British Columbia

Provincial Nominee Program

British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost province, is a hub of cultural diversity and economic growth. Home to the country’s third-largest city, Vancouver, British Columbia is also one of the most diverse provinces in all of Canada. British Columbia’s economy focuses on a strong natural resources sector, with an emphasis on forestry and mining. Its natural environment, with expansive forests and a unique coastal climate, is renowned as one of the most beautiful in Canada, and indeed the world.

The BC PNP is British Columbia’s Provincial Nominee Program. Through this program, prospective immigrants with the skills and experience targeted by the province may receive a British Columbia Provincial Nomination Certificate, which will allow that foreign national to apply for Canadian permanent residence with processing times that are faster than other Canadian immigration classes.

The BC PNP accepts applications under two main immigration streams:

Skills Immigration

BC PNP Skills Immigration is divided into the following categories:

  • Skilled Worker Category — This category is for individuals who have received an eligible job offer in a skilled occupation. Workers are expected to have several years of experience in their skilled occupation.
  • Health Care Professional Category — Under this category individuals with experience and eligible job offers, as physicians, nurses, psychiatric nurses or allied health professionals may apply. An eligible job offer must be acquired for one of 11 qualifying health occupations.
  • International Graduate Category — This category is for individuals who have graduated from an eligible Canadian university or college in the last three years. A job offer must be obtained from a BC employer to be eligible under this sub-category.
  • International Post-Graduate Category— This category is for graduates with Masters or Doctoral degrees from an eligible educational institution in British Columbia in the natural, applied, or health sciences programs of study. No job offer is required to apply under this sub-category.
  • Entry Level and Semi-Skilled Worker Category — Workers in certain entry-level or semi-skilled positions in tourism/hospitality, food processing, or long-haul trucking, or those in entry-level or semi-skilled positions living and working in the Northeast Development Region of British Columbia, may be eligible for immigration through this program.

Express Entry British Columbia

Express Entry BC aligns with the federal government’s Express Entry immigration selection system, allowing eligible applicants to receive priority processing of both their BC PNP application, and if nominated, their permanent residence application.

The following Skills Immigration categories may be processed through Express Entry British Columbia:

  • Skilled Worker Category
  • Health Care Professional Category
  • International Graduate Category
  • International Post-Graduate Category

Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS)

On January 27, 2016, the government of British Columbia announced a new Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS) for the BC PNP. This points-based system gives candidates a registration score that determines whether they may be invited to apply. The score is based on a number of factors — such as level of education, years of direct work experience and a B.C. employment offer — that reflect an individual’s ability to succeed in the labour market and contribute to the provincial economy.

Entrepreneur Immigration

Individuals who intend to settle and invest in British Columbia may be eligible for Canadian permanent residence under this immigration stream. This program is broken down into two categories:

  • Entrepreneur Category — This category is for senior managers or business owners who intend to invest funds into a proposed business in British Columbia.
  • Strategic Projects Category — Through this category, foreign-controlled companies can set up an operation in British Columbia. Up to five key foreign managerial, professional or technical staff members can be nominated for permanent residence in the province.

To learn more about the BC PNP Entrepreneur Category, .

To learn more about the BC PNP Strategic Projects Category.

For more information on eligibility requirements for all British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program streams, please contact our Experts at SALAMAS LAW FIRM

The Canadian province of British Columbia issued a total of 340 invitations to apply for a provincial nomination in its first draws of 2018, which took place on January 3 and 10. In these draws, which included a tech-focused draw, the number of invitations increased and the cut-off score for four out of the five categories involved decreased. 

The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) issued invitations to skilled workers and international graduates through the Skills Immigration — Skilled WorkerSkills Immigration — International Graduate, Express Entry BC — Skilled Worker and Express Entry BC — International Graduate categories.

The January 10 draw only invited candidates through the province’s BC PNP Tech Pilot initiative. BC did not specify how many ITAs have been issued in the tech-only draw.

The cut-off scores in the latest draw were:

  • Skills Immigration — Skilled Worker: 75
  • Skills Immigration — International Graduate: 70
  • Skills Immigration — Entry Level and Semi-Skilled: 40
  • Express Entry BC — Skilled Worker: 75
  • Express Entry BC — International Graduate: 70

A portion of the candidates in the January 3 draw received an invitation through one the BC PNP’s Express Entry-aligned sub-categories. Those candidates are now in a position to apply for an ‘enhanced’ provincial nomination. A successful nomination results in applicants receiving 600 additional points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and an Invitation To Apply (ITA) at a subsequent draw from the federal Express Entry pool. It is important to note that an invitation to apply for the BC PNP is not the same as the ITA issued at the federal Express Entry level.

The remaining candidates under the Skilled Immigration sub-categories will have their applications for permanent residence processed outside Express Entry if they receive a nomination from BC. 

Individuals interested in immigrating to Canada, and who meet the eligibility criteria for one of the the BC PNP’s categories, are required to create an online profile and complete all sections of the BC PNP registration form. Applicants receive a score based on the information they supply and are entered into the selection pool for the immigration category they selected.

In order to be considered under the BC PNP, most candidates must have an indeterminate, full-time job offer from an employer in the province who is willing to support them through the application process.

The BC PNP conducts periodic draws from the pool and issues invitations to apply for provincial nomination to the highest-scoring registrants from each category. 

British Columbia had a 2017 allocation of 6,000 provincial nominations. The province has yet to announce its 2018 allocation.

Express Entry BC – Skilled Worker

The Express Entry BC – Skilled Worker category is for international skilled workers who have post-secondary education or training and employment experience in a professional, management, technical, trade or other skilled occupation. Candidates must be eligible to enter the federal Express Entry pool. A successful application under this category results in the candidate receiving 600 points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and a subsequent ITA at the federal level.

Express Entry BC – International Graduate

International graduates who have graduated from a Canadian university or college within the past two years may be eligible to apply under the Express Entry BC – International Graduate category. Interestingly, this category is open to eligible graduates who graduated from a university or college in any location in Canada; it is not restricted to graduates from BC universities and colleges. This category is also aligned with the federal Express Entry system.

Skills Immigration – Skilled Worker

This base category is open to workers with post-secondary education or training and employment experience in a skilled occupation. A job offer is required.

Skills Immigration – International Graduate

This category is for international students who have graduated from a Canadian university or college within two years of applying to the BC PNP. While applicants do not necessarily need prior work experience, applicants are required to obtain a job offer from a B.C. employer.

Skills Immigration – Entry Level and Semi-Skilled

This category is open to candidates who may not be eligible for other Canadian immigration programs, as it allows certain non-skilled workers to apply for permanent residence. Candidates must work in an eligible occupation within the tourism/hospitality, long-haul trucking, or food processing industries, or in a NOC skill level C or D occupation in the Northeast Development Region of the province.

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