Three Provincial Nominee Programs To Look Into

Stefan Ehrbar / Foter / CC BY-SA

Canada is always searching for skilled foreign workers to fill the ranks of its labour force.

Based on the statistics from the 2013 Immigration Levels Plan, Canada is now even more welcoming to new immigrants.

The plan was drafted by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and revealed that the government intended to admit close to 250,000 new permanent residents in 2013. Out of these, more than half were to be economic immigrants, some part was to be sponsored family members, and around 10% would be asylum seekers.

At this point, there are still no statistics provided to show whether these goals were achieved. But, for the last seven years the highest number of new arrivals in history have come to Canada.

It's also important to note that the Immigration Levels Plan broadens the scope of the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program which was created in 2008. The CEC gives high-skilled workers in Canada, including a chance to change their status from temporary to permanent residents.

In 2013, CIC planned to accept up to 10,000 of these applications, a record high for this popular program.

However, the good news doesn't end here. If you are thinking of immigrating to Canada through one of the several provincial nominee programs (PNP), now is the perfect time to put that plan into action. To help get organized, here is what you need to consider:


What is a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)?

Let's start from the beginning. Most Canadian provinces and territories have the right to nominate people to immigrate to Canada. It is an alternative and quicker way into Canada as opposed to national immigration programs such as a Federal Skilled Worker application.

Nominations are based upon the individual's skills, education, and work experience. In other words, each nominating province has to make sure that the potential immigrant can contribute to the local economy. And, an available space in a PNP means that there is an economic need and vacant positions waiting to be filled by foreign workers.


How to apply

First, check the website of the province that appeals to you the most, or where you already have some friends and relatives. Each province has its own nomination guidelines, so make sure you have the right information. To apply under the PNP you have to be selected and nominated by the respective province. Generally, your success will depend on the current needs of the province and whether your skills match them. After your successful nomination, you can apply to CIC to become a permanent resident.

Even though most Canadian provinces are accepting immigration applications for skilled and semi-skilled workers, three of them are your best bet. Read about them in more detail below.


Saskatchewan Nominee Program (SINP)

Interestingly, Saskatchewan has the lowest unemployment rate in the country at 3.9 %. As of March 2013, a construction worker was making an average hourly wage of $25.78.

construction saskatchewan fort

Fort Saskatchewan is under construction and the province may need imported labor to complete the project.  
pembina / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 

Back in September, Canadian media reported that more than 3000 Saskatchewan companies have applied to bring foreign workers to Canada. Among them are 430 restaurants that have hired temporary foreign workers. Laborers are also needed in construction, mining, farm companies, hotels and more. The full list of possible open occupations and the level of skill required is easily accessible through the Everest Immigration site. However, keep in mind that PNP programs accept a limited number of applications per year.


Alberta Nominee Program (AINP)

Alberta is a beautiful part of Western Canada, with a population of about 4 million. It is known as the “energy province,” and offers various possibilities for skilled and semi-skilled foreign workers. Its vast potential is also measured by fact that between January 2012 and January 2013, Alberta had the highest average hourly wage in Canada at $27.86 per hour.

Construction By WinterE229 WinterforceMedia (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Construction in Alberta [Public Domain]

Here's what the province has to offer to potential laborers. There are three categories that make up what's identified as “strategic recruitment.” You can apply for free without the help of a potential employer.

  • Compulsory and Optional Trades Category. In Alberta, there are more than 50 designated trades and occupations. You may qualify if you have a valid trade certificate issued or recognized by the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT).
  • Engineering Occupations Category. You qualify if you are a foreign temporary worker who has gained experience in Alberta working as an engineer in any field.
  • Post-Graduate Worker Category. Successful applicants must have a post-graduation work permit and must be working in Alberta after they've graduated from a legitimate higher education institution in Alberta.

In addition, there are three more categories, known as “employer-driven.”

  • Skilled and Semi-Skilled Categories. Both require an offer of a permanent or a full-time job by an Alberta employer. Candidates must also meet basic language requirements.
  • International Graduate Category. This is the right category for you if you have recently graduated from a Canadian university or college and have a post-graduation work permit. In this case, you also need an offer by an Alberta employer for a permanent and full-time job in a suitable position.


The Yukon Provincial Nominee Program (YNP)

“Yukon” means “Great River.” The territory is located in northwestern Canada, bordering Alaska. It's not highly populated because of the arctic climate that freezes the land during winter. Nevertheless, the beauty of the region is second to none.

Mining By User:Janothird (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The mining industry in Yukon is in dire need of labour because many positions remain vacant.
Mine in Yukon by Janothird / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

On August 1, 2013, the government of Yukon launched a one year pilot of the Yukon Temporary Foreign Worker Program. The program is meant to help the province meet its short-term labour market needs. Jobs are available in tourism and hospitality, mining and mineral exploration, as well as in the oil and gas industries.

Under the YNP, you may qualify for the following programs:

  • The Business Program. Eligible candidates are ones who have demonstrable business skills and experience who want to own and operate a business in the Yukon. One of the main requirements is for the potential immigrant to invest $150,000 for the establishment of his or her business. The applicant has to provide a detailed business plan and proof of relevant education before it even considers the application.
  • The Skilled Worker Program. Yukon is experiencing a shortage of skilled workers and this program is meant to address this issue. To apply you must have a permanent full-time offer from a local employer. This should be possible after you prove that you have the required level of education and work experience. If you have already applied for refugee status in Canada, you may not apply for this program.
  • Critical Impact Worker Program. This is the preferred option if you are currently working in Yukon or are abroad, but wish to make Yukon your new home. Again, a permanent, full-time job offer is required to apply. You'll also have to prove your language skills by successfully passing a language proficiency exam.

The requirements in the three provinces vary widely and the paperwork you need to fill out to apply can be overwhelming. For more information on PNP programs, contact us at 416-962-2623 or toll free in North America at 1-866-760-2623.


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