Canada provides many opportunities for newcomers to work, raise a family, and be part of a community. Depending on your work experience and education level, there are several ways you may be able to immigrate to Canada. One of those is through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Each province and territory in Canada is unique; similarly, each PNP program has its own eligibility criteria and application process.
With its relaxed west coast lifestyle, and breathtaking scenery, British Columbia (B.C.) is a popular choice for newcomers moving to Canada. Vancouver is the biggest city in B.C. and is an economic centre for construction, technology, digital entertainment, and the green economy. The capital city of Victoria, on Vancouver Island, is a smaller, more laid-back city. One of the appealing features of B.C. is that the population is around 28% per cent newcomers, mainly from China, India, the Philippines, Iran, and South Korea.
Newcomers wishing to settle in B.C. can apply through the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP). Here is what you need to know about how the program works and how to apply.
In this article:
- Overview of British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)
- How to qualify for a British Columbia PR nomination through BC PNP
- Step-by-step application process for BC PNP
- What comes after BC PNP approval?
- Does BC PNP require a job offer?
- Changes to BC PNP due to COVID-19
- Where to get more information on BC PNP
|Want to know more about moving to Canada?|
See Frequently asked questions about immigration to Canada to learn more about your options.
British Columbia’s growing economy requires skilled workers in high-demand occupations and the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) is an avenue for foreign workers with those skills or experienced entrepreneurs to move to the province as a permanent resident.
There are three pathways newcomers can take to apply for the BC PNP:
- Skills Immigration (SI): for skilled and semi-skilled workers in high-demand occupations. Applicants to the Entry Level and Semi-Skilled categories require previous work experience in B.C.
- Express Entry BC (EEBC): a fast-track for eligible skilled workers to immigrate to the province. This stream uses a points-based invitation system and connects to the federal Express Entry system.
- Entrepreneur Immigration (EI): for experienced entrepreneurs looking to manage a business in B.C. This is a point-based invitation system.
If you’re in the technology industry and applying for the Skills Immigration or Express Entry BC streams, you can also explore if your employer is registered for the BC PNP Tech program. BC PNP Tech offers individuals in 29 tech jobs a prioritized path to permanent residency. Applicants must have a job offer for at least one year. A list of in-demand occupations can be found here.
Depending on your qualifications, education, and work experience, there are multiple streams under BC PNP that individuals can apply for.
Requirements for categories under the Skills Immigration (SI) stream
|Skills Immigration Stream||Criteria||Mandatory requirements|
|Skilled Worker||A way to help professional, management, technical, trade, or other skilled workers to gain permanent residence in B.C.|
|Healthcare Professional||A way to help physicians, nurses, health professionals and specialists with a job offer to gain permanent residence in B.C.|
|Entry Level and Semi-Skilled||A way for individuals who work in a valid tourism or hospitality, long-haul trucking, or food processing occupation to gain permanent residence in B.C.|
|International Graduate||For individuals who graduated from an eligible Canadian university or college within the last three years who wish to gain permanent residence in B.C.|
|International Post-Graduate||For individuals with a graduate degree in the field of technology, health care, and applied sciences sector who wish to gain permanent residence in B.C. Applicants don’t need a job offer to apply.|
Requirements for categories under Express Entry BC (EEBC) stream
|EE Stream||Criteria||Mandatory requirements|
|EEBC Skilled Worker||A fast track category that allows individuals with a job offer in a high-demand occupation to gain permanent residence in B.C.|
|EEBC Healthcare Professional||A fast track category to help physicians, nurses, health professionals and specialists with a job offer to gain permanent residence in B.C.|
|EEBC International Graduate||For individuals who graduated from an eligible Canadian university or college within the last three years, have a job offer, and wish to gain permanent residence in B.C.|
|EEBC International Post-Graduate||For individuals with a graduate degree in the field of science from an eligible B.C. institution who wish to gain permanent residence in B.C. Applicants don’t need a job offer to apply.|
Requirements for categories under the Entrepreneur Immigration (EI) stream
|EI Stream||Criteria||Mandatory requirements|
|EI Regional Pilot||Entrepreneurs wishing to establish a new business that aligns with a regional community’s economic development.|
|EI Base Category Program||For individuals who wish to immigrate to B.C. and actively invest in and manage a business. |
*NOTE* Intake of new registrations is temporarily paused as of July 2021.
To follow are the steps involved in applying for BC PNP:
1. Confirm you qualify
Once you have identified which stream you’d like to apply under, it’s important to make sure you meet all the mandatory requirements for that stream before completing your application.
