Canadian Provincial Nominee Programs
Provincial Nominee Services
Canadian provinces play an important role in the selection of new immigrants through the Provincial Nominee Programs, which allow each province and territory to select skilled immigrants based on the province’s economic needs.
Immigrating to Canada via a provincial nomination can be an effective alternative to an Express Entry-based immigration application. Although immigrants sometimes think of PNP as the non-Express Entry program, it is possible to be invited to apply for a provincial nomination via Express Entry.
While a PNP may be the right path for you, it’s important to know that it’s not less competitive to get permanent residency through a PNP and provincial requirements vary greatly.
Once you receive a provincial nomination certificate, the permanent residence application is processed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on the federal level. At this stage, the adjudicating officer will evaluate the applicant’s ability to become economically established in Canada as well as the intention to reside within the province/ territory that nominated them, which means that a well prepared application will play a role. IRCC may also consider your Express Entry profile in this process.
There are more than 80 different provincial economic stream programs available for students, skilled and semi-skilled workers, and entrepreneurs.
Book a consultation to discuss which one is right for you, and how an application affects the expressed or implied date of your temporary residency status.
[In smaller font:] Please note that Quebec has its own immigration system and does not fall within the realm of the PNP framework. If you are interested in immigrating to Quebec, we can refer you to a Quebec-based law firm.
A foreign national can apply for a Provincial Nomination Program in one of two ways:
- Express Entry: Select provinces have a PNP category that is processed through the Express Entry system through nominations. Successful candidates will receive 600 additional points to their CRS score, which guarantees an invitation to apply (ITA) being received.
- Applying directly to a specific PNP: The applicant must select the province or territory in which they intend to reside in, and review the various immigration streams available to the specific region. If they qualify for a PNP, they can submit an application directly to the province or territory for review and approval.
Express Entry Linked Provincial Nomination Programs
Under the Express Entry process, the foreign national must first submit their profile through the online Express Entry portal. In the process, the applicant will select the provinces in which they are interested. Once the profile is accepted into the pool, a CRS point score will be issued, and the profile will become active.
If the applicant meets the basic requirements for nomination, the province in question may invite the applicant to apply for a nomination under the provinces Express Entry-linked stream. The selection is made by the province’s immigraiton officer who reviews the Express Entry pool for candidates that meet the province’s needs.
Once approval is issued, the applicant will update her Express Entry profile, indicating that a PNP nomination has been issued. A provincial nomination increases the CRS score by 600 points. This in turn guarantees that an invitation to apply will be issued (provided the applicant is in the Express Entry pool).
While one cannot base an immigration strategy on a particular province issuing such an invitation, we have had a significant number of clients who came to inquire about PNPs, explored their options, and ended up receiving an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residency via Express Entry.
The processing time for all Express Entry-based permanent residence applications, including those submitted pursuant to a provincial nomination, is currently around six months.
Non-Express Entry PNP
Foreign nationals may submit provincial nomination applications directly to a specific Provincial Nomination Program when the application window for a particular program is open. The majority of applications for provincial nominations are submitted outside of Express Entry.
Nominations under non-EE streams often allow the applicant and their dependent(s) to obtain the proper work and study authorizations while awaiting the decision of the permanent residence application.
We have helped clients navigate the PNP stream and submit both direct and employer-driven applications. With respect to employers, it is important to note that Canada’s current immigration framework is largely driven by economic considerations, and employers have a crucial part to play in the process.
From the employer side, the process requires providing financial documents showing and confirming that the basic requirements are met. Typical documents include:
- A job offer;
- Attested financial statements for the past three years prior to application;
- Lease agreements;
- The business organizational chart, and,
- Individual T4 statements.
While the minimum criteria varies between the provinces, the basic eligibility criteria generally comes down to the ability to honour the offer of employment made to the foreign national. It is not onerous and our firm takes care of the entire process.
We have worked with a wide range of organizations, from small manufacturing shops to multinational companies, in supporting employees through provincial nominations. No matter the size of your company as long as the basic requirements are met, we are here to assist you. We take care of the entire process so that your human resources department is not overwhelmed with additional processing documents, and you, the employer, can take your part in helping to build a better Canada.
