Best provincial immigrant nomination programs in Canada - - Canada Immigration Newsletter
best pnps

Best provincial immigrant nomination programs in Canada

What are the best PNPs in Canada?

People often ask “what are the best PNPs in Canada” or “what are the top 3 PNPs in Canada”. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) provide an option to immigrate to Canada for individuals who do not have enough points to be selected under the federal Express Entry system or not eligible for any other immigration category. These are immigration programs organized by Canada’s provinces and territories (states), allowing them to nominate candidates for permanent residence in the province.

The PNPs allow Canadian provinces and territories to nominate individuals who wish to immigrate to Canada and who are interested in settling in a particular province.

The PNP allow Canadian provinces and territories to nominate individuals who wish to immigrate to Canada and who are interested in settling in a particular province.

You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.


Note that each Canadian province (except Quebec, which has a different selection system) and the two territories have their own unique PNPs and each has its own selection criteria to find immigrants with skills that the province needs which are not sufficiently available locally. The selection criteria and occupations vary from province/territory to province/territory.

​PNP Requirements

​You must first be entered into the Express Entry System with their CRS score (calculate your CRS points here). You then have to make a separate application to a PNP program. You will remain in the Express Entry pool for a year, or until you are selected to apply for Permanent Residence. If you are not selected after being in the pool for 12 months you should make a new expression of interest by creating another profile.

canada pnps

​After the province/territory processes your PNP application (typically 3-4 months), you will be granted 600 points to add to your Express Entry score. With these additional 600 points, you will be selected and invited to apply for PR at the very next draw, which occurs every 2 weeks.

​Benefits of applying under PNP program

​Once a Provincial Nominee Certificate is granted, you receive 600 point that goes towards your Express Entry score. On average, individuals without a PNP certificate will score between 300 and 500. The most recent cutoff scores to be selected for Express Entry have been in the 400 – 500 range. Individuals with a PNP Certificate automatically are granted 600 points to add to their Express Entry core of 300-500 points. The PNP certificate would give a final Express Entry score above 900 which is significantly higher than the current cutoff selection score of around 400-500 points.


There are nearly 80 different PNPs, each with its own unique eligibility requirements. PNPs are used by provinces/territories to respond to their own unique immigration needs. Each province/territory has its own unique PNP and each has its own selection criteria to find immigrants with skills that the province needs which are not sufficiently available locally. As such, the selection criteria and occupations vary from province/territory to province/territory.


Best PNPs in Canada – No Applicant Connection to Province

There are many factors to be considered when attempting to rank Canada’s PNPs according to “best PNPs in Canada” or “top PNPs in Canada”. Some provinces will rank higher because they have more job opportunities. Others because they have faster processing times. Yet others may have comparably less demanding requirements.

In this post we look at only one factor – connection to the province. Because PNPs are designed to fill gaps in the labour force, they target candidates with experience in high-demand occupations. Many PNPs require candidates to have a connection to the province, through previous work experience in the province, previous study in the province, or a job offer from an employer in the province. However, there are a few PNPs that are ideal for those living outside of Canada who don’t have any connection to Canada’s provinces. Following are the top 3 in our view.

#1. Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)

Saskatchewan is one of Canada’s most rapidly growing economies and populations, thanks largely to immigrants from around the world.


saskatchewan immigrant nominee program

The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) accepts applications under the following categories:

  • International Skilled Worker
  • Saskatchewan Experience
  • Entrepreneur and Farm

Each of these categories may have one or more sub-categories.  For complete information visit: Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP); Official Site of Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)

SINP’s International Skilled Worker is designed to bring workers with experience in the province’s in-demand occupations. In order to be eligible, a candidate must have at least one year of experience in one of the jobs included on Saskatchewan’s In-Demand Occupations List. As well, candidates must have completed a post-secondary educational credential of at least one year and have some proficiency in either English or French.

There are two streams of Saskatchewan International Skilled Worker that are for candidates outside of Canada. First, the Saskatchewan Express Entry stream, which requires a candidate to have an active federal Express Entry profile in order to apply. Second, the Saskatchewan Occupations In-Demand stream, which doesn’t require an Express Entry profile.


