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 categories:
Each these categories may have one or more sub-categories. Below we provide you with additional information about each of these categories to help you determine if the BC PNP is right for you.
Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS)
Note: On January 27, 2016, the government of British Columbia announced that it is implementing a new Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS) for the BC PNP. This points-based system gives candidates a registration score that determines whether they are 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.
To learn more about SIRS, click here.
BC PNP Skills Immigration is divided into a number of sub-categories:
- Skilled Worker Category — This sub-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 sub-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 Graduates, B.C. Degree Category — This sub-category is for graduates with Masters or Doctoral degrees from an eligible educational institution in British Columbia. No job offer is required to apply under this sub-category.
- International Graduates, Canadian Degree Category — This sub-category is for individuals who have graduated from an eligible Canadian university or college outside of British Columbia in the last two years. A job offer must be obtained to be eligible 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 may be eligible for immigration through this program.
- Northeast Pilot Project Category — Individuals living and working in the Northeast Development Region of British Columbia, including in occupations considered semi- and unskilled, may be eligible for this program without the need for a job offer.
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 Skilled Worker category (including Health Care Professionals), International Graduates category, and International Post Graduates category may be processed through Express Entry British Columbia.
Click here to find out more about Express Entry British Columbia.
Individuals who intend to settle and invest in British Columbia may be eligible for Canadian permanent residency under this immigration stream. This program is broken down into sub-categories:
- Entrepreneur Category — This sub-category is for senior managers or business owners who intend to invest funds into a proposed business in British Columbia.
- Regional Entrepreneur Category — Senior managers or business owners who intend to invest funds into a proposed business in British Columbia, anywhere outside of the Vancouver and Abbotsford metropolitan areas, may apply under this sub-category.
- 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 residency in the province.
- Regional Business Succession Option — For individuals who intend to purchase and manage an existing British Columbia business. This option can be applied to any of the three categories above where the business is located outside of the Vancouver and Abbotsford metropolitan areas. If successful, applicants will receive priority processing.