2. For Express Entry streams only, applicants must submit a profile online through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and meet the requirements for one of the following federal programs:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program
- Federal Skilled Trades Program
- Canadian Experience Class
You will then receive an EE profile number and Job Seeker validation code.
3. Register with the BC PNP
Regardless of which category you apply for, you’ll need to register with BC PNP:
- Create a profile with BCPNP online
- Complete all sections of the registration
- Submit your registration online
You will then receive a registration score based on various factors (such as work experience, education, language) and go into a selection pool for up to 12 months for your chosen category, or until you receive an invitation to apply.
4. Invitation to apply
Skilled Worker, Entry Level and Semi-Skilled, or International Graduate categories: Eligible individuals will receive an invitation to apply under the Skills Immigration stream.
EEBC Skilled Worker and EEBC International Graduate categories:
Eligible individuals will receive an invitation to apply under the Express Entry BC steam.
All applicants will have up to 30 calendar days from the date of invitation to submit your complete application through BCPNP Online. Applicants will also be required to pay a processing fee of $1,150 CAD.
Entrepreneur Immigration Regional Pilot scheme: Eligible individuals are required to provide:
- Net worth verification report
- Comprehensive business plan
- Pay a non-refundable application fee of $3,500 CAD.
5. Apply for permanent residence
If your application is successful, the last step is to apply for permanent residence through IRCC. It will be up to the Government of Canada to make the final decision on your permanent residency.
Once your BC PNP application is approved, you’ll receive a nomination to apply to the IRCC for permanent residence. You’ll need to apply for a PR visa within six months after receiving a confirmation of nomination.
While you wait for a decision on your permanent resident application, you are required to maintain the conditions of your nomination, such as a valid job offer, etc. In cases where your situation changes or if you’ve accepted another job offer with a Canadian employer, you must inform the BC PNP. In the time being, you may be eligible to apply for a work permit to start or continue working for your employer in B.C.
If you’ve applied for immigration under the Express Entry BC stream, a BC PNP approval will add 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points to your IRCC application. This will almost guarantee an Invitation to Apply (ITA) in the next IRCC Express Entry draw, provided there are no material changes to your situation.
Except for the Entrepreneurship streams and the International Post-Graduate categories under the Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC streams, all other BC PNP streams require a valid job offer or existing job with an employer in B.C.
There have been several changes to the BC PNP due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some changes include:
- The BC PNP Vancouver office is temporarily closed to in-person visits.
- Inquiries should be made by email to PNPInfo@gov.b.ca
- Staff will continue to respond to email and telephone inquiries within five business days.
- Applicants to the Skills Immigration program whose employment has been affected by COVID-19 can request to withdraw their application. A refund will be issued if the application assessment has not begun.
- Changes to employment due to COVID-19 (such as lay-off, a new job offer, reduced hours or reduced salary) will be taken into consideration by the BC PNP when assessing your application.
- If you cannot provide documents from third-parties due to COVID-19, you will need to provide a written explanation and evidence that you have requested the documentation.
- Applicants to the EI Regional Pilot stream must still complete a mandatory pre-visit and comply with travel restrictions imposed by federal or local governments.
- In-person interviews for the Entrepreneur Immigration stream have been postponed and will be rescheduled.
For more information on program updates because of COVID-19, visit the BC PNP website.
For more information on the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP):
- Phone: 604-775-2227
- Fax: 604-660-4092
- Write: BC Provincial Nominee Program Office: 450 – 605 Robson Street. Vancouver, BC, V6B 5J3
- For Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC, email: PNPInfo@gov.bc.ca
- For Entrepreneur Immigration, email: email@example.com
- For BC PNP Tech, employers in B.C.’s technology sector can email: PNPConcierge@gov.bc.ca
- For information on previous draws, visit the Invitations to Apply section.
If you’re looking for information on your application for permanent residence, contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada online or at telephone 1-888-242-2100.
The BC PNP process may seem daunting, as there are many options and steps involved. However, if you follow the instructions provided by the provincial Government and consult with authorized immigration representatives, you’ll be able to realize your dream of settling in British Columbia.
|To get to know more about Canadian culture, the Arrive mobile app is a good starting point. The Arrive app can ease your transition and help you adapt faster life to Canada. It is specially designed to provide newcomers, like yourself, with information that matters, at a time when you need it the most. The best part: you’ll always have all resources in one place – in an app on your phone – and you can access it wherever you are, without having to provide any confirmation from the Canadian government. Whether you’re a year away from your move or recently landed, if you’re a PR, international student or temporary foreign worker, the Arrive app will provide timely and relevant content, tools and guidance to ensure you’re fully prepared for your move and your life in Canada.|
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