The processing times for paper-based PR applications is currently between 16 to 24 months.
Federal Processing Stage
Upon receipt of the provincial nomination certificate, the permanent residence application is processed by IRCC on the federal level. At this stage, the adjudicating officer will evaluate the applicant’s ability to become economically established in Canada as well as the intention to reside within the province/ territory that nominated them.
The officer will also assess inadmissibility at this stage. When this process is completed, the applicant will be issued a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR), and if necessary, a permanent resident visa to travel to Canada. From here, the applicant is granted their permanent resident status in Canada. In other words, receiving a PNP certificate does not exempt one from the normal applications of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). Criminality, medical admissibility, security checks, and eligibility must still be assessed.
There are more than 80 provincial immigration streams across Canada, focusing on various factors such as entrepreneurship, skilled experience, and international education. The general framework is similar between many of the programs across different provinces. Intent to permanently reside in the province and ability to support themselves and their dependant(s) are the key factors considered in most of the programs.
Some programs require the applicant to have a valid job offer as well as employment experience from the province. Others are employment and/or work experience independent.
Student streams are generally divided into employer supported and independent streams for graduate degrees (Masters and PhD). The employer supported streams do not require work experience or the payment of a median prevailing wage. The streams for Master’s degree and PhD holders do not require a job offer.
Entrepreneur or business immigration streams involve a multi-stage process that generally requires the applicant to receive an invitation to apply to the province and to go through several stages of approval before a permanent residence application can be submitted. Depending on the program, the province, and the entrepreneur’s experience, a PNP may be an entrepreneur’s most efficient path to permanent residency. Please review our business immigration and entrepreneur services for more options.
Regular employer supported streams require the employer to meet basic operational and payroll criteria. The domestic recruitment requirement is waived if the applicant is currently working for a company, which means that if you are on Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) based work permit but do not have enough Express Entry points to get an invitation to apply, you should speak to your employer about supporting a provincial nomination application. This process is generally far simpler than obtaining an LMIA.
There are also streams for certain technology sector occupations, which offer priority processing and waive the recruitment requirement, as well requirements unique to specific National Occupation Codes. Two tech pilot PNPs that we’ve found particularly useful for many of our clients are the Ontario Tech Draw and the BC PNP Tech Pilot. There are also programs that focus on in-demand occupations and allow applications for these independent of job offers.
While not all programs require a job offer or employer cooperation, many do. We find that not all employers fully understand the options available to them under PNPs. While some employers are initially reluctant to participate in the immigration process, once a current employee explains the process to them in simple terms, they are enthusiastic supporters of an employee’s application. We have helped students and other open work permit holders get their employer on-board by explaining and streamlining the process to them.
Confused by all the options? Don’t worry—we’re here to help. We describe some of the individual provincial programs below. To find out which program is best for you, we encourage you to book a consultation with us to discuss all of your options.
Home to Toronto, Ontario is one of the most sought after immigration destinations in Canada, known for its diversity and labour market opportunities. The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) is the largest in Canada. The Ontario government is constantly reaching their federal nomination allocation, demonstrating their ability and willingness to integrate permanent residents into their province.
OINP Masters Graduate Stream
The OINP Masters Graduate Stream is a popular, employer-independent stream, meaning that no job offer is required to apply. It is an immensely popular path towards Canadian permanent residency for those who have obtained a Master’s degree in Ontario.
To be considered, the applicant does not need a job offer, but must meet all of the following eight requirements:
- Completed at least one academic year of full-time study (at least 15 hours of instruction a week, or the part-time equivalent) from an eligible university in Ontario;
- Language tests are at a CLB 7 or higher in all areas;
- Applicant must have legally lived in Ontario for at least one year (can be cumulative) within the last two years of application;
- Sufficient funds for settlement for themself and their dependent(s);
- Demonstrate intent to live in Ontario;
- Must be living either in Ontario with legal status, or outside of Canada at the time of application;
- Must have legal status in Canada at the time of application; and
- The application must be submitted within two years of completing the master’s degree.
