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What is the provincial immigration nominee program?

Most countries have programs that they can offer people who want to immigrate to their countries. Canada is no different, offering the provincial nominee program.

What is the provincial nominee program?

The provincial nominee program is an expedited immigration option for those who wish to immigrate to Canada. Skilled immigrants are chosen to become permanent residents of Canada based on their ability to succeed.

The program allows individual provinces and territories to nominate people who want to come to Canada and want settle in a specific province.

In 2016, there are two ways to apply for the program:

  • Paper-based system – this is a non-express entry category and must meet the requirements under that category, as well as be nominated under that category; and
  • Express-entry application process – there are three requirements to fulfill under this category, the candidate must:
    • Meet the minimum requirements of a province or territory’s Express Entry PNP stream.
    • Be nominated under that stream.
    • Create an express entry profile and show that you meet the minimum criteria for Express Entry, including the requirements of one of the immigration programs it covers.

How are people chosen for the program?

The potential immigrants are selected for nomination by the province in which they wish to settle.

In order to be nominated by the province in which they wish to reside, they have to apply to the province for the program. As well, they have to meet certain criteria set by the province. The province will set criteria in what kind of skills, education and work experience they want from their potential nominees.

Every province/territory sets out their own eligibility criteria because they may want to target a particular sector of the employment industry within the province that needs more skilled employees in that specific sector.

For example, in Alberta there is something called a “strategic recruitment stream” for which people who have experience in certain professions can and be considered, such as the engineering occupations category, the post-graduate worker category and the optional or compulsory trades category.

There is also an employer driven stream which Alberta offers foreign applicants wishing to be nominated by the province. Within that stream, applicants have two options for employment categories, which are:

  1. The Alberta Opportunity Stream

  You may be eligible for this stream if:

  • You are currently working full-time in Alberta, and;
  • You meet the minimum selection criteria for residency and employment status, occupation, language, education, work experience and income level.

  2. The Self-Employed Farmer Stream

  You may be eligible for this stream if you have the financial resources and farm management experience to buy and establish a farm in Alberta. 

Keep in mind processes and requirements for these programs often change. To get the most up-to-date information on what is required to become a provincial immigration nominee you should consult the relevant government website of the province in which you plan to apply.

Once again, every province and criteria has their own set of criteria for eligibility. If you want to know what qualifies you to be a provincial nominee in another province you will have to take a specific look at that province’s eligibility criteria or consult with a lawyer.

Read more:

Provincial nominees

Determine your eligibility – Provincial nominees