Immigration and the provinces: Deciding whom to fast-track

The Provincial Nominee Program is a national strategy meant to help skilled workers and entrepreneurs from other countries gain permanent resident status in Canada more quickly. takes a look at the focus of the program in each province.
Nurses are among the professions that are the focus of the provincial nominee program in some Canadian provinces. (Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press)

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is a national strategy meant to help skilled workers and entrepreneurs from other countries gain permanent resident status in Canada more quickly.

The program is run individually in each province. Collectively, the PNP aims to find permanent employment for immigrants in their area of expertise. However, each province has slightly different application criteria.

As well, some provinces seek out workers for specific job sectors.

Here's a rundown of the program in provinces and territories across the country.

British Columbia

The B.C. PNP breaks down into two categories: Business Integration, for entrepreneurs looking to put down roots in B.C.; and Strategic Occupations, which puts an emphasis on skilled trades, natural, applied and health sciences, physicians and nurses, and positions in tourism, food processing and long-haul trucking.


Alberta's version puts an emphasis on skilled workers who have offers of permanent, full-time jobs; recent foreign graduates of Canadian post-secondary institutions and semi-skilled workers in food and beverage processing, the hotel and lodging industry, manufacturing and long-haul trucking. There are also categories for tradespeople, engineers, designers or drafters with Alberta work experience, and farmers who want to set up or buy a farming business.


Saskatchewan's Immigrant Nominee Program has a category for farm owners and operators. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Saskatchewan's Immigrant Nominee Program has categories for skilled workers, entrepreneurs who have a net worth of at least $300,000; farm owners and operators; physicians, nurses and other health professions; long-haul truck drivers and students. There are also provisions to assist family members of immigrant familes, and a pilot project for jobs in the hospitality sector, including food and beverage servers, food-counter attendants, kitchen helpers, and housekeeping and cleaning staff.


The Manitoba PNP has a "priority stream" that favours people who have been working in Manitoba for at least six months and have a job offer from an employer, as well as foreign students who have graduated from a Manitoba post-secondary institution. There’s also a stream for entrepreneurs with a minimum personal net worth of $350,000, as well as a separate category, the Manitoba Young Farmer Nominee Program, for experienced farmers under 40 who want to farm.


Ontario differs from the other provinces in that its PNP is explicitly employer-driven, meant to help Ontario employers succeed "in the global competition for talent." Employers apply for provincial approval of the positions they want to fill, and can then choose from skilled workers and international students who have applied for a nomination.

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia’s PNP includes categories like the community-identified stream, which favours immigrants who have a strong connection to a specific Nova Scotia community and can demonstrate that they will contribute to the economy in that community; there is also an Agri-Food Sector stream, aimed at people with experience in farm management.

New Brunswick

New Brunswick's Provincial Nominee Program focuses on potential immigrants who have a job offer for a skilled position or family support to settle in the province. Business applicants must be between 22 and 50 years of age, have management experience in three of the last five years, and a personal net worth of at least $300,000.

Newfoundland and Labrador

The Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program has four categories: skilled workers with offers of full-time positions from Newfoundland and Labrador employers, international graduates, people with family connections and entrepreneurs.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island's Provincial Nominee Program has two categories: business impact and labour impact. Within the business impact category, there are two streams: 100 per cent ownership of a business and partial ownership. The labour impact category includes skilled workers, international graduates and people with family connections. The category also has provisions for a critical worker pilot project, which includes truck drivers, customer service representatives, labourers, food and beverage servers and housekeeping attendants.


The Yukon program reaches out to entrepreneurs who have a personal worth of at least $250,000 and have invested a minimum of $150,000 equity into starting or buying a business in the Yukon. The Skilled Worker/Critical Impact Worker category is designed to enable employers to hire qualified immigrants for positions that cannot be filled by national or territorial labour markets.

Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories Nominee Program has four categories: skilled worker, critical impact worker in the service and hospitality sector, entrepreneur business and self-employed business. For the entrepreneur business category, eligibility requirements include the ability to invest a minimum of $300,000 into starting or buying a business in the Yellowknife area, or investing a minimum of $150,000 into starting or buying a business outside the Yellowknife area; and having a personal net worth of $500,000 if the intended business is in the Yellowknife area, or a minimum net worth of $250,000 if the intended business is outside the Yellowknife area.