Canada immigration

How to Get a Canadian Provincial Nomination Certificate

Published on: August 23rd, 2022

Provincial nomination certificates have become an increasingly popular way to immigrate to Canada. There are dozens of Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), each with its own eligibility criteria.

So, how can you secure your own provincial nomination certificate?

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How to get a provincial nomination certificate

Since every province has its own Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), each with many different streams, it can be a challenge to sort through them all to find which ones you’re eligible for.

This is made even more complicated by the fact that provinces often change requirements and open and close streams. The trick to getting a provincial nomination is taking the time to research and monitor all programs you might be eligible for.

However, the extra work is generally worth it. Receiving a provincial nomination certificate means you can apply for Canadian permanent residence status.

If you’re applying to a provincial stream aligned with Express Entry, a nomination is work an additional 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. These additional points essentially guarantee an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

There are also PNPs for candidates that don’t have an Express Entry profile, often referred to as ‘base PNPs’. If you receive a provincial nomination certificate from a base PNP, you can apply directly for permanent residence status.

Every provincial nominee program is unique. However, there are a few general guidelines we can give for how to get a provincial nomination certificate:

Experience in an in-demand occupation

Many provinces have a PNP stream dedicated to bringing in foreign workers with experience in specific occupations. These programs help provinces respond to labour shortages. The occupations that are considered ‘in-demand’ change by province, and over time. Closely monitoring these lists, for all the provinces that offer in-demand occupation streams, can be the best way to get a provincial nomination certificate.

Examples: Saskatchewan Occupations In-Demand, Ontario Human Capital Priorities, or Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities stream

Employer job offer

Like in-demand occupation streams, job offer streams are designed to help employers in the province meet their labour needs. If an employer is unable to fill a position from the local labour market, job offer streams give them access to the international market.

If you have a job offer and your employer is located in a province with this type of nominee program, you may be eligible to apply for a provincial nomination certificate.

The benefit of job offer streams is that many allow employers to bypass the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process. Many provinces have agreements with the federal government that allow them to issue ‘letters of support’ to successful nominees. These letters can be used to apply for a Canadian work permit in lieu of an LMIA. This makes it easier for employers to hire foreign applicants, which can also make it easier to secure a role in Canada.

Many job offer streams don’t require an Express Entry profile to apply. That means, even if you don’t qualify to enter the Express Entry pool, you still may be eligible to secure a nomination certificate.

Examples: Ontario Employer Job Offer  or Nova Scotia Skilled Worker

Employer job offer in an occupation in-demand

Sometimes, provinces offer immigration streams to candidates who have experience in an in-demand occupation, and who already have a job offer from an employer in that occupation.

Examples: Ontario In-Demand Skills or British Columbia Healthcare Professional Category

Experience as a student

Most provinces have a provincial nomination stream for candidates who have experience studying in the province. In fact, international student graduates are some of the most sought-after candidates for immigration. If you’ve graduated from a post-secondary institution in Canada, and are in the Express Entry pool, you also may be eligible for up to 30 additional CRS points for your education alone.

If you don’t already have experience as a student in Canada, our International Student program can help you find a school and program in Canada that can help you meet your education, career, and immigration goals.

Examples: British Columbia International Graduate or Manitoba International Education

Experience as a temporary worker

Experience working in a province as a temporary worker can help you get a provincial nomination. Many provinces have streams dedicated to helping temporary workers transition to permanent residence.

Some of these streams require that you be working in Canada when you apply for a nomination and that your employer gives you a full-time, permanent job offer. Others only require recent experience as a worker in the province.

If you’re not eligible to immigrate to Canada, starting off as a temporary worker can improve your eligibility in a lot of ways. You can improve your language ability and grow your professional network to try to get a permanent job offer.

Examples: Saskatchewan Experience or Manitoba Skilled Workers in Manitoba Category

Business streams

Some provinces offer provincial nominations for candidates who are willing to own and operate a business in the province. Usually, you need to have managerial experience and a minimum personal net worth to be eligible for these types of streams. Examples: British Columbia Entrepreneur Immigration Stream or Ontario Entrepreneur Stream

Other ways to get a provincial nomination

Some provinces have other provincial nomination streams to help meet their immigration goals.

For example, Ontario wants to increase the number of francophone newcomers it welcomes each year. So, if you have high French language proficiency, you may be eligible for the Ontario French Speaking Skilled Worker stream.

Saskatchewan has a major agricultural industry. For this reason, they offer a provincial nomination program for candidates who have farming experience, and who are interested in owning, operating, or investing in a farm in Saskatchewan.


Interested in learning more about your options to immigrate to Canada through a PNP? Complete our free online assessment form today!

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