you will receive a letter saying that the government is reviewing your application. You will receive a refund if your application is incomplete.

The non-Express Entry stream will tell you when to submit your police background check and medical exam results (Express Entry applicants must provide these documents when they apply).

You may be asked for additional documentation or information if the government determines that you are eligible to come to Canada. You might also be interviewed by immigration officials.

When your application is approved by the Canadian government, immigration officials will ask for your passport so that they can include a visa (if you are a citizen of a country that requires a visa). When you arrive in Canada, you’ll need that confirmation and a visa (if you need one). They’ll also send you a confirmation of permanent residency.

Step #5: Preparing for Your Arrival

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will contact you if you’re already in Canada when you apply for permanent residency.

Either you must schedule an appointment at IRCC to present your documentation, or you can cross the border and enter Canada again to submit your documents.

Upon arriving in Canada, you’ll meet with an immigration official and present the same documentation as if you were in Canada already.


The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) provides an opportunity for immigrants to gain permanent residence in Canada. We have outlined five easy steps that can help you make your way through the process, with a little bit of planning and some careful research. Although the PNP can be daunting at first, it is important to remember that each province has its own unique requirements and regulations; therefore take the time to do your research and ensure your application meets all program criteria.

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