Quotas within this stream are met quite quickly. Building an immigration pathway solely around being issued an invitation under this stream is unwise. It is important to note that many applicants under this category will also have sufficient points to apply under Express Entry, as they will receive 135 points (without spouse) or 126 points (with spouse) with an additional 15 points for their post-secondary education in Canada. Most candidates under the OINP Masters Graduate stream see that their CRS score is close to 470 points, which often meets the cutoff under the federal Express Entry program. The most recent cut-off scores can be found here.
OINP PhD Stream
The PhD Graduate Stream gives international graduates with an Ontario PhD degree the opportunity to apply to permanently live and work in Ontario, and does not necessarily require a job offer.
To be eligible, applicants:
Must have completed the requirements necessary to obtain a PhD degree from an eligible university in Ontario;
- Must have completed at least two years of those PhD studies while legally living and studying in Ontario;
- Must not have received a bursary, grant or scholarship that requires them to return to their home country after earning their PhD degree (however, applicants may apply under this stream once they have fulfilled those commitments and can demonstrate an intention to live in Ontario);
- Must have legally lived in Ontario for at least one year in the past two years before application (the one year of residency can be cumulative);
- Must have enough money to support themselves and any dependent family members when they settle in Canada;
- Must intend to live and work in Ontario after permanent residency is granted; and,
- Must submit the application within two years of completing the requirements necessary to obtain the PhD degree.
Applicants under this stream also must have legal status, such as a visitor record, study permit, or work permit, at time of the application and must maintain that status until the time of nomination.
Note: You may apply if you are in ‘implied status’ at the time of your OINP application submission. ‘Implied status’ means that you submitted an application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to renew/extend your temporary status document (a visitor record, work permit, study permit) before its expiry date. You can remain in Canada and continue to work or study under the same conditions as your existing permit until a decision is made on your pending IRCC application.
Applicants may show financial ability to support their residency in Canada through one or a combination of any of the following:
- Funds as demonstrated by the balance listed in bank statements, or statements of accounts showing other investments such as non-locked in, fixed term deposits, mutual funds, etc.;
- Annual earnings from ongoing employment in Ontario; and/or
- A job offer in Ontario.
OINP Employer Job Offer: International Students
The International Student Stream allows international students with a job offer in a NOC 0, A, or B position the opportunity to apply for permanent residence. This stream is also a highly sought-after stream as it allows those with any post-secondary degree with a job offer in Canada a chance at permanent residency. The job offer in question does not need to be supported by an LMIA or recruitment efforts.
There is no employment experience requirement and the wage offered must only meet the low range of the median wage for the NOC in the respective region. The stream is open to international students who have received education credentials from any recognized Canadian institution, both inside and outside of Canada.
The job offer must meet these requirements:
- The position must be full-time and permanent (minimum of 1,560 hours a year, equivalent to a minimum of 30 hours a week);
- In a NOC 0, A, or B position;
- The hourly wage must meet or be higher than the low wage level for the position;
- The position must be necessary to the employer’s business; and,
- The work must be done primarily in Ontario.
The applicant must meet the following requirements:
Have received a two-year degree or diploma OR a one-year degree or diploma that requires a completed degree as an admission requirement from a recognized Canadian institution;
- Intends to live in Ontario;
- Has legal status in Canada;
- The application must be submitted within two-years of completing their degree, diploma, or certificate; and, if applicable,
- The applicant must have a valid license or authorization to perform the job.
The employer must meet the standard OINP requirements:
- Have been in business for at least three years prior to submission, have a business premise in Ontario, and have no outstanding orders under the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 or the Occupation Health and Safety Act;
- Meet minimum revenue requirements (minimum $1,000,000 if applicant is working within the Greater Toronto Area, or minimum of $500,000 if the applicant will be working outside the GTA);
- Meet the full-time employee requirements (employment must have at least five full-time employees who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents if working from within the GTA, or at least three full-time employees who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents if outside the GTA); and
- Complete and submit an Employer Form to support the application.
We often assist recent graduates who are interested in this stream, and have either a valid job offer or valid work authorization in Canada, to meet their permanent residency objectives. We can assist the employer in the preparation of the application, streamlining the processing of the application, allowing you, the international graduate, or the employer, to better focus on your tasks at hand.
OINP Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills stream
The In-Demand Skills Stream gives foreign workers with a job offer in specific, high demand occupations the opportunity to apply for permanent residence. Currently, these high demand occupations include agriculture, construction, trucking, or personal support work.
