British Columbia is the westernmost province in Canada and is a place of immense natural beauty with vast green forests, snowcapped mountains, and rugged ocean coasts. BC is also one of the most diverse provinces in the country, with more than one million residents who were born outside Canada. British Columbia is extremely welcoming to new Canadians, and the province attracts approximately 35,000 immigrants each year. BC is also renowned for its high quality of life, with Vancouver consistently being named as one of the most livable cities in the world. One of the easiest ways to immigrate to British Columbia is through Canada's new Express Entry immigration program.
Express Entry BC
The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) allows the province to nominate individuals for expedited Canadian permanent residency if they are interested in living in BC and have skills and experiences demanded in the local economy. If you are interested in British Columbia immigration, there are two ways to apply for a BC PNP nomination. The first method is to contact the British Columbia PNP directly to apply. If nominated, the potential immigrant can then build a new Canada Express Entry profile and import their BCPNP nomination credentials into the immigration system.
The other approach is to start by creating an Express Entry profile. Once you have signed up for Express Entry, you can use the system to indicate an interest in BC immigration. The BC PNP can then invite potential immigrants to apply for the program through Express Entry, and nominated individuals will instantly be credited with 600 points on their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. This will essentially guarantee the individual an Invitation to Apply (ITA) during the next Canadian Express Entry draw. Our experienced Canadian immigration professional can optimize your Express Entry profile for British Columbia immigration through the BC Provincial Nominee Program. Once successfully nominated, we can also help you apply for Canadian permanent residency. Canada PR applications that are processed through Express Entry are typically adjudicated in under six months.
Interested in BC immigration? Contact our team today for a FREE consultation with an experienced immigration professional.
Provincial Nominee Program British Columbia
The British Columbia Nominee Program is one of the fastest and most effective ways for a potential immigrant interested in living in BC to receive Canadian permanent residence. Applicants who wish to apply for the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program must fall into one of the two categories allowed in the program.
BC Provincial Nominee Program 2018 Categories
There are three categories that those interested in the British Columbia PNP can apply under.
BC PNP categories:
Express Entry British Columbia
- Skilled Worker Immigration
- Entrepreneur Immigration
Eligibility for those wishing to resettle in British Columbia via the BC Provincial Nominee Program is determined through one of these sections. Both the Skilled Immigration option and the Business Immigration option are split into different sub-categories that decide whether the applicant is eligible to receive a BC Provincial Nomination Certificate. Skilled immigrants in the health care field, or who have graduated from a university or college in British Columbia, can apply to the program through BC PNP Online. Others who have received a full-time job offer in BC will need to register under the PNP British Columbia Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS).
The sub-categories found in the Skilled Immigration section of the BC Nominee Program include the following:
The Skilled Worker Category - workers who have received a legitimate job offer for skilled employment can apply under this section. Several years of work experience in the relevant sector is a necessity when applying.
- The Health Care Professional Category - applicants using this section to apply for the BCPNP must have an eligible job offer and several years experience in the health sector as nurses, physicians, and psychiatric nurses, or associated medical professions
- International Post-Graduate, BC Degree Category - this section caters to foreigners who have graduated with a masters or doctorate degree at a legitimate education institution within the province of British Columbia
- International Graduate, Canadian Degree Category - this section is open to international students that have graduated from a legitimate and eligible Canadian education institution in the last two years. A job offer is necessary for the applicant to be considered.
- Entry Level and Semi-Skilled Worker Category - people who wish to apply for certain semi-skilled or entry level professions in tourism/hospitality, food processing, and long-haul trucking should apply under this sub-category
Unless noted elsewhere, the following requirements apply to all BC Skilled Immigration streams.
General British Columbia Skilled Immigration Requirements:
• Candidate must have accepted an eligible full-time employment offer (BC International Post-Graduate applicants are exempted from this requirement)
• Candidate must meet all minimum qualifications for their occupation
• The offered wage must be considered a competitive wage for that occupation in British Columbia
• Candidate must demonstrate that they satisfy the minimum income requirement
• If the occupation is classified as NOC Skill Level B, C or D, the prospective immigrant must submit valid language test results showing a French or English language proficiency of CLB Level 4
• A $550 BC PNP processing fee must be submitted with all BC PNP Skilled Immigration applications
• The candidate's employment must not adversely impact any employment or training opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents, or have a negative effect on any labor dispute or the people involved in one
• Employment cannot be provided by a BC company that the candidate owns more than 10% of
• Employment must benefit the BC economy
We will now examine the various BC Skilled Immigration streams in detail.
