The Provincial Nominee Program Only

Canada is starting the new year with 392 new invitations for permanent residence (PR). Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has only invited candidates from the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) whose scores are a minimum of 808. This number may sound high compared to the usual Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points, but since PNP candidates get 600 points as soon as they receive their nomination, they can easily fulfil the Permanent Residence requirements. For a comparison, any points below 400 don’t usually get an invitation in Ontario.

Since the IRCC’s focus has been dealing with the backlog of application, this is the first draw since September. The immigration department wants to address the accumulation of applications before proceeding with PR invitations for other programs.

How Does the Provincial Nominee Program Work?

Almost every province in Canada welcomes this program, Ontario being one of them. The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) recognizes people with skills and experience, and how they relate to the province’s economic needs. Before their nomination, foreign workers, international students, or other people with skills, must apply to the OINP for a nomination. They can do that in three categories:

  • Employer Job Offer Category
    • Foreign Worker Stream
    • International Student Stream
    • In-Demand Skills Stream
  • Human Capital Category
    • International Graduates
    • Ontario’s Express Entry
  • Business Category
    • Entrepreneur stream

A potential applicant has to create a profile in the OINP e-Filing Portal and register an expression of interest for a particular category. If selected from the candidate pool, an invitation to apply for permanent residence is sent. The Government of Canada then makes the final decision and approves applications for permanent residence. 

The Business category, unlike the other two, doesn’t require an expression of interest. For this category, you must be an entrepreneur outside who can contribute to the Canadian economy by implementing a new business idea or buying an existing business in Ontario.

As a part of the process, the applicant must also pass a medical exam, get a police check, and pay the application cost – $1,500 for the Employer Job Offer, or $2,000  and the Human Capital category, or $3,500 for the business stream.

Application Process For PNP

  1. After you’ve decided which stream is right for you, make sure you qualify by meeting all of the mandatory requirements.
  2. Create a Profile in the appropriate system for the stream you chose. Top applicants will receive a notification of interest or an invitation to apply.
  3. After receiving the invitation to apply or a notification of interest, you may proceed with the process and apply to be nominated by the OINP.
  4. If your application is successful, you can now apply for permanent residence through the IRCC.

For the Business Category, find the process here.


In the last mandate letter to Minister Sean Fraser, Prime Minister Trudeau has stated he aims to expand permanent residence pathways for international students and temporary foreign workers, as well as waive the fees for citizenship.

With that in mind, Express Entry-eligible occupations may change when the new TEER system comes into effect, which is set for late 2022. For now, Express Entry only recognizes work experience from NOC 0, A, and B occupations. Despite these changes, 2021 was the first year in history that no Federal Skilled Worker was invited to apply. Prior to the pandemic, that program was the main source of new immigrants. This is because usually, skilled workers apply from outside of Canada – and the IRCC was more focused on the individuals already within the country.