The stream is open to individuals both inside and outside of Canada. The key characteristic of this program is that it can be used by individuals in the NOC C and D categories.
As in the OINP Employer Job Offer: International Students stream, there are requirements that the job offer must meet, as well as the applicant and the employer.
The job offer must fulfill the following requirements:
- The position must be a full-time and permanent position (minimum of 1,560 hours a year, equivalent to a minimum of 30 hours a week);
- The position must be in one of the specified NOC C or D occupations;
- The job offer must meet or be higher than the median wage level for the job within the specific region of Ontario; and,
- The job/position must also be necessary to the business, and must be based in Ontario.
The applicant must:
- Have at least nine months of cumulative paid full-time experience (or part-time equivalent) in the same occupation (as the specified NOC code) within three years prior to submission of the applicant;
- Have the appropriate license and authorization (if applicable);
- Meet CLB 4 in all areas of language;
- Have at least a Canadian secondary school diploma or equivalent;
- Intend to live in Ontario; and
- Have legal status in Canada at the time of application.
The employer must meet the following requirements:
- Have been in business for at least three years prior to submission, have a business premise in Ontario, have no outstanding orders under the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 or the Occupation Health and Safety Act, and that there were efforts to recruit a Canadian citizen or permanent resident prior to the applicant if the candidate lives outside of Canada or Ontario;
- Meet minimum revenue requirements (minimum $1,00,000 if applicant is working within the Greater Toronto Area, or minimum of $500,000 if the applicant will be working outside the GTA);
- Meet full-time employee requirements (employer must have at least five full-time employees who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents if working from within the GTA, or at least three full-time employees who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents if outside the GTA); and
- Completed and submitted an Employer Form to support the application.
This stream is highly sought after by those in eligible NOC C and D occupations, as they are traditionally left out of the federal Express Entry draws due to their ineligible occupation.
The requirements for this particular stream are often adjusted to meet the local demands of the economy, with additional positions in the NOC C and D category frequently added to include a broader range of candidates.
Alberta is quickly becoming one of Canada’s fastest growing provinces with Calgary and Edmonton driving growth through an enticing job market. Its immigration requirements and programs are evolving rapidly to address the province’s changing economic landscape, and there are several options open to immigrants under the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP).
Alberta Express Entry
The Alberta Express Entry stream selects candidates from the federal Express Entry program through the provision of a Notification of Interest (NOI).
This stream is growing in popularity as its minimum CRS score is 300 points, which is significantly lower than the rest of the provinces. If an applicant has interest in immigrating permanently to Alberta and is working in an occupation that supports the province’s local economic development and diversification efforts, the Alberta Express Entry stream may be a good provincial nomination program to consider. Our immigration lawyers have helped many people interested in immigrating to Canada who may not meet the Express Entry CRS threshold use to program as a pathway towards permanent residence.
A more comprehensive view of the AINP: Express Entry stream can be found here.
Alberta Opportunity Stream
The Alberta Opportunity Stream (AOS) is for temporary foreign workers who are already working full-time in Alberta and have a full-time job offer from an Alberta employer in an eligible occupation. Candidates must have a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or hold one of the accepted LMIA exemption work permits. Candidates must also meet other minimum eligibility criteria for residency and work permit type, occupation, language, education, Alberta job offer and work experience.
This is an excellent program for individuals who are already working in Alberta. Our immigration lawyers can work with you and your employer to see if this program is the right way to transition you from temporary to permanent residence status.
Read more about the Alberta Opportunity stream here.
Additional AINP streams include the International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream, the Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream, and the Self Employed Farmer Stream. If you are interested in immigrating to Alberta, our immigration lawyers are here to help you understand your options.
British Columbia’s diverse economy requires workers in skilled and unskilled high-demand occupations. To that end, the economic streams of British Columbia’s Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) offer opportunities to immigrants who may not qualify for immigration under the federal or other provincial streams.
BC - Tech Pilot
The BC Tech Pilot program, currently extended until June 2021, is a terrific job-offer driven stream with priority processing and an LMIA exemption. It allows BC tech employers to recruit and retain international talent when local skilled workers are unavailable. We’ve found it to be an excellent and expedited immigration pathway for clients with tech skills.