British Columbia Skilled Immigration Streams
The Skilled Immigration section of the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program 2018 is made up of 5 different sub-categories and each has its own rules and eligibility requirements.
PNP BC Skilled Workers Category
This British Columbia PNP sub-category is available for individuals that have a university degree or any post-secondary education/training, and a number of years of work experience in a skilled employment field. Applicants must meet the following requirements to be eligible for this BCPNP option.
• Applicants must have employment in a skilled occupation that falls under NOC level 0, A or B.
• If applicants are gaining employment in an occupation that needs training or certification, then they must prove that they have reached this level of certification.
• When applying in this BCPNP sub-category, the ability to prove that the individual can pay for living expenses and housing in British Columbia is a necessity. This can be done by providing an income slip or confirmation, residential address, a list of any dependents and proof of a legitimate job offer in BC.
The employer that is offering the job to the applicants must meet the following requirements.
• The business itself must be in British Columbia
• Full-time, permanent employees should already be active in the business
• Must show a record of high standards of practice
• The business must show that it has met the domestic labor market employment
• An authorized let of employment addressed to the applicant should be provided, and the letter should cover the following details:
• Both employer and applicant should have signed and dated it
• Job duties should be described
• The applicant's expected working hours
• The applicant's rate of pay
• That a minimum of 30 hours will be worked in the job that will be full-time and permanent
• List of the added benefits of the job
• Any relevant bargaining agreements
PNP BC Healthcare Professionals
This British Columbia Nominee Program sub-category is open to individuals who work in any of the following positions in the medical field:
• Registered Nurse
• Registered Psychiatric Nurse
• Nurse Practitioner
• Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
• Clinical Pharmacist
• Medical Laboratory Technologist
• Medical Radiation Technologist
• Occupational Therapist
Each of these of these jobs comes with explicit requirements that apply to each one separately as follows.
Physicians or Specialists:
• Must be supported by one of the five regional health authorities in British Columbia or the Provincial Health Services Authority
• Have a letter stating they have a positive assessment from the leading physician at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in British Columbia.
• Must supply proof of a full-time position at one of British Columbia's five regional health services or the Provincial Health Services Authority
• Have to be registered with the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses in British Columbia or the College of Registered Nurses in British Columbia
• Must provide a letter as proof of being a part of a practice group in the region for at least six months
• Be part of the College of Midwives in British Columbia
Allied Health Professionals:
• Have a full-time employment offer at one of BC's five regional health authorities or at the Regional Health Authority Services
• Be member of the regional governing body that determines the licensing and regulates the individual's health care profession
PNP BC International Graduates - Canadian Universities
This option is open to international students that have graduated from a post-secondary educational facility in Canada in the last two years prior to applying for the BC PNP. Work experience is not an absolute necessity, but proof of a job offer from a British Columbian based employer is a requirement.
The following requirements must be met for the applicant to be deemed eligible.
• Applicants must have obtained either a post-graduate or graduate degree from a university or college in Canada. Full-time 12-month diplomas will also be considered if they were gained at a Canadian post-secondary institution.
• A diploma won't be counted if more than a quarter is done as an internship
• Application for Provincial Nominee Program BC must be within two years of finishing this education
• Individuals must show proof that they can support themselves and any dependents by providing income/employment expectations, area of residence and information of dependents
• All employment offers must be of an NOC 0, A or B level and if the job offer is an NOC C or D level, proof must be provided that shows the applicant will work their way up into a 0, A or B position.
• Applicant must prove that they meet all levels of certification and training that is required for their particular area of employment
• A letter of employment should be provided that has been signed by both the employer and applicant; it should also give details such as pay rate, working hours, additional benefits, guarantee of a full-time, permanent position and any relative collective bargaining agreements
• The employer cannot take off any pay for immigration fees or recruitment
• Salary should be competitive and equal to BC standard market rate
• Applicants originally hired on the Labor Market Opinion should be receiving more the LMO standard
PNP BC International Post-Graduates
This BCPNP sub-category is an option for individuals who have studied at a British Columbia institution and graduated with a masters or doctorate in applied, health or natural sciences. A job offer if not a necessity for this program.
