The Canadian province of British Columbia (B.C.) has announced that is implementing a new Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS) for the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP), one of Canada's Provincial Nominee Programs. The government of B.C. stated that SIRS is aligned with British Columbia's labour market and economic development priorities.

Following the implementation of other 'Expression of Interest' systems across the Canadian immigration landscape, B.C.'s SIRS 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.

In a statement, the government of B.C. offered the example of B.C.’s tech sector, which is consistently growing faster than the overall economy. For many employers, the need for new talent is urgent, especially in highly specialized areas.The SIRS system will allow employers to access skilled international labour quickly in order to support continued growth.

Skills Immigration Registration System

A minimum score within the SIRS system will be required in order for a candidate to be invited to apply for provincial nomination under the BC PNP. The minimum score differs depending on the BC PNP category. The maximum score available is 200, which is divided into economic factors (120) and human capital factors (80).

The SIRS represents something of a new departure in how Canadian provinces are aiming to attract certain kinds of newcomers. A full 60 percent of all available points are available for the skill level and wage of the job offer, as well as where the job location is located within B.C. The human capital factors cover work experience, level of education, and language proficiency.

To learn more about SIRS, click here.


The reaction

“We need to bring high-demand skilled workers and investment-ready entrepreneurs to B.C. to continue to grow our diverse economy. We’ve heard from the businesses that are helping drive our economy to be the best in Canada. They tell us that having immigration programs be timely and efficient to bring the right people into B.C. is what they need to keep their businesses growing," said Shirley Bond, B.C.'s Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour.

"And for those skilled immigrants applying to the BC PNP, they need a transparent system that’s easy to understand and gets them working in B.C. as soon as possible. Our government believes the targeted changes we’ve made to the BC PNP will keep our economy moving forward."

More information on SIRS will be posted on in due course.


British Columbia profile

Population: 4,667,000 (January, 2015)

Largest city: Vancouver

Capital city: Victoria

Official language: English (de facto)

Economy: B.C. has the highest percentage of service industry jobs in Western Canada, comprising 72% of industry. The largest section of this employment is in Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Corporate Management. Many areas outside metropolitan areas, however, are still heavily reliant on resource extraction. GDP per capita is CAD $50,121 (2013).

Location: West coast of North America. The Canadian province of Alberta is to the east, the states of Washington and Montana (U.S.) lie to the south, the Pacific Ocean and the state of Alaska (U.S.) lie to the West, and the Canadian territories of Yukon and Northwest Territories lie to the north.

Climate: The coast, as well as Metro Vancouver and certain valleys in the south-central part of the province, experience mild weather, encouraging outdoor recreation and long growing seasons. The interior has some of the warmest and longest summer climates in Canada. Colder climates, similar to other regions of Canada, are found in the central and northern areas of the province.

To learn more about British Columbia, click here.