Sunday, May 04, 2008
Canada is one of the most popular immigration destinations in the world and has one of the largest foreign born populations of OECD countries. Most immigrants come to Canada as skilled migrants — either as temporary foreign workers, permanent residents under its points based skilled migration scheme, or as provincial and territorial nominees.
Canada’s Provincial Nominee program allows provinces and territories to nominate migrants who will live and work there to receive Canadian permanent residence visas. The program is an effort to assist local employers in hiring foreign talent to fill labor shortages. Provincial Nominee permanent resident visa applications are given preference over other skilled visa applicants by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
In general, there are two ways to immigrate to Canada as a Provincial Nominee: either as a skilled worker with a job offer or as a business entrepreneur. Some provinces and territories have additional variations on these basic categories.
For instance, in addition to an entrepreneur category, the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program has the Immigrant Partner category which allows up to three migrants to come under the nominee program if they will partner together in a business.
In the case of Ontario, there is the Employer category for employers who wish to hire foreign skilled workers and the Multinational Investor Category, which is meant to aid companies planning to make major investments in Ontario by fast-tracking work permits and permanent residence visas for key personnel.
In most cases, employers wishing to hire workers under the provincial nominee program can state their case for hiring foreign talent to the provincial government. Once approved, they can then have the potential migrant apply for permanent residence under the Provincial Nominee Program.
CIC then makes a final decision on the individual’s application.
Provincial Nomination Program (PNP)
The Provincial Nomination Program (PNP) allows provinces to nominate individuals who wish to immigrate to Canada and who are interested in settling in a particular province.Provincial nominees are selected based on their ability to contribute to the province's economic development. Usually, but not always, a genuine Canadian job offer from an employer within the province is a requirement under the Provincial Nomination Program.
Most provinces in Canada participate in the Provincial Nomination Program. Participating provinces sign agreements with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) that allow the provinces to directly select immigrants who meet the requirements they have established. Immigrants who wish to apply as a Provincial Nominee must first apply to the province where they wish to settle:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
Before submitting an application to immigrate to Canada, a Nominee must first receive a Provincial Nomination Certificate from the province . After a successful nomination by a province, a separate application must be made to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for Canada Immigration (Permanent Resident) Visa.
The Province of Quebec, where Montreal is located, does not participate in the Provincial Nomination Program. Rather, the governemnts of Quebec and Canada have entered into a series of agreements, by which Quebec has established its own selection criteria for all economic immigrants who indicate their intention to reside in that province.
The Province of Ontario, where Ottawa and Toronto are located, does not participate in the Provincial Nomination Program at the present time.Individuals, interested in residing in Ontario, after they immigrate to Canada, must qualify for a Canada Immigration Visa under one of the other categories of Canadian Immigration.
Provincial Nomination Program Processing Times vary from one Canadian Immigration Visa office to another.
Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program
Continually striving to be a more attractive destination for Canadian immigrants, Manitoba has been investing in programs and support systems for newcomers.
The elements of the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) reflect the province’s community values. The MPNP is unique in that, among its six streams, two of them offer priority assessment to applicants who have either family or community ties to the province. The thinking is that, if new immigrants can settle in areas where they have family and/or a community support group, their transition into Canadian society and the Canadian workforce will be smoother.
Additionally, the Manitoba government has been investing in settlement services for immigrants in an effort to retain these new residents and to encourage continued immigration to the province. The recently unveiled Manitoba Settlement Strategy will increase settlement supports to newcomers in both metropolitan and urban areas. The program involves increased pre-arrival information and orientation as well as on-arrival assessment and community services. In addition to improvements in English training services, the program also ensures access to specialized programs to connect new families with neighbourhood support groups.
To be nominated under the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program, applicants must demonstrate that they intend to establish themselves permanently in Manitoba and must meet the requirements of one of the Priority Assessment streams, the General stream, or the PNP Immigration Program for Business stream.