All individuals wishing to apply in this BC PNP Program sub-category must meet the following requirements for eligibility.
Applicant must have graduated from a certified British Columbia educational institute in one these study fields:
• Biological and Biomedical Sciences
• Computer and information sciences and support services
• Engineering and Engineering technology
• Health Professionals and other applied health sciences
• Natural Resources Conservation and Resources
• Physical Sciences
Applicant must supply proof that they wish to permanently settle in British Columbia by providing:
• The length of all current or previous residence
• Connections to BC through family, study, and work
• Any housing plans that have been made
PNP BC Entry-Level or Semi-Skilled Worker Category
Immigration to British Columbia is possible through this BCPNP stream provided the following requirements are satisfied.
Individuals who wish to apply through this sub-category must be:
• Living in British Columbia
• Working in a particular niche job within the tourism/hospitality industry, long-haul trucking or food processing industry
• Working in a NOC C or D level in the Northeastern Development Region of BC
Individuals also need to meet the eligibility necessities below:
• Currently employed in a permanent role, and must have been so for at least nine months prior to the PNP application
• Full-time work must be sustained during the application process
• A letter of employment should be provided that has been signed by both the employer and the applicant and should detail the working hours, salary, additional benefits, any relevant collective bargaining agreements and the duties of the job
• Employer cannot take off any wages for recruitment or immigration
• Salary must be market-based and competitive
• If originally hired through the Labor Market Opinion, the applicant should receive equal or more than the LMO standard
• Applicant must show proof that they can support themselves or any dependents by providing income expectations, living arrangements, and details of any dependents
• Proof of at least 12 years of schooling and the relevant certification must be provided
• Proficiency in the English language must be shown to at least "Benchmark 4"
The employer should also meet certain requirements as shown below.
• Business must be based in BC
• Must already have full-time employees, and if based in Vancouver the business should have at least five full-time employees
• A history of legitimate business interactions
• Domestic labor market employment specifications must already have been met
PNP BC Northeast Pilot Project
The Northeast Pilot Project Category of the PNP Program BC is now closed. Northeast Development Region workers are now covered under the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program Entry-Level or Semi-Skilled Worker Category.
Previously, applicants that live or plan on living in the Northeast Development Region of British Columbia could apply under this section if the had semi-skilled and unskilled professions. There was no need for a job offer. Now, applicants who are working in the Northeast Development Region of BC in a C or D NOC level occupation may apply for a BC PNP without a job offer via the BCPNP semi-skilled or entry-level categories.
BC PNP Business Immigration
The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program offers an opportunity to live and work in BC as a permanent resident for individuals who wish to invest in the Canadian economy. There are four separate sub-categories found in the Business Immigration section of the BC PNP 2018, and they are outlined below:
• Entrepreneur Category - this section applies to business managers or owners who wish to invest money into a potential business in British Columbia.
• Regional Entrepreneur Category - this category is for business managers or owners that intend to invest money into a potential business in British Columbia that is in an area other than Vancouver.
• Strategic Projects Category - this sub-category applies to employees attached to a foreign-controlled business that is being set up in British Columbia. Up to five people attached to the business through managerial, technical or professional roles can be nominated for the sub-category.
• Regional Business Succession Option - this sub-category is for individuals who intend to purchase and run an already established business that is found in British Columbia. This option can also be applied to the above three options if the business is found outside Vancouver and Abbotsford areas.
We will now go through the in-depth details of every sub-category of the BC Business Immigration category and will allow individuals to see whether they are eligible to apply for the program through one of the many streams. BC entrepreneur immigration is not currently available through the Canada Express
British Columbia Business Immigration
The BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration category contains four sub-categories.
PNP BC Entrepreneur Category:
To be eligible for this category of the British Columbia PNP Program, applicants must meet the following requirements.