The BC PNP Tech Pilot, as the Government of British Columbia explains, is differentiated by a focus on:
- Service: A dedicated BC PNP concierge for tech employers provides tailored information and navigation assistance for immigration programs and processes.
- Timeliness: Weekly invitations to apply are issued to qualified skilled tech workers, minimizing the wait for employers and their prospective employees.
- Prioritization: Tech applications are prioritized during processing to meet the sector’s fast-paced demands.
- Engagement: Continuous support is provided to tech sector employers through proactive engagement activities and participation at key industry events.
It is focused on 29 in-demand tech occupations, which can be viewed and downloaded from here.
The British Columbia government continues to engage with the tech sector to keep the program timely and aligned with BC’s economic needs. We are very excited about the possibilities the BC Tech Pilot offers to immigrants with skills and experience in the tech sector. Talk to us whether this program is an option for you.
If you would like to learn more about the BC Tech Pilot Program, the Government of British Columbia has prepared a robust information gateway for interested applicants. You may:
- Download the BC PNP Tech Pilot information sheet – for employers (PDF, <1MB) or our BC PNP Tech Pilot information sheet – for workers (PDF, <1MB) for a printable, high-level overview of the information.
- Read the BC PNP Tech Pilot FAQs document (PDF, <1MB) for specific answers to questions about the Tech Pilot.
- Refer to the BC PNP Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC Program Guide for information about our program criteria.
- Go to the BC Government process page for information about the registration process.
- Go to the BC Government invitations page for information about invitations to apply, including draw dates and the number and frequency of invitations.
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BC PNP – Skilled Worker
The Skills Immigration (SI) – Skilled Worker category of the BC PNP offers a route for workers in a professional, management, technical, trade or other skilled occupation to gain permanent residence in British Columbia (BC).
To qualify, you must first accept a valid job offer from a BC employer. You also need relevant training and experience.
To be eligible, applicants must:
- Have accepted a full-time, indeterminate job offer (a permanent job, or one with no set end date) from a B.C. employer. The job must be in a National Occupational Classification (NOC) skilled occupation (Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B);
- Be qualified to perform the duties of the job;
- Have at least two (2) years of directly related work experience;
- Show they can support themselves and their dependents;
- Have, or be eligible for, legal immigration status in Canada;
- For NOC skill level B occupations, meet minimum language requirements;
- Have a wage offer in line with B.C. wage rates for the occupation.
For employers to be eligible to use the program, they must:
- Be established as an employer in good standing in B.C.;
- Provide full-time, indeterminate (permanent or with no set end date) employment;
- Have a history of good workplace and business practices;
- Sign an employer declaration;
- Meet domestic labour market recruitment requirements, where applicable;
- Make the applicant a full-time, indeterminate job offer; and,
- Offer the applicant a wage in line with industry standards;
Additionally, employers must be willing to support an employee’s application and fulfill certain responsibilities during the application process.
Interested in this program? You can find out if you qualify for Express Entry BC — Skilled Worker by filling out an online profile. You can also find out more about the BC’s Skilled Worker program here. And, of course, our lawyers are happy to discuss if this option is the right path to permanent residency for you, as well as to support your employer through the process.
British Columbia PNP: Entry Level and Semi-Skilled
British Columbia is one of the only provinces that has a program targeting entry level and semi-skilled workers, creating a pathway for permanent residence for those who traditionally will be left out by the federal Express Entry system.
Right now, this specific category targets workers in a valid tourism/ hospitality, long-haul trucking, or in a food processing occupation to gain permanent residence in British Columbia.
To be eligible for the program, the applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Have a full-time, permanent job offer from a B.C. employer in a specific occupation in the tourism/ hospitality, long-haul trucking, or the food processing industry in a NOC C or D position;
- Have been working for the employer on a full-time basis for at least nine consecutive months before the application;
- Meet the minimum language (CLB 4 in all areas) and education (minimum secondary school or equivalent) requirements;
- Possess the necessary qualifications (if applicable);
- Be able to support themselves and their dependent(s) if applicable;
- Have legal status in Canada; and
- Be earning a wage equal or higher to the B.C. wage for the occupation.
