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 (including Express Entry British Columbia)
- Entrepreneur Immigration
These streams are further divided into categories. Below we provide you with additional information about each to help you determine if the BC PNP is right for you.
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 two 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
Under the Skills Immigration section British Columbia will nominate up to 1,350 skilled applicants for Canadian permanent residence in 2015 under through its Express Entry British Columbia stream, which aligns with the federal government’s Express Entry immigration selection system. The British Columbia Express Entry stream allows 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)
NOTE: 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.
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.