British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)

Last updated: 20 July 2021


Canada Provincial Nominee Immigration Program (PNP)

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.

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Table of Contents

B.C. Immigration Streams

If you wish to immigrate to British Columbia, then you have three options to choose from:

  • Skills Immigration Stream;
  • Express Entry British Columbia Stream;
  • Entrepreneur Immigration.

The Skills Immigration Stream is for skilled workers, healthcare professionals, international graduates and post-graduates as well as entry-level and semi-skilled workers. All candidates need to have a job offer or a current job, except for international post-graduates.

The Express Entry British Columbia Stream is for skilled workers, healthcare professionals, international graduates and post-graduates only.

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.
  • Healthcare 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.
Application Fee: CAD $1,150 processing fee. A request for review would cost an additional CAD $500.

Processing time: 2-3 months

Minimum Requirements:

  • Must have accepted a full-time job offer (except for the International Post-Graduate Category);
  • Must have a wage offer in line with the provincial wage rates (except for the International Post-Graduate Category);
  • Must show you can support yourself and your family (except for the International Post-Graduate Category);
  • Must meet minimum language requirements (for NOC skill level B, or for the Entry Level and Semi-Skilled Worker Category);
  • Must meet any additional requirements specific to your category;
  • Employer must also be meet eligibility criteria (except for the International Post-Graduate Category).

Latest B.C. PNP draws

How it works:

You must first register with the Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS) so that B.C. can review your job, education, location in B.C., language ability and wage against the provincial labour market needs. You can register by completing all the sections of the registration with BCPNP Online. 

Note: Candidates for the International Post-Graduate Category and the Healthcare Professional Category do not need to register with the SIRS and can apply directly through BCPNP Online.

You will then get a registration score based on multiple factors and are entered into a selection pool for the chosen category. Those who meet specific criteria and who have a score above a certain threshold are invited to apply for a provincial nomination in a provincial draw.

After that, candidates will have 30 days to apply through BCPNP Online.

If you receive a provincial nomination, you can then apply for permanent residence with the Canadian federal government.

CategoryIs a job required?Is it currently receiving applications?Additional Requirements
Skilled WorkerYes (Skill Type 0, Skill Level A or B)YesMust have at least two years of work experience in skilled work.
Healthcare Professional

Yes

YesMust have at least two years of experience as physicians, nurses, psychiatric nurses or allied health professionals.
International Graduate

Yes

Yes

Must have graduated from an eligible university or college in the last three years.
International Post-GraduateNo

Yes

Must have graduated with a Master's or PhD from a B.C. university in the natural, applied or health sciences programs of study.
Entry-level and Semi-skilled worker

Yes, candidates must be currently working.

Yes

Must work in certain positions in tourism, food processing, or long-haul trucking,

OR

Must be living and working in the Northeast Development Region of British Columbia

Learn more about the B.C. Skills Immigration stream

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

Application Fee: CAD $1,150

Processing Time: 2-3 months

Minimum Requirements:

  • Must have a valid profile with the federal Express Entry system;
  • Must have a Job Seeker Validation Code from the Express Entry system;
  • Must have accepted a full-time job offer (except for the International Post-Graduate Category)
  • Must have a wage offer in line with B.C. wage rates (except for the International Post-Graduate Category);
  • Must be able to support yourself and your family (except for the International Post-Graduate Category);
  • Must meet minimum language requirements (except for the International Post-Graduate Category);
  • Must meet additional requirements specific to your category;
  • Employer must also be eligible (except for the International Post-Graduate Category).

How it works:

Before you begin, you must already have a valid Express Entry profile with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

You must then register with the Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS) so that B.C. can review your job, education, location in B.C., language ability and wage against the provincial labour market needs. You can register by completing all the sections of the registration with BCPNP Online. Note: Candidates for the International Post-Graduate Category and the Healthcare Professional Category do not need to register with the SIRS and can apply directly through BCPNP Online.

You will then get a registration score based on multiple factors and are entered into a selection pool for the chosen category. Those who meet specific criteria and who have a score above a certain threshold are invited to apply for a provincial nomination in a provincial draw.

After that, candidates will have 30 days to apply through BCPNP Online.

If you are selected, you will receive a provincial nomination through the Express Entry system. You are required to accept the nomination through the Express Entry system.

CategoryIs a job required?Is it currently receiving applications?Additional Requirements
Skilled WorkerYesYesMust have at least two years of work experience in skilled work.
Healthcare Professional

Yes

YesMust have at least two years of experience as physicians, nurses, psychiatric nurses or allied health professionals, or a midwife with a letter of confirmation from an established practice group in B.C.
International Graduate

Yes

Yes

Must have graduated from an eligible university or college in the last three years.
International Post-GraduateNo

Yes

Must have graduated with a Master's or PhD from a B.C. university in the natural, applied or health sciences programs of study.

