Information on COVID-19 and Immigration to Canada


The Government of Canada has federal immigration programs, including provincial and territorial streams. In this sense,  the Canadian immigration system is unique as it allows provinces and territories to run their Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) aligned to the federal Express Entry system in order to attract immigrants who can significantly contribute to a local economy. Other words, the requirements under these pathways are tailored to the economic and social needs of a particular province or territory. Certain provincial governments have PNPs that, for example, stimulate business investments, while others might focus on highly skilled workers or family reunification.

Provincial Nominee criteria are being updated from time to time to make sure a province targets skilled immigrants in specific occupations. For example, the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program updated its In-Demand Occupation List by adding 13 new occupations and removed nine. Periodically, provinces open streams for international teachers, nurses, engineers, caregivers, etc. The information usually appears on the official website of each province. All this is done to select and nominate candidates who not only want to settle in Canada but also those who also have the capacities to do that, that is, quick adaptation is very important. 

So each province assesses its applicants based on a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Candidates who submit their profiles in the Express Entry linked to a province they choose, get a score for their education, work experience, professional skills, age, and other factors. And only those with the highest scores receive an Invitation to Apply for a permanent residence.

The number of newcomers expected in a province also might fluctuate, but provinces tend to increase the number of subsequent intakes. It can be seen from the 2018 comparative analysis.

In general, all provincial nominee programs cover international skilled workers, international graduates from Canadian designated post-secondary institutions, and entrepreneurs. Once you choose a province you want to immigrate to, you have to see which immigration programs are available under that province and follow the requirements.

Initially, the idea of a provincial immigration program appeared to benefit smaller provinces which faced a labor shortage. So Manitoba became the first program to launch its Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) in 1999 to nominate newcomers for permanent residence. Through it, the population of the province increased and as it proved very successful, other provinces also followed its footsteps and opened their own PNPs. The only province that doesn’t have PNP is Quebec, which signed a separate agreement with the federal government. 

These are the following provinces that run PNPs: 


  • Alberta Opportunity
  • Alberta Express Entry
  • Self-employed Farmer Stream

British Columbia

  • Skilled Worker Stream
  • Health Care Professional
  • International Graduate Stream
  • International Postgraduate Stream
  • Entry Level and Semi-Skilled Pilot Project


  • Skilled Workers in Manitoba
  • Skilled Workers Overseas
  • Manitoba Business Investor Stream
  • International Education Stream

New Brunswick 

  • Express Entry Labor Market Stream
  • Skilled Worker with Employer Support
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Postgraduate Entrepreneurial
  • Skilled Workers with Employer Support Stream
  • Skilled Worker with Family Support
  • Atlantic Immigration Pilot Project 

Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Express Entry Skilled Worker Category
  • The NLPNP Skilled Worker Category
  • The NLPNP International Graduate Category
  • Atlantic Immigration Pilot 

Northwest Territories

  • Express Entry Skilled Workers Stream
  • Critical Impact Workers Stream
  • Skilled Workers Stream
  • Business Stream

Nova Scotia

  • Express Entry Skilled Workers Stream
  • Critical Impact Workers Stream
  • Skilled Workers Stream
  • Business Stream 


  • International Students – Master's Graduate Stream
  • International Students – Ph.D. Graduate Stream 
  • Human Capital Priorities Stream
  • French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream
  • Skilled Trades Stream
  • Corporate Stream
  • Entrepreneur Stream

Prince Edward Island

  • PEI Express Entry Stream
  • Labor Impact Category
  • Business Impact Category


  • International Skilled Worker Category
  • Saskatchewan Experience Category 
  • Entrepreneur Category
  • Farm Category


  • Business Nominee Program
  • Skilled Worker Stream
  • Critical Impact Worker

Applying through a PNP is a good option for applicants who do not qualify under the federal immigration programs.

Skilled workers are usually required to have a job offer from a Canadian employer, though some provinces, especially, remote and rural regions that target specific workers might require only work experience. As for business immigration, a foreign national has an opportunity to open new or invest in the existing business. In both cases, PNPs are meant to fast-track immigration processing for eligible candidates.

If you want to apply for a PNP, you have to submit the application and get nominated by the province. It will take from two weeks to 12 months, depending on the province. Once approved or nominated, you will get an Invitation to Apply and this will require submission of another application to the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada for additional documents and medical, police, and security checks.