Under the joint jurisdiction of Ottawa and the provinces, Canada operates a two-tier immigration system that offers programs for skilled workers at the federal and provincial levels. Through the Nominee Programs Network (PNP), nearly all ten provinces and three territories in Canada can nominate qualified worker candidates for admission to Canada with specific skills. As required by their local economy. Successful applicants who receive a provincial or territorial nomination can then apply for Canadian permanent residence through federal immigration authorities. It is an important part of all provincial programs. Many provinces also maintain their own categories under Canada's Express Entry system. As a result, provinces play an increasingly important role in the selection of economic immigrants.
In some cases, applicants who are not eligible for one of the federal programs may be qualified to come to Canada under the PNP. Some applicants may also qualify for a temporary temporary work permit, allowing early entry into Canada for the applicant and accompanying dependents. Many large provincial programs face processing time issues. Canada attracts significant interest from potential new immigrants, far beyond the processing capacity of its immigration programs. The Canada Express Entry system has successfully overcome processing delays, with many provinces now choosing to open and close their popular streams periodically throughout the year to avoid large backlogs.
Under some provincial programs, candidates are recommended by a potential employer and, once approved by the province. In the early stages, applicants may receive a temporary and renewable work permit to enter Canada while they are being processed for permanent residence. Provincial programs targeting highly skilled workers, except Quebec, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, generally require employers to sponsor applicants for admission to Canada. Without government-approved employer sponsorship, applications will not be approved or systematically ignored for applications with employer-sponsored approval.
Employers sponsoring most provincial programs must demonstrate enough effort to hire local Canadians and offer competitive employment terms relevant to a particular occupation. Between provinces, there are differences in the employment conditions to be eligible to sponsor a foreign worker. To be considered a sponsored employee, the position is generally subject to skill type 0 or levels A, B of the National Occupational Classification (NOC); alternatively, it must meet the conditions of a specific pilot project designed for the particular critical skills shortage identified by the province.
Pilot programs in the provinces are designed for low-skilled workers and have a limited scope. Most provinces have different pilot projects for low-skill occupations.