Learn more about the Express Entry B.C. stream

Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS)

Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS) is a 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.

Learn more about the SIRS

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is an application management system that the Canadian federal government uses for the country’s three main economic class immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

In addition, many PNP streams also use the Express Entry system. These are called “enhanced” streams. Streams that do not use the Express Entry system are called “base” streams.

Candidates in the Express Entry system are assessed based on multiple factors such as their age, education, work experience and language ability. They are given a score based on these factors according to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Candidates with the highest CRS score are invited to apply for permanent residence by Canada in an Express Entry draw.

Enhanced PNP streams, such as the Express Entry B.C. stream, are aligned with Express Entry. B.C. searches the Express Entry pool to find qualified candidates based on their available profile information. 

Express Entry candidates who receive a provincial nomination from B.C. are awarded an additional 600 CRS points. This practically guarantees receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residence in the next Express Entry draw.

Entrepreneur Immigration 

If you want to immigrate to British Columbia as an entrepreneur, you have three options to choose from:

  • Entrepreneur Immigration - Base Category — This category is for senior managers or business owners who intend to invest funds into a proposed business in British Columbia. NOTE: New registrations under the Entrepreneur Immigration - Base Category have been temporarily suspended. The province is expected to announce a reopening date for this stream in early 2022.

Find out the eligibility requirements of the BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration Base Category.

  • Entrepreneur Immigration — Regional Pilot — This new pilot is for international entrepreneurs looking to establish a new business in a small community in British Columbia.

Learn about the eligibility requirements of the BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration — Regional Pilot.

  • 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.

Learn more about the eligibility requirements of the BC PNP Strategic Projects Category

Entrepreneur Immigration Fees:

  • Registration Fee: CAD $300
  • Application Fee: CAD $3,500
  • Request for Review: CAD $500

Strategic Projects Fees:

  • Registration Fee: CAD $300
  • Application Fee: CAD $3,500
  • Key Staff Fee: CAD $1,000 (for each key staff proposed)

Processing times:

  • Registration score notification: 6 weeks (from date of registration submission)
  • Application decision notification: 4 months (from date of application submission)

How it works:

If you are interested in the Entrepreneur Immigration Categories, you must first complete your registration and provide a short business concept through BCPNP Online.

Based on the information provided, you will receive a score. Eligible candidates are placed in the qualified pool. Periodically, the highest scoring candidates are invited to apply.

Once you are invited to apply, you will have four months to submit a complete application through BCPNP Online. After that, a BC PNP-authorized accounting firm must review your personal net worth.

If you are successful, you will then be given a two-year work permit and you will be allowed to establish your business in B.C. You will have up to 20 months to implement your business plan. You will then be able to receive a provincial nomination from B.C. and apply for permanent residence.

If you are interested in the Strategic Projects Category, you must first make sure that your company is eligible, and that your key staff are eligible.

You will be first required to make an exploratory visit to B.C. to learn more about the local business environment. You then have to contact the BC PNP to discuss your business proposal.

The next step is to register the company’s interest to apply. At this stage, you will be required to provide the company details, your proposed investment in B.C., and the qualifications of the proposed key staff.

B.C. will review your registration and if successful, you will be invited to apply. You must submit your application within 90 days. If your application is approved, you and each key staff member must sign a corporate Performance Agreement with the province.

Each of you will then receive a work permit support letter and you will be able to apply for a work permit through IRCC.

When you come to Canada and fulfill your obligations under the Performance Agreement, you must submit a final report to BC PNP. After that you will receive a provincial nomination and will have 180 days to submit your application for permanent residence with IRCC. 

Minimum Requirements:

CategoryAdditional Requirements
Entrepreneur Immigration
  • Must have a personal net worth of at least CAD $600,000
  • Must demonstrate business or management experience
  • Must meet language requirements in English or French (CLB level 4 or higher).
  • Must establish a new business or purchase and improve an existing business
  • Must make a personal investment of at least CAD $200,000 in the business;
  • Must create at least one full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
Entrepreneur Immigration - Regional Pilot

  • Must have a personal net worth of at least CAD $300,000
  • Must have three years of experience as an active business owner-manager, or four years of experience as a senior manager, or a combination of one year of experience as an owner-manager and two years of experience as a senior manager.
  • Must meet education requirements
  • Must meet language requirements in English or French (CLB level 4 or higher).
  • Business must meet additional requirements

Strategic Projects Category

  • Company must be well established and in good financial standing;
  • Must demonstrate investment capacity to expand into B.C.;
  • Must provide significant economic benefit to the province.

B.C. PNP Tech

British Columbia frequently holds Tech draws, where they invite eligible skilled workers to apply for a provincial nomination.

The initiative started as a pilot program in 2017 to address the province's labour shortage in the tech sector. In June 2021, the province made it a permanent program.