To apply to this stream, candidates must create a profile within the BC PNP registration system online, which will then be reviewed and scored. Those with the highest scores will then be invited to apply online directly.
The province of Saskatchewan offers several economic immigration streams under the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP), including the International Skilled Worker, the Worker with Saskatchewan Experience, Entrepreneur, and Farm Owner and Operator streams. It also frequently targets specific sectors and in-demand occupations. Current in-demand occupations include health professionals, hospitality sector workers, and long haul truck drivers.
Saskatchewan - International Skilled Worker: Occupation In-Demand
Unlike many other skilled streams, the SINP- Occupation In Demand stream is job offer independent.
As an applicant, you may be eligible to apply if:
- You live outside of Canada or have proof of legal status in Canada;
- Are not a refugee claimant;
- Score a minimum of 60 points out of 110 on the SINP point assessment grid;
- Have a language score of at least 4 – Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4;
- Some employers may ask for language scores that are higher than CLB 4;
- Have completed post-secondary education, training or apprenticeship that's comparable to that in Canada;
- Have earned a diploma, certificate or degree;
- Have work experience that is high skilled and not on the Excluded Occupation List;
- Have a minimum of one year of full-time (minimum 30 hours per week) paid work experience in a skilled occupation over the past 10 years related to your field of education. Your work experience must be in a high skilled occupation (NOC "0", "A" or "B") that is considered to be in-demand in Saskatchewan at the time of your application. See Occupations In-Demand and Express Entry Occupation Requirements for more information.
- Your work experience must be related to your occupation and education.
- Have proof of settlement funds and a settlement plan.
Note: Applicants with education outside of Canada must submit an educational credential assessment (ECA) from a designated organization (See IRCC's list of approved organizations). Individuals who have completed trades or job training as part of their high school education must instead apply for Saskatchewan licensure (See Regulated Occupations and Licensing Requirements and SINP Requirements Related to Professional Status or Licensure for more information.
To apply for this sub-category, you must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). If you successfully submit an EOI, you will be entered into the EOI pool of eligible candidates.
Please note that not all candidates who submit an International Skilled Worker EOI will be invited to apply to the SINP. However, if you have experience in one of the in-demand occupations, this program may offer you a high chance of success in gaining your permanent residency in Canada.
Curious if you qualify for this program? See SINP’s Occupations In-Demand and Express Entry Occupation Requirements for more information, or talk to one of our immigration lawyers about your options.
Several Canadian provinces have economic immigration streams that specifically target entrepreneurs. Key among them are the Entrepreneur Stream of the BC PNP and the
the Entrepreneur Stream of the Ontario Immigration Nomination Program.
Entrepreneur Stream—Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program
The Entrepreneur Stream under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) targets business people resident outside of Canada who are interested in starting a new business or buying an existing business in Ontario.
It allows a business owner and up to one additional business partner owner an opportunity to apply for and be nominated for permanent residence once their business has been established in Ontario.
In order to apply, the business owner and, if applicable, their business partner, needs to:
- Have a 24 months of full-time business experience (managerial) in the 60 months preceding the application;
- Demonstrate a minimum net-worth of $400,000 if the proposed business is outside the GTA and $800,000 inside the GTA;
- Be able to make personal monetary investment of either $200,000 or $600,000 depending on business location (inside or outside the Greater Toronto Area); and,
- Have an active role in the company.
The business purpose must be to make a profit from active income through the sale of goods and/or services. In other words, passive investments do not qualify.
The following businesses are excluded from consideration:
- Automated car wash business
- Pay day loan and related businesses
- Scrap metal recycling
- Tire recycling
- Businesses that have been previously owned/operated by current or former OINP business stream nominees
If your proposed business will be located in the Greater Toronto Area, the following types are also ineligible:
- Existing franchises in Ontario (new foreign franchises expanding into Ontario are permitted);
- Gas stations; and,
- Bed and breakfasts.
Although purchasing an existing franchise inside the GTA is not an option, many applicants who use the OINP entrepreneur stream choose to purchase a franchise outside of the GTA.
As noted above, the process involves several steps and begins with registering an Expression of Interest (EOI). No supporting documents are required at the EOI stage. The EOI is assessed in light of other applications in the pool. Top applicants are issued an invitation to apply for a PNP.