Priority Assessment Stream – Applicants may qualify for priority assessment under one of the following four streams:
Employer Direct Stream: Applicants must have a permanent full-time job offer in Manitoba and must have the training, work experience, licensing, and language ability required for the position. Manitoba employers must first apply to the MPNP for pre-approval of job offers.
International Student Stream: Upon completion of a post-secondary program in Manitoba, applicants must be working in Manitoba on a post-graduation work permit and must have a permanent full-time job offer from a Manitoba employer.
Family Support Stream: Applicants must have an Affidavit of Support from a close family member in Manitoba and must meet the minimum requirements for education, work experience, age, and language ability.
Community Support Stream: Applicants must have a Letter of Community Support from an established community organization that has signed a Community Support Agreement with the MPNP. They must meet the minimum requirements for education, work experience, age, and language ability.
General Stream - Those who do not qualify for Priority Assessment may be eligible for the General Stream of the MPNP, which works on a points system. Applicants obtain points for education, work experience, age, language ability, and adaptability. They also must provide either:
Proof of a close family member in Manitoba or;
Two Affidavits of Support from distant relatives or close friends in Manitoba or;
Proof of at least six months previous full-time work in Manitoba or;
Evidence of a completed (non-language training) education program in Manitoba.
PNP Immigration Program for Business – Applicants must have previously visited Manitoba and have the intent to purchase or establish a business in Manitoba or to become partners in an existing business. They must have previous business experience and meet minimum requirements for personal net worth and amount of equity investment in Manitoba.
Family Stream: Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)
Please note that on June 19, 2008, the Alberta Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) became the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP). In an effort to build the province's workforce, the government is expanding its Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) to include family members. Eligible Albertans may sponsor a parent, child, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew for provincial nomination.
For more information visit the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) website.
Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) recently introduced another stream for its Provincial Nominee Program. If you have relatives in Alberta, it will now be easier for you to live and work in Canada!
Alberta now has a Family Stream Category like that of Manitoba. Here are the minimum requirements to qualify.
# You can provide proof of a close relative in Alberta (defined as a mother/father, son/daughter, sister/ brother, aunt/uncle, niece/nephew) who is willing to complete a Sponsorship Affidavit of Support on your behalf
# Your Sponsor is at least 21 years of age, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident (for at least two years) of Canada, and has been living in Alberta for the past two years
# Your Sponsor can show their ability to support you by demonstrating employment, private pension or other regular source of income for the past 12 months or a minimum of CAD $15,000 in unencumbered, transferable and available assets (jewellery, cars or other personal assets are not considered) over and above any income received from government transfer payments (e.g. Old Age Security, Canada Pension Plan, etc.)
# You and your spouse or common-law partner are between the ages of 21 and 45
# You and your spouse or common-law partner can demonstrate one of the following:
＊You and your spouse or common-law partner have both obtained an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) minimum score of 4.0, or a minimum level of 3 (361-540) on the Test d’evaluation de français (TEF), OR
＊English or French is your primary language of use (the language most commonly used in your household), OR
＊You and your spouse or common-law partner have completed a minimum of a baccalaureate in English or French
# You or your spouse or common-law partner can demonstrate completion of a post-secondary education or training program that is a minimum of 1 year in duration and receipt of a degree, diploma or certificate demonstrate one of the following:
＊a minimum of three years of work experience within the past four years, OR
＊three years of full-time post-secondary school within the past four years, OR
＊a combination of three years of full-time work experience and post-secondary school within the past four years
# You or your spouse or common-law partner or your sponsor can satisfactorily demonstrate intention and ability to establish successfully in Alberta, based on your accessible funds in a recognized Canadian bank: at least CAD $10,000 for yourself and at least CAD $2,000 for each of your dependents
A limited number of applications per year will be accepted under this stream. When this number is reached, applications will be returned. You better hurry and file your application as soon as possible.