HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY APPLY FOR PROVINCIAL NOMINEE PROGRAMS
BEYOND ELIGIBILITY – HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY APPLY FOR PROVINCIAL NOMINEE PROGRAMS
If you are interested in immigrating to Canada, Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) could be a great option! There are two types of PNPs:
- PNP’s that require an active Express Entry profile, and
- PNP’s that can be applied for independently of all other immigration programs.
Whichever you choose, we are here to help you understand the process of applying to the program of your choice!
For those who are invited to apply for Permanent Residence directly through Express Entry programs, like the popular Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program, only one application must be submitted. This application for Permanent Residence is submitted directly to the federal immigration agency and all processing is done solely by the Federal government.
If, on the other hand, you choose to immigrate to Canada through a Provincial Nominee Program, you will need to submit two separate applications. First, an application to the provincial immigration agency, and, second, an application to the Federal immigration agency.
Both applications have to be complete and approved in order for an applicant to receive Permanent Residence. This is regardless of whether an application is submitted to a stream requiring an active Express Entry profile or a stream not requiring an active Express Entry profile. But! The application process and the processing time differs depending on which PNP stream a person chooses.
1 – PNP’S REQUIRING AN ACTIVE EXPRESS ENTRY PROFILE
Most provinces operate Provincial Nominee Programs which have Express Entry streams. This means that an applicant must first have an active Express Entry profile in order to apply to the PNP.
Each of these Express Entry PNP streams has their own set of eligibility criteria which differ greatly from one to another. While many provinces require a job offer in order to apply to their PNP, the following provinces operate Express Entry streams which do not require a job offer: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.
It it worth noting that Alberta has announced a new Express Entry stream for 2018, but the province has not yet released the eligibility criteria.
Below are the step-by-step instructions for applying to an Express Entry PNP stream:
- CHECK ELIGIBILITY FOR EXPRESS ENTRY AND PNP
Check to ensure that you meet the requirements for an immigration program managed by Express Entry (Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, or Canadian Experience Class).
You are not eligible to create an Express Entry profile if you are not eligible for at least one of these programs. If this is the case, you can explore your options for PNPs that are not aligned with Express Entry.
If you are eligible to submit a profile to Express Entry, you must then check the eligibility requirements of the available PNPs. Remember that each province is different, so you have to carefully read through the requirements for every province.
- CREATE YOUR EXPRESS ENTRY PROFILE
Many provinces will require you to enter your Express Entry profile number when you are completing the PNP application, so it is valuable to create your profile before submitting the PNP.
When you submit your Express Entry profile, you will be assigned a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Score. It may be possible that your CRS score will be high enough to receive an Invitation to Apply for PR without needing to obtain a provincial nomination, so it’s worthwhile to compare your score to the most recent draws.
- SUBMIT YOUR PNP APPLICATION
Follow the province’s instructions in order to submit an application. The process for submitting the application varies from province to province.
Some provinces accept applications on a first-come, first-served basis, while others use a competitive ranking system, like Express Entry.
- RECEIVE A PROVINCIAL NOMINATION
If your application to a province is successful, then you will receive a provincial nomination – congratulations!
- INCREASE YOUR EXPRESS ENTRY CRS SCORE
Once you add your provincial nomination to your Express Entry profile, 600 points will be added to your CRS score!
The nomination will not be automatically added to your profile, you must manually enter this once the nomination is confirmed.
- RECEIVE AN INVITATION TO APPLY FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCE
With a 600 point boost to your CRS score you should have sufficient points to receive an ITA in the next Express Entry draw. These draws usually occur every one to four weeks, so be patient!
2 – NON-EXPRESS ENTRY PROVINCIAL NOMINEE PROGRAMS
The vast majority of Provincial Nominee Programs not aligned with the Express Entry program require some sort of connection to the province. This connection may be in the form of a job offer, past education in the province, or a trade certificate for the province.
For those people living outside of Canada who do not have a connection to a Canadian province, there are only a handful of PNP’s for which they may be eligible. One of the more popular programs which fit this criteria is the Saskatchewan International Skilled Worker: Occupation In-Demand program.
- CHECK YOUR ELIGIBILITY FOR THE PNP
Each province has its own eligibility criteria. Ensure you are eligible to apply before spending your time on an application.
- SUBMIT YOUR PNP APPLICATION
As with the programs listed above, all PNP’s have a different application process. Some PNP’s are first-come, first-served, while others use a competitive ranking system like Express Entry. Be sure you carefully read the application instructions so you know what to expect.
- RECEIVE A PROVINCIAL NOMINATION
If your application is processed and approved, then you will officially receive your provincial nomination – congratulations!
- SUBMIT A FEDERAL PAPER-BASED APPLICATION
Once you have your provincial nomination, you become eligible to submit an official application to the federal immigration agency for Canadian PR. Unlike the Express Entry system, this application cannot be submitted electronically, so all documents must be submitted in hard copy to the immigration office. This is called a paper-based application. Ensure that you follow all instructions issued by the government, submitting all required information, forms, and supporting documents.
A paper-based PR application has a significantly longer processing time than those submitted through the Express Entry system. The normal processing time for a paper-based application is approximately 18 months. If the application is approved then you and your accompanying family members will be issued travel visas authorising your entry to Canada to obtain your Permanent Resident documents.
CHOOSING AN IMMIGRATION PATHWAY
Comparing your options, choosing to apply for specific provincial programs, and completing an application in each province even as you continue your Express Entry application can be a very tough task. Also, changes in requirements—favourable as well as unfavourable—and changes in your personal circumstances can complicate matters.