• Must have proof of experience as a business manager or owner
• Must provide a practical business proposal that will prove economic benefits to British Columbia
• Must show that they have the finances available to invest in a business. This is a net worth of $600,000 which can include spouses finances
Once the application is approved, the individual will have to follow the following procedures.
• A minimum investment of 200,000 dollars must be made to set up, buy or expand a business in BC
• Candidate must own at least one-third of the equity or shares in the intended BC business
• A performance agreement contract must be signed (you will then have 20 months to implement the business proposal)
• At least one full-time job must be made for either Canadian Citizens or permanent residents
• The applicant should be part of the management and running of the business on a daily basis
• The applicant may bring in one integral member of foreign staff who is essential to the running of the business
Prospective immigrants that are invited to apply for business immigration to BC must engage a "qualified supplier," such as a professional chartered accounting firm, to verify his or her personal net worth and review the accumulation of funds.
PNP BC Regional Entrepreneur Category
Immigration to British Columbia, excluding Vancouver immigration, is possible via this BC PNP Business Category stream as long as the following requirements are satisfied.
• Applicant should have experience as a business manager or owner
• Provide a business plan which will benefit the BC economy
• Proof of financial investment viability, namely a net worth of $600,000
If the application goes through then the applicant must meet the following requirements.
• Invest at least $200,000 in creating, buying or expanding a BC company (outside Vancouver or Abbotsford)
• Hold at least one-third of the shares in the business
• A performance agreement contract with the provincial government should be signed
• Create at least one employment opportunity for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
• Be involved in the daily running and management of the company
PNP BC Strategic Projects Category
Foreign companies that wish to establish a branch in BC may take five key staff member with them. Applicants under this 2018 BCPNP category must meet the following requirements.
• Provide evidence to show successful and legitimate business practice outside Canada
• Prove that their five staff members are key to the running of the business
If the application is approved the individual must then meet the following requirements.
• Sign a Performance Agreement with the provincial government
• Invest a minimum of $500,000 in starting or expanding the business
• Make three new jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents for every essential staff member
• Create, buy or expand a company that is already incorporated/federally incorporated and registered extra-provincially in British Columbia
PNP BC Regional Business Succession Option
This sub-category applies to individuals that are eligible in one of the above Business Immigration options, which will allow them to buy and run a British Columbian based business from a retiring owner. This sub-category allows for priority processing.
• A complete ownership changeover must take place for the business to be eligible
• The business should be located outside of Vancouver and Abbotsford
• The current owner should've operated it for at least five years
• Have a minimum of one full-time employee who is not a family member of the current owner
• Be in active operation
• Must be an eligible business all round
BC PNP News - Latest BC Immigration News
December 8, 2016 - The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program issued 500 invitations to apply. The BC PNP invitations were given to registrants from the Skilled Worker, International Graduate, and Entry Level and Semi-Skilled streams of the Skilled Immigration category, as well as applicants from the Skilled Worker and International Graduate streams of the Express Entry selection pool.
British Columbia Immigration Processing Times
BC immigration processing times for people participating in the BCPNP can vary. According to the official immigration British Columbia website, the current processing time for recent Skilled Immigration applications is 2-3 months, and for recent Entrepreneur Immigration applications is 3-4 months. We do our best to keep these processing times updated, but please be aware that these times are subject to change and may not always be completely accurate.
About the British Columbia PNP
BCPNP staff do not pre-assess candidates, and will never recommend which category prospective immigrants should apply under. This being said, BC PNP staff do provide ongoing support to nominated immigrants. This includes writing a support letter that can be used when applying for a Temporary Work Permit, allowing the employer to avoid the burdensome requirement of a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
Although the BCPNP is primarily employer-driven, it is possible to eligible for British Columbia immigration under the international post-graduate category even if you do not have an eligible job offer. All the other British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program categories require the support of a qualified BC employer. Temporary work positions do not qualify as eligible employment under the BC Provincial Nominee Program; only full-time indeterminate job offers will be approved under the program's terms and conditions.
How Much Does It Cost to Apply to BC PNP?
There is a $550 processing fee that must be paid when applying to the British Columbia PNP Express Entry and Skilled Immigration categories. There is a non-refundable $300 registration fee to register your interest in the BC Entrepreneur Program. If you are invited to apply for the British Columbia Entrepreneur Program, there is a $3500 application fee. There is also a $1000 fee for each key staff member included in a BC Entrepreneur application.