This program is for skilled workers who have a job offer in B.C. in one of 29 eligible occupations. The job offer also has to be at least one year in duration, and have 120 calendar days remaining at the time of applying.

To learn more about how it works, visit the following dedicated page.

Learn more about the B.C. PNP Tech

Frequently Asked Questions

British Columbia has a few options to choose from if you wish to immigrate to the province:

  • Skills Immigration Stream;
  • Express Entry British Columbia Stream;
  • Entrepreneur Immigration.

Step 1: Depending on your specific situation, choose the stream that is right for you. Find out if you are eligible for the chosen stream.

Step 2: If you need to, register through the SIRS system.

Step 3: Submit your application through BCPNP Online.

Step 4: Obtain a provincial nomination from B.C.

Step 5: Submit a permanent residence application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Candidates need to first register through the SIRS system on BCPNP Online. If you are applying through the International Post-Graduate Category or the Healthcare Professional Category, you do not need to register for the SIRS, and can apply directly on BCPNP Online.

You will then get a registration score and are entered the pool. If you meet specific criteria and have a score above a specific threshold, you will receive an invitation to apply for provincial nomination. You will then have 30 days to apply through BCPNP Online.

If successful, you will receive a provincial nomination, you can then apply for permanent residence with the Canadian federal government.

If you received a provincial nomination through the Express Entry system, you will have the option to accept it.

Immigrating to B.C. may be easy for one candidate but may be difficult for another. It is therefore advisable to choose the stream that is right for you depending on your specific situation.

For example, if you have received a job offer in a skilled occupation in B.C. and you have an Express Entry profile, you may want to consider to apply for the Skilled Worker category under the Express Entry B.C. stream.

If you would like help in choosing the best way to immigrate to B.C., feel free to contact us.

The BC PNP is for skilled workers, entry level and semi-skilled workers, international graduates, international post-graduates and healthcare professionals.

You do not need to have an Express Entry profile to be eligible to immigrate to B.C. However, candidates typically need to have a job offer to be eligible to immigrate, unless you are applying as an international post-graduate. To do this, you must have graduated from an eligible university in B.C. with a Master’s or PhD in a natural, applied or health sciences program of study.

In addition, the province has three options for entrepreneurs who wish to start a business or acquire a business in B.C.

You must first identify which immigration stream and category you are eligible for. Once you do this, you must then register with the Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS) so that B.C. can review your job, education, location in B.C., language ability and wage against the provincial labour market needs.

You can register by completing all the sections of the registration with BCPNP Online.

If you are applying for the International Post-Graduate Category and the Healthcare Professional Category, you do not need to register with the SIRS, and you can apply directly through BCPNP Online.

You will then get a registration score based on multiple factors and are entered into a selection pool for the chosen category. Those who meet specific criteria and who have a score above a certain threshold are invited to apply for a provincial nomination in a provincial draw.

After that, candidates will have 30 days to apply through BCPNP Online.

If you are selected, you will receive a provincial nomination through the Express Entry system. You are required to accept the nomination through the Express Entry system.

If you receive a provincial nomination, you will have the opportunity to apply for permanent residence with the Canadian government.

If you receive a provincial nomination through the Express Entry system, you are awarded an additional 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. This effectively guarantees that you will receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence.

Getting a provincial nomination puts you in an excellent position when applying for permanent residence with IRCC.

IRCC will review your application and make sure you also pass an admissibility check to decide whether to grant you permanent residence.

The quality of life in B.C. is high. Residents of B.C. are friendly and welcoming. The province is very diverse, and many people from all over the world immigrate to the province every year.

Vancouver island has a mild climate with warm, dry summers, and wet and rainy conditions in the winter, fall and spring. It does not snow often. The weather is colder in Northern B.C.

The cost of living in B.C. depends on where you live. The province has its own cost-of-living-calculator that allows you to see the costs of healthcare, housing, taxes, utilities and transportation in the different areas of the province.

Vancouver island and the areas along the south coast have a mild climate with warm, dry summers, and wet and rainy conditions in the winter, fall and spring.

The coastal region have the mildest winters in Canada. It rarely drops below 0 degrees celsius and does not snow often.

The central regions of B.C. have warmer summers (up to 30 degrees celsius) and colder and snowier winters.

The weather is even colder in Northern B.C. and the winters are longer with lots of snow.

Yes. Areas along the south coast including Vancouver island have very mild winters. It rarely goes below 0 degrees celsius and does not snow very often.

Yes. For Canadians and permanent residents who live in B.C., the Medical Service Plan (MSP) is free.

This covers required medical services such as: doctors' fees, services provided by physicians and midwives, dental and oral surgery, eye exams and some orthodontic services. It also covers diagnostic services such as x-rays.

There are other services that may be covered like supplementary services provided by other health care providers. This includes: acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, naturopathy, physical therapy and non-surgical podiatry.

For more information on B.C.'s MSP, you are encouraged to visit this website.

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