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.