If invited to apply, the business owner(s) is issued a work permit support letter, submits an application for a work permit, is issued a work permit to complete the conditions of the nomination, and signs a performance agreement that sets out the terms of the business plan and conditions of the nomination. Conditions of the nomination typically include actions such as hiring of staff and investing the complete designated amount of personal funds.
After 20 months, a final review is held to determine whether the applicant and business have met the terms of the performance agreement. Once the conditions of the program are satisfied, the Province of Ontario issues a Provincial Nomination Certificate, which the business owner(s) then uses to apply for permanent residency.
Entrepreneur Stream—British Columbia PNP
British Columbia’s Entrepreneur Immigration Stream is quite similar to the Ontario program.
A business owner and up to one business partner may apply under this program. The base requirements to qualify for the program include:
- Residing 100 km within the business location,
- Meeting a minimum score of 4 on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB),
- Maintaining an active role in the business,
- Demonstrating a minimum net worth of $600,000, and
- Demonstrating a minimum personal investment amount of $200,000.
If the application is approved, the business owner(s) need to sign a performance agreement with the Province of British Columbia. They are then able to apply for a work permit and enter British Columbia to operate the business.
Once the business owner(s) satisfies all the conditions of their performance agreement, a nomination certificate is issued, which the business owner(s) may use to apply for permanent residence.
If you are interested in this program, we recommend that you review the BC Government’s Entrepreneur Immigration - Base Category Program Guide to see the complete business and investment requirements, including business eligibility and job requirements.
Another option for immigrant entrepreneurs interested in BC is the province’s Entrepreneur Immigrant - Regional Pilot program, in which participating communities are actively involved in attracting foreign entrepreneurs to their community. These communities may refer foreign entrepreneurs whose business concept aligns with the community’s economic priorities to the BC PNP. The foreign entrepreneur must be invited by the community to conduct an exploratory visit and present their concept to the community’s designated contact person prior to receiving a referral. Foreign entrepreneurs who are referred by a participating community are placed in a separate registration pool dedicated to the pilot when they register. Regional pilot registrations and applications are prioritized.
The biggest advantage of this program for immigrant entrepreneurs is, in addition to the prioritization it offers, is that net worth and personal investment amounts are generally lower from those in the main Entrepreneur Stream.
For more information about this unique pilot program, review the BC Government’s Entrepreneur Immigrant - Regional Pilot page.
Or, book a consultation with us to discuss which of BC’s Entrepreneur programs is right for you. If you are an entrepreneur looking to immigrate to Canada, you do have many options.
While the Ontario and British Columbia entrepreneur streams are the most robust and well-defined PNPs targeting business immigration to Canada, depending on your industry, experience, and type of business, additional opportunities may be available in other provinces.
We discuss the BC and Ontario programs, as well as other Canadian immigration programs that specifically target entrepreneurs, investors, and business people in our Business Immigration section. Our immigration lawyers have considerable experience in designing paths to permanent residency that align the business and immigration objectives of our business immigration clients with current legislation and programs. Book a consultation with us to discuss your business objectives and your immigration options.
While the Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia provincial nomination programs provide the most popular PNP immigration opportunities, with the Saskatchewan PNP also increasing in the options it offers immigrants, Manitoba, the Atlantic provinces, and the two Canadian territories all have their own provincial nomination streams.
For more information, you may visit the individual province websites:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
Additionally, the province of Quebec runs its own provincial immigration stream, independent of the federal Express Entry program.
Specific programs, their requirements and processing times change frequently. Our immigration lawyers stay on top of all relevant developments, and are able to advise you which PNP stream offers you the most effective and timely path towards permanent residency.
At Abramovich & Tchern, our immigration lawyers stay on top of the immigration developments and specific immigration programs at the federal level and across the provinces and territories. The provincial nominee programs are uniquely tailored to each province’s current economic needs. They often present opportunities for immigrants who might not qualify under the Express Entry program. Applying for PNPs can also boost your CSR score and improve your chances of success under the federal Express Entry program.
Book a consultation to talk with us about your immigration options. Let’s optimize your chances for success, in the province and program that’s the best fit for you.