BC Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS)
The British Columbia SIRS is a brand new points-based "Expression of Interest" immigration management system that allows candidates to formally express an interest in the BC PNP. SIRS then allows the Province of British Columbia to select the most promising prospective immigrants in an efficient manner based upon the BCPNP score they receive. The highest scoring candidates will then receive an invitation to apply to the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program. Candidates who create a profile with BCPNP Online are scored under a variety of factors. SIRS scoring is based on economic factors, human capital factors, the annual salary of the job offer, the region of the province the employment is in, and the skill level of the employment. Candidates who register are kept in the BC PNP pool for 12 months and have 30 days to apply for BC immigration if they receive an invitation to apply from the program. BCPNP draws happen frequently, so it is important to keep your profile up to date to ensure the highest score possible.
Ineligibility for BCPNP
Interested parties are not eligible for the BC PNP if they are inadmissible to Canada for any reason, were not lawfully admitted to their current country of residence, are working in Canada illegally, have an unresolved refugee claim, are resident in Canada without authorization (due to loss of Canada PR status for example), or are under a Canadian removal order.
About British Columbia
BC is one of the largest Canadians provinces taking up approximately 10% of Canada's land surface. British Columbia is home to an array of different cultures, lifestyles, ethnicities, and religions and this is what makes it so popular to the thousands of immigrants that come to the province every year. The economy in British Columbia is steadily growing, and it is mostly reliant on natural resources. Forestry and mining are two of the biggest industries in the economic sector, and the province boasts Canada's third-largest hydro-electrical power scheme and it is the country's second-largest producer of natural gas. Tourism also makes up a huge part of the economy contributing over 13 billion dollars every year and creating a job for every 1 in 15 British Columbian. Its national parks and protected areas attract more than 40 million visitors every year with many people seeking out the Spirit Bear and Orca's on their travels around the province, and its rugged outdoors make it an adventure seeker's dream destination. It has consistently been voted as one of the most beautiful places in Canada and continues to attract people from all walks of life.
The province is also home to Canada's third-largest city Vancouver, and this makes British Colombia a perfect place to nature lovers and city slickers alike, to settle down. It also has one of the best healthcare systems in the world, and education in the province is of the highest quality. It is easy to see why British Columbia is one of Canada's most popular provinces, and it goes a long way in explaining why there are such a large number of foreigners who wish to settle in the province.
Relocating to British Columbia can be done through several different programs, but one of the fastest and most popular program in the CIC is the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program. The program offers graduates and potential skilled workers that have experience in a field that is being targeted for growth by the province. These potential immigrants may receive a British Columbia Provincial Nomination Certificate that will invite them to apply for Canadian permanent residency, and they will find a processing time that is much shorter than many of the other immigration policies. For updated BC PNP processing times and other BC immigration news, please visit the official British Columbia immigration website here. In addition to British Columbia immigration news, the official Immigration BC website contains BC PNP checklist and BC PNP timeline information, as well as BC PNP Forms. The official British Columbia immigration website also contains BC PNP contact info for people who need to communicate with the program directly.
Vancouver Immigration 2018
Most potential immigrants considering living in British Columbia are interested in Vancouver immigration. Vancouver is the largest city in the provinces and is the economic and cultural heartland of BC. Victoria BC immigration and Kelowna immigration are also popular. Vancouver is one of Canada's most beautiful cities, and its friendly people and incredible nature make it the perfect place to resettle. The British Columbian Provincial Nominee Program is one of the most popular ways to gain permanent residency in Vancouver.
The BCPNP 2018 is often referred to as the Vancouver PNP program since many participants are interested in moving to Vancouver. If you are interested in immigration to Vancouver, you should definitely consider applying under one of the many streams of the British Columbia Immigration Nominee Program. As you can see, it offers a wealth of different options and categories for various fields of occupation. The processing time of the program is much faster than many of the other immigration programs offered by CIC and it if you are eligible it is a quick and efficient way to get your Canadian permanent residency to live in Vancouver.
Interested in BC immigration through the 2018 British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program? Contact us today for a free consultation