#2. Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

Ontario is Canada’s most populous province, with over 40% of Canada’s population. It is also the most popular landing destination for immigrants from around the world.

Many newcomers are drawn to Ontario’s capital city of Toronto due to its growing tech-jobs sector. As such, the province has a large quota for helping newcomers immigrate through PNP streams.

ontario immigrant provincial nominee programs

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) accepts candidates under the following categories:  Business, Employer Job Offer and Human Capital. Each category is comprised of various streams under which applicants may submit an application.

Business Category:


  • Corporate Stream
  • Entrepreneur Stream

Employer Job Offer Category:

  • Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker Stream
  • Employer Job Offer: International Student Stream
  • Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills Stream

Human Capital Category:

  • Masters Graduate Stream
  • PhD Graduate Stream
  • Ontario’s Express Entry French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream
  • Ontario’s Express Entry Human Capital Priorities Stream
  • Ontario’s Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream

For more information and guidelines on OINP visit: Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) and Ontario PNP Government Site.

For those living outside of Canada, Ontario’s Human Capital Priorities stream is a great option! This stream prioritizes skilled workers who will be able to fill skilled employment positions in the province.

The human capital category has two sub-categories, the international graduate streams and Ontario’s Express Entry streams.

International graduate stream

To qualify under the Masters Graduate or PhD Graduate streams, you must have a graduate degree from an eligible Ontario university and apply within two years of getting your degree:

  • Masters Graduate Stream
  • PhD Graduate Stream

OINP Masters and PhD Graduate Streams

The Masters and PhD Graduate Streams give international graduates with an Ontario master’s or phd degree the opportunity to apply to permanently live and work in Ontario. Human Capital streams are aligned with the federal Express Entry system. In order to be considered, a candidate must have an active Express Entry profile with a CRS score of 400 points or higher. Ontario scans through all Express Entry profiles and invites certain profiles to apply to the PNP. If you are nominated, your next step is to apply to the federal government through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). They make the final decision on who becomes a permanent resident.

Ontario also offers a PNP stream for French-Speaking Skilled Workers who have profiles in the federal Express Entry pool. If you have intermediate to advanced proficiency in French, this program may be a great option for you.

#3. Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)

The province of Nova Scotia is composed of the Nova Scotia peninsula, Cape Breton Island, and over 3,000 smaller islands.  Through the Nova Scotia Provincial Nominnee Program (NSNP), prospective immigrants who have the skills and experience targeted by Nova Scotia may be nominated to immigrate.

ns provincial nominee programs

The application process depends on the stream you qualify for.  Review the different NSNP streams to determine if you qualify:

  • Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities
  • Physician
  • Entrepreneur
  • International Graduate Entrepreneur
  • Skilled Worker
  • Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry
  • Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry

The processing time for eligible applications can be three (3) months or more.

Within six (6) months of receiving your nominee certificate, apply to IRCC for your permanent resident visa. You, your spouse and your dependents must meet all requirements for medical, security and criminal admissibility. In some cases you may be asked to go for an interview. IRCC has the final authority to issue a permanent resident visa.

For full information on requirements and guidelines, visit: Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)

The ideal program for applicants living outside Canada is the Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry. The program is aligned with the federal Express Entry system, meaning candidates must have active federal Express Entry profiles to be eligible to apply. There are two categories of this stream. Category A requires applicants to have a job offer from a Nova Scotian employer, making it a challenge for most workers living outside of Canada. However, Category B does not require any connection to the province. Instead, Category B requires candidates to have experience in one of the province’s in-demand occupations.

Nova Scotia’s In-Demand List

Occupation TitleNOC CodeSkill Level
Financial auditors and accountants1111A
Other financial officers1114A
Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations1123A
Administrative assistants1241B
Accounting technicians and bookkeepers1311B
Civil engineers2131A
Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses3012A
Licensed practical nurses3233B
College and other vocational instructors4021A
Paralegal and related occupations4211B

NOTE: this program operates on a first-come, first-served basis, and due to its popularity it can be challenging to get your application submitted.

You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.