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Provincial Nomination Programs Choosing a Province

Updated: Jan 5, 2021

Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility

The first step to applying to immigrate through the PNP is to determine whether or not you’re eligible.

Quebec has its own rules for accepting provincial nominees, and the province doesn’t accept the same forms as the other provinces and territories.

The provinces that participate in the PNP have varying eligibility requirements. You’ll have to investigate each province to determine whether or not you’re eligible. Provincial nomination programs change very frequently and without notice so it is important to stay up to date on their individual programs. Quebec also has its own programs that are completely separate from other provinces.

Step 2: Start the Application Process

The PNP application process has two stages and most provinces have two streams of PNP, including Express Entry and non-Express Entry. That said, the provinces do vary, some do expression of interest, some are nominations or are invited from the Express Entry Pool.

Express Entry is the standard program for immigration to Canada. At times a candidate can apply for a PNP, obtaining additional points which are added to their EE score. The non-Express Entry stream helps provinces fill labour shortages that are specific to the province.

The first step to this process is determining in which province you want to live.

The second step is dependent upon you being accepted to the PNP. After a province or territory nominates you, you’ll apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent residence.

Step 3: Check 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.

This can be done online with a computer or smart phone.

However, if you are applying through the EE stream you will not be able to see average processing times but it is expected that most applications will be processed in six months or less. The times are varying at this time due to COVID-19.

Step 4: What Happens After Your Application Has Been Submitted?

After you submit your application, the government will first acknowledge that it has been received. This is called an AOR or Acknowledgement of Receipt.

You’ll receive a letter indicating that your application is being processed. This occurs for all PNP/EE applications. If your application is missing information the government will reject it and refund your fees. Be very careful to include all information at all times.

If you’ve applied through the non-Express Entry stream, you will receive a request for police background checks for any country you have lived in for 6 months or more, as well as for a medical exam performed by a panel physician. Express Entry applicants must provide this at the time of application or the application may be deemed incomplete.

It is important that you provide a thorough application as this is what the officer uses to determine if you are eligible for express entry. If required, immigration officials may ask for additional documentation. In some instances they may request an interview.

If the Canadian government approves your application, immigration officials will request that you submit your passport in order to process a travel visa if you are from a country that requires a visa for travel. You will also be sent a confirmation of permanent residency (COPR). When you arrive in Canada, you’ll need the COPR in order to land and to later obtain your PR card.

Step 5: Arrival in Canada

Inside Canada

If you’re already in Canada when you apply for permanent residency, you will be contacted to book an appointment at IRCC to present your documentation. Another option is to cross the border and enter Canada again where you may submit your documents to an immigration official.

Outside Canada

If you’re outside of Canada when you receive your permanent residency status, upon arrival, you’ll meet with an immigration official and present the same documentation you would if you were already in Canada.

For more information on the provincial nominee programs, or to book a consultation for help with your application, please contact us at


About Us

Immigration Station Canada is a dedicated, professional Canadian Immigration firm practicing out of Northumberland County, just east of Toronto, in Canada. We serve clients from Kingston, Belleville, Brighton, Cobourg, Oshawa, the GTA, Guelph, Milton, Stratford and St. Catharines and around the world. Our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, Anne C. McCaughey (Annie) is an experienced immigration services provider and a fifth generation Canadian who values the immigration process and the unique individuals who immigrate to Canada to become part of the fabric of this wonderful country. If you would like to submit a question to Ask Annie, use the link located at the top right of the page.

How Can We Help?

We do work permits, study permits, visitor visas, Express Entry, spousal sponsorship, family class sponsorship, and Canadian citizenship with an expertise in Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications and Global Talent Stream applications.

Please contact us if you would like assistance with your immigration application or to book an appointment.

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