If you are interested in living and working in British Columbia, British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) may be for you. According to wikipedia, British Columbia (BC; French: Colombie-Britannique) is the westernmost province of Canada. Situated between the Pacific Ocean and the continental divide of the Rocky Mountains, the province has a diverse geography, replete with rugged landscapes that include rocky coastlines, sandy beaches, forests, lakes, mountains, inland deserts and grassy plains. Job opportunities in British Columbia are an attractive option for many foreign workers seeking stable, long term employment.
The BC PNP program allows applicants to immigrate directly to British Columbia.
You may have an opportunity to fast track your Canadian permanent residenceby applying for the British Columbia, British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program.
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Three B.C. Immigration Streams
If you wish to immigrate to British Columbia, then you have three options to choose from:
- BC PNP Skills Immigration Stream
- Entrepreneur Immigration
- Express Entry British Columbia Stream
BC PNP Skills Immigration Stream
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.
Requirements for the BC PNP Skills Immigration Stream
Must have a job offer from an employer in British Columbia that cannot be filled by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and be either.The exception being applicants applying under the International Postgraduate group.
Fluency in English or French
Meet the BC minimum income requirement
BC PNP Skills Immigration is divided into the following categories, You will need to have an Express Entry profile.
Processing time: 2-3 months
A Skilled Worker
Must have job offer in skill type 0, A, and B of NOC;
A Healthcare Professional
Physicians, registered nurses, registered psychiatric nurses and midwives
A International Graduate
- This is for students that have graduated from a Canadian school and wish to apply to the BC PNP program.
- This is for students that have earned either a Master’s degree or a Doctoral Degree from an institution located within British Columbia.
A Semi-Skilled Worker in select tourism/hospitality occupations, and food processing occupations.
International Post-Graduates Pilot Project (ending on May 28, 2013)
- International students who have obtained masters or doctorate degree in the natural, applied or health sciences from eligible, recognized BC institutions within the last two years may apply even if they have not obtained a job offer from a BC employer.
Processing time: 2-3 months
The Entrepreneur Immigration stream of the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) is a path to immigrate to Canada and settle in B.C. for experienced entrepreneurs who can support innovation and economic growth in the province.
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.
Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot
This new pilot is for international entrepreneurs looking to establish a new business in a small community in British Columbia.
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.
Entrepreneur Immigration Fees:
- Registration: $300
- Application : $3,500
- Request for Review: $500
Strategic Projects Fees:
- Registration : $300
- Application : $3,500
- Key Staff : $1,000 (each key staff )
- Registration score notification: 6 weeks (from date of registration submission)
- Application decision notification: 4 months (from date of application submission)
How to apply for the Entrepreneur Immigration Categories
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.
Express Entry British Columbia
Express Entry BC allows 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
- 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.