Restrictions To Provincial Nominee Program

Canada accepts approximately 250,000 people into the country every year.

Due to the fact that Ontario gets a significant portion of such newcomers, the provinces have come up with their own selection programs with the agreement of the Federal government to increase necessary newcomers to their own provinces. Manitoba is one of those provinces whose program is open to more than 10,000 nominees every year. Provincial Nominee Programs are an effective way for provinces to secure people. They are also a good way for some applicants to come to Canada whose qualifications my not fit the criteria of the federal program. Often, too, Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) applications are processed more quickly than federal applications.

Age Restrictions

In the Federal Skilled Worker program, applicants start losing points after age 49. By the time they reach age 56, they have lost 10 points. Although some provinces do have age restrictions such as Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, under the Ontario PNP, there are no age restrictions because the program is completely driven by employers. If the employer believes that there is a 60-year-old who will do a fabulous job for him, that’s the only requirement that is needed.

For the eastern provinces, the age restriction is 50, and if you are over 55, you will not be accepted. For Newfoundland and Labrador the age range is between 21 and 49 and is very similar to the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

One of the strategies that couples use is to have the younger of the two apply, and the elder becomes the dependent person on the younger principal applicant. That helps delay the effect of the age restriction on the application.

Language Proficiency

The Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Canadian Experience Class both want formal language proficiency criteria submitted in the form of language test results. Provincial Nominee Programs can be more flexible. In PEI, you can arrange to prove your language proficiency after you have been in Canada for a year by paying a $20,000.00 refundable fee.

In Ontario, there is no language proficiency requirement, as long as the employer is satisfied that the person can work safely and efficiently in the workplace. Language proficiency requirements for Nova
Scotia and PEI are currently under review.

Labour Market Opinions.

In the Ontario PNP, employers do not need to complete a Labour Market Opinion to say that they want to hire a particular person; however, they need to disclose how long they have been in business, their financial records and their employee lists. Meeting these requirements is very demanding for employers and can make them choose not to be a part of the program. In most of the eastern provinces, a Labour Market Opinion is required to be in place. Employers need to show that they have advertised for the position and could not find a skilled worker in their province or attract one from another part of Canada.

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If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with immigration law issues in the Kitchener, Ontario Region, contact Jennifer Roggemann Law Office for a consultation.


This information is taken from an interview from May 21, 2010 interview with Jennifer Roggemann, Immigration Lawyer with Jennifer Roggemann Law Office, a Kitchener Ontario Canada Immigration Law Firm. This article is provided as an information service only and should not be used as legal advice. Laws vary by jurisdiction so please consult with an appropriate legal professional if you are looking for help with a specific situation.