BC Provincial Nominee Program

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British Columbia has its immigration program called British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (the BC PNP). This is an immigration program operated on behalf of the Government of BC in conjunction with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to expedite the processing of an application for permanent residence.

There are several ways to immigrate to BC based on your work and business skills or experience. You may be eligible under the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program if you have a job offer from a British Columbia employer, or if you have business experience and the ability to develop a business in British Columbia. If you are approved, your application for permanent residence (which includes your spouse and dependent children) will receive priority processing.

Applicants nominated by the Province of British Columbia, together with their spouse and dependent children, are eligible to apply for a permanent resident visa through CIC as a Provincial Nominee. CIC expedites permanent resident applications from Provincial Nominees and makes final decisions on the permanent resident applications.

There are two categories in this program broadly; Strategic Occupations and Business Immigrants.

 

Strategic Occupations Stream

The Strategic Occupations component of the Provincial Nominee Program helps BC employers recruit or retain qualified foreign workers to help meet current and future labour needs. The need to employ foreign workers in an occupation is assessed based upon current and projected labour market conditions and economic benefit to the province.

There are four categories under this stream.

  1. Skilled workers
  2. International graduates
  3. Designated health professionals
  4. Entry level and semi-skilled pilot project

All four categories should be met the pre-requirements as below;

  • the employer has offered, and the nominee applicant has accepted permanent and full-time employment in an eligible occupation
  • the nominee applicant is qualified to do the job
  • the wage offered is competitive with BC wage rates for the occupation
  • the nominee applicant’s occupation offers good long-term prospects
  • the employer is  financially sound, with a history of good business and human resource practices, and has been operating in BC for at least one year ( two years for an Entry-Level and Semi-Skilled employer) and currently has at least five full-time employees
  • the nominee applicant may not own 10% or more of the supporting employer company
  • the employment of a foreign worker will be of significant economic benefit to BC
  • the nominee applicant has the ability to become economically established in BC
  • the employment of a foreign worker will not adversely affect the settlement of a labour dispute, or the employment of anyone involved in any such dispute
  • the employer has actively recruited locally to fill the position
  • if the nominee applicant is currently in Canada, they must maintain legal immigration status throughout the process and must not be subject to a removal order.
  • the nominee applicant does not have an active refugee claim
  • if the nominee applicant is currently outside Canada, they must not be prohibited from entering Canada and must have legal status in the country in which they are currently residing
  1. Skilled workers
    • This category is for skilled workers who have a job offer from employer in BC and who have post-secondary education or training with several years of employment experience in a professional, management, technical, trades or other skilled occupation.
  2. International graduates
    • An International graduate would be eligible for this category if he/she has satisfied the requirements for an eligible degree or diploma from a recognized post-secondary institution in BC within the last two years. Specifically, an application must be received by the BC PNP within two years of the date shown on the final official transcript.
    • An International Graduate must have accepted a permanent, full time job offer from a BC employer. The PNP program does not require that International Graduates have previous work experience.
  3. Designated health professionals
    • Only the following occupations are eligible for this category;
      • Registered nurses, psychiatric nurses and physicians recruited by provincial and regional health authorities administered through Health Match BC, and who meet the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)’s requirements
      • Midwives who meet the Provincial Nominee Program’s requirements
  4. Entry level and semi-skilled pilot project
    • This pilot project applies to qualifying foreign workers in select occupations and eligible employers in the tourism/hospitality, food processing and long-haul trucking industries. Prior to applying under this category nominee applicants must have worked full-time for their employer in BC for a period of nine consecutive months and have continuing full-time employment with that same employer at the time of application to the BC PNP. Work experience that forms an integral part of a program of study or is obtained using an Off-Campus Work Permit does not qualify toward this requirement for previous employment in BC.
    • Each category has its own requirements for employers and applicants regarding occupation, education, wage, etc. To find out if you are eligible, please apply for our consultation service.

 

Business Immigrants Stream

This stream is for potential immigrants who have the ability to establish themselves successfully in BC and develop and actively manage a business that will provide significant economic benefits to the province.

There are three categories under this stream.

  1. Business Skills
  2. Regional Business
  3. Strategic Projects
  1. Business Skills
    • Applicants for nomination in the Business Skills category will be required to:
      1. Make a personal investment of at least $400,000  to establish or to purchase and expand an eligible business anywhere in BC
      2. Create at least three new jobs in the business for Canadians or permanent residents.
      3. Own at least one third (33.33%) of the equity of the business.
      4. Provide active and on-going participation in the day to day management and direction of the business.
      5. Demonstrate that they have:
        • the skills and experience necessary to establish and operate a commercially viable business in BC
        • a personal net worth of at least $800,000  obtained from legal sources
        • sufficient unencumbered personal funds to make the required investment
        • a viable business proposal
  2. Regional Business
    • Applicants for nomination in the Regional Business category will be required to:
      1. Make a personal investment of at least $200,000  to establish or to purchase and expand an eligible business anywhere in BC outside of the Vancouver metropolitan area or the Abbotsford metropolitan area.
      2. Create at least one new job in the business for a Canadian or permanent resident.
      3. Own at least one third (33.33%) of the equity of the business.
      4. Provide active and on-going participation in the day-to-day management and direction of the business.
      5. Demonstrate that they have:
        • the skills and experience necessary to establish and operate a commercially viable business in BC
        • a personal net worth of at least $400,000  obtained from legal sources
        • sufficient unencumbered personal funds to make the required investment a viable business proposal.
  3. Strategic Projects
    • The Strategic Projects category assists foreign-controlled companies establishing an eligible business in BC with the timely entry of foreign key managerial, professional or technical staff, up to a maximum of 5 per company, who intend to become permanent residents of Canada and settle in BC
  • Companies applying in this category will be required to:
    1. Make a minimum equity investment of $500,000.
    2. Create at least three jobs for Canadians or permanent residents in BC for each nominee applicant put forward by the company.
    3. Demonstrate a record of good business practices and successful business operations outside of Canada that are relevant to the proposed business.
    4. Establish or purchase and expand an eligible business anywhere in BC
    5. Incorporate a Canadian subsidiary or register an extra-provincial company in BC to operate the proposed business.
    6. Demonstrate that the nominee applicants are qualified senior personnel who are essential to establishing or expanding and operating the proposed business in BC

There are specific criteria for each category that applicants must ensure they meet prior to applying to this stream. If you want to assess your eligibility, apply for our consultation now.