British Columbia (BC) is an incredible place to live. It offers easy access to nature, amazing food, wine, beers, culture, art, and more. Unsurprisingly, more than 100,000 people moved to BC in 2021 - more than any other year since 1961. Just over 67,000 of those who moved to BC came from abroad – and many of those who moved from abroad would have relied on the BC Provincial Nominee Program (or BC PNP) to become Canadian permanent residents.
Current BC PNP Programs
BC’s current provincial nominee programs fall under the following categories:
- Skilled worker
- BC PNP Tech
- Health Authority
- Entry Level and Semi-Skilled
- International Graduate
- International Post-Graduate
- Base category
- Regional Pilot
Invitations to Apply to BCPNP
Most of these categories use an invitations system. They are the skilled worker, BC PNP Tech, international graduate, entry level and semi-skilled, and both entrepreneur immigration categories.
Health authority and international post-graduate applicants can apply directly, without first needing to receive an invitation to apply.
Let’s look at each of these programs:
BC PNP Skills Immigration
Skilled Worker Stream
The Skilled Worker stream provides a pathway for experienced and skilled workers in professional, management, technical, trade or other skilled occupations to become permanent residents of BC. To qualify, applicants must have an eligible full-time job offer from a BC employer for a skilled position. You must also have relevant work experience and you may need to meet language and financial requirements.
At the moment, the job offer must be for a NOC 0, A or B position. However, the IRCC is implementing an updated NOC system later this year and that these codes will change soon.
If you are eligible, you will need to submit your profile to the BC PNP and wait on an invitation to apply (ITA) – much like you would for the Federal Express Entry applications. Whether you receive an ITA will depend on your score, as well as the BC PNP draws system.
BC PNP Health Authority Stream
The BC PNP Health Authority category provides a pathway to permanent residence for anyone employed by a health authority in British Columbia. Foreign-trained physicians, midwifes, and nurse practitioners can also sometimes avail of this immigration pathway.
To qualify, an applicant must have an eligible full-time job offer from a public health authority and must be registered to work in British Columbia. Applicants must also meet the general BC PNP requirements, as well as education, training, and experience requirements. Hopeful applicants can work with Health Match BC to find a position in BC.
Entry Level and Semi-Skilled
The BC PNP Entry Level and Semi-Skilled program is designed to help BC employers in certain regions and industries meet staffing requirements.
Foreign workers who are living in BC’s Northeast development region and working in any skill level NOC C or D position may be eligible under this stream.
Elsewhere, workers in the tourism/hospitality, long-haul trucking, food processing, and healthcare sectors may be eligible.
This stream is only available to workers who are currently in Canada and have been working for an eligible employer for at least nine consecutive months.
Eligible occupations under BC PNP Entry Level and Semi-Skilled stream
Occupations in travel and accommodation
6525 Hotel front desk clerks Tour and recreational guides and casino occupations
6531 Tour and travel guides
6532 Outdoor sport and recreational guides
6533 Casino occupations
Occupations in food and beverage service
6511 Maîtres d’hotel and hosts/hostesses
6513 Food and beverage servers
6711 Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related occupations Cleaners (employed directly by hotels/resorts*)
6731 Light duty cleaners
6732 Specialized cleaners
6733 Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents
6721 Support occupations in accommodation, travel and facilities set-up services
Other service occupations (employed directly by hotels/resorts*)
6741 Dry cleaning, laundry and related occupations
6742 Other service support occupations Food processing
9461 Process control and machine operators, food and beverage processing
9462 Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers
9463 Fish and seafood plant workers
9465 Testers and graders, food, beverage and associated products processing
9617 Labourers in food, beverage and associated products processing
9618 Labourers in fish and seafood processing Long-haul truck drivers
7511 Long-haul truck driver Occupations in healthcare
3413 – Health care assistants and health care aides
3411 Dental assistants
BC PNP International Graduate Category
International students who attend an eligible Canadian university or college may be able to apply for permanent residence and stay in BC.
To be clear, you do not need to have studied in British Columbia. You just need to:
· Have studied at an eligible Canadian post-secondary institution within the past three years; and
· Receive an eligible job offer from a BC employer; and
· Meet the other eligibility requirements for the category.
If you are eligible, you will need to submit your profile to the BC PNP and wait on an invitation to apply (ITA) – much like you would for the Federal Express Entry program. Whether you receive an ITA will depend on your score, as well as the BC PNP draws schedule and immigration levels.
BC PNP International Post-Graduate Category
Foreign graduates of certain post-graduate programs in BC can apply for the BC PNP without a job offer and without needing to wait to receive an ITA.
The eligible graduate programs are master’s or doctorate degrees in the following disciplines:
· agriculture, agriculture operations and related sciences
· biological and biomedical sciences
· computer and information sciences and support services
· engineering technology and engineering-related fields
· health professions and related programs
· mathematics and statistics
· natural resources conservation
· physical sciences.
Unlike the International Graduate program, applicants for this category must have studied at (and graduated from) an eligible BC post-secondary institution.
BC PNP Tech Program
BC has named the technology sector as one of just two key growth industries for the next decade (the other being healthcare). To support this growth, the BC Tech Pilot became a permanent program in 2021. To date, the BC PNP Tech program has supported more than 6,000 tech workers in their applications for permanent residence since May 2017.
BC PNP Tech Occupations
At the time of publishing this article, the BC PNP Tech occupations included:
0131 Telecommunication carriers managers
0213 Computer and information systems managers
0512 Managers - publishing, motion pictures, broadcasting and performing arts
2131 Civil engineers
2132 Mechanical engineers
2133 Electrical and electronics engineers
2134 Chemical engineers
2147 Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
2171 Information systems analysts and consultants
2172 Database analysts and data administrators
2173 Software engineers and designers
2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers
2175 Web designers and developers
2221 Biological technologists and technicians
2241 Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
2242 Electronic service technicians (household and business equipment)
2243 Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics
2281 Computer network technicians
2282 User support technicians
2283 Information systems testing technicians
5121 Authors and writers
5125 Translators, terminologists and interpreters
5224 Broadcast technicians
5225 Audio and video recording technicians
5226 Other technical and coordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting and the performing arts
5227 Support occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting, photography and the performing arts
5241 Graphic designers and illustrators
6221 Technical sales specialists - wholesale trade
BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration
BC’s Entrepreneur Immigration (EI) stream provides a temporary to permanent pathway to international entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs who immigrate using this pathway must come to BC as a temporary resident and may become a permanent resident once they have successfully started a business.
This category exists to allow talented and experienced foreign entrepreneurs to bring their businesses and ideas to BC to support innovation and economic growth, while also supplying jobs to local workers.
There are three categories under this program: EI Regional Pilot, EI Base Category, and EI Strategic Projects.
At the moment, the BC provincial government is prioritizing sending invitations under the EI Regional Pilot program. They are (generally) conducting draws for this program around once per month.
While applications for the EI Base Category are open, the BC provincial government has stated that draws for this category will be dependent on the volume of EI Regional Pilot invitations. EI Base Category draws may also be targeted, based on region, population, whether the business is a startup or purchase, and sector.
The Future of BC’s Provincial Nominee Program We covered some changes to the BC PNP skills immigration stream in a detailed blog post in March 2022. You should read the complete post for full details but, essentially, in March of this year the provincial government announced that it will be conducting more targeted draws in 2022. These targeted draws will support BC’s future growth priorities.
It appears that the trend towards increasingly targeted draws is here to stay.
If you want to immigrate to British Columbia, you CANDO it. Ask us how!