No points required
- Submitting a permanent residence (PR) application through one of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) may be a way of getting into Canada if you cannot earn enough points to enter as a skilled worker or if you do not qualify for the federal government's business immigrant program. Some British expats have gained admission to Canada as long haul truck drivers and others have gained admission as entrepreneurs through various provinces' PNPs, to quote only a couple of examples.
Faster way of getting in
- PNP is a faster way of getting [permanent residence] than the skilled worker route. A PNP application takes about a year to be processed (and, when you get to a certain point in the process, usually before a year is up, you can get a temporary work permit while you wait for your permanent residence visa to be issued). This compares with 5+ years for a skilled worker application to be processed.
No Labour Market Opinion required
- Many PNPs give you the ability to start working in Canada once the provincial government has approved your application, but before the federal government has granted you permanent resident status.
- In these cases the provincial government provides a letter of endorsement that you submit to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), along with your temporary work permit (TWP) application.
- The letter of endorsement from the provincial government releases you from the need for the LMO that normally is required before a person can apply for a TWP.
- Then you can move to Canada and start your job while your permanent residence visa application goes through the process.
- But the exact terms and conditions of each PNP are unique, so make sure that you understand the rules that govern the PNP through which you are applying.
- Each province has a limited number of PNP slots, ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand, depending on the province.
- It is common for a province's quota to be used up in the first half of the year, sometimes even in the first few months of the year.
- A Provincial Nomination Program (PNP) is a program that a province has created to attract immigrants who can bring with them attributes that will benefit that province.
- The PNP is a partnership between a provincial government and the federal government.
- The provincial government performs an initial screening, checking that the prospective immigrant meets the criteria of that particular province's PNP. Those criteria are specific to the province in question, and are different from the criteria used to screen skilled worker applications described above.
- Each province's PNP values different attributes in prospective applicants, depending on that province's needs. Some PNPs favour entrepreneurs who will create businesses that, in turn, will create employment for local residents. Some PNPs favour people with specific skill sets that are in short supply in that province. You need to read the website of each province's PNP to find out if there is a match between your credentials and the requirements of that province's PNP.
- Once the applicant has been approved by the province's PNP, he/she submits his/her application for permanent residence to CIC. Then CIC does the checks that are done on other PR applicants (medical condition, police records, etc.).
- If CIC finds everything to be in order, it issues a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) that the applicant needs to bring to his/her port of entry when he/she "lands" in Canada.
- When a PNP applicant lands in Canada and activates his/her PR status, he/she must satisfy the immigration official at the port of entry that he/she intends to reside in the province that approved his/her PNP application. However, since it sometimes is not practical for a person to land in his/her destination province, it is permissible to land in another province and then make one's way to one's destination province.
- When the applicant lands in Canada, a CIC officer checks the applicant's passport and COPR. The CIC officer may ask some questions to corroborate claims that the applicant made during the application process (medical condition, character, available funds, etc.). If the CIC officer is satisfied that the applicant meets the criteria, he/she admits the applicant into Canada as a PR.
- Caveat. Notwithstanding a province's acceptance of a PNP candidate's application, the CIC officer reviewing the applicant's file has the right to evaluate the applicant's likelihood of becoming economically established in Canada. If the CIC officer determines that the applicant is unlikely to become economically established in Canada, he/she has to refer the file to another CIC officer for a second opinion. If both CIC officers concur that the applicant is unlikely to become economically established in Canada, the candidate's application can be refused. About 2% of PR applications in the skilled worker and PNP classes are rejected on the basis of CIC officers' assessments of applicants' economic potential.
Once in Canada
- Generally speaking, once a PNP applicant has obtained PR status, he/she is free to relocate anywhere in Canada. However, it is important to be aware of the conditions contained in any agreement that you signed with the province that approved your PNP application. You may have agreed to certain undertakings, and you are obliged to fulfill those undertakings.
- If you have entered Canada through PNP, you have the same residency obligations as any other PR if you want to maintain your right to live in Canada. That is, you must spend two years out of any five year period in Canada.
List of PNPs
Of Canada's thirteen provinces and territories, ten have Provincial Nomination Programs (PNPs). They are:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Nova Scotia (including Community Identified Stream)
- Prince Edward Island
- Ontario (Pilot scheme launched May 24 2007. Read: http://www.ontarioimmigration.ca/english/pnp.asp)
The provinces and territories that do not have PNPs are:
- Northwest Territories
- Quebec (however, Quebec has its own immigration rules, effectively a "super-PNP" Quebec Immigration)
CIC's web page on Provincial Nominations has links to the PNP websites of the individual provinces.
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