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Selecting The Right Provincial Nominee Program For You

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A founding partner of Abramovich & Tchern, Ksenia started her legal career at one of Canada’s top immigration firms, where she operated her own immigration law practice, with a focus on corporate and individual immigration applications.

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.

Provincial Nominee Programs For Students

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.

Provincial Nominee Programs for Entrepreneurs & Business Owners

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 a 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 more simple than obtaining an LMIA.

There are also streams for certain technology sector occupations, which offer priority processing and waive the recruitment requirement, as well as 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.

Employer Support

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.

Ksenia Tchern

A founding partner of Abramovich & Tchern, Ksenia started her legal career at one of Canada’s top immigration firms, where she operated her own immigration law practice, with a focus on corporate and individual immigration applications.