The British Columbia Provincial Nomination Program (also known as British Columbia PNP or BCPNP) is a program designed to assist foreign nationals seeking Canadian permanent residence in BC. 

There are 4 steps you must get through to immigrate through the British Columbia PNP. 

Step 1: Registration

Before you register, you must make a new account and complete your Express Entry (EE) profile with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) entry system. In order to complete your profile, you will need to meet the eligibility requirements for one of the following programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Canadian Experience Class

If you meet the eligibility criteria for one of IRCC’s federal economic immigration programs, you’ll receive an EE profile number and a Job Seeker validation code. These credentials will allow you to register with the BCPNP.

Some applicants must register with British Columbia’s Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS) before they apply for BCPNP. Registration is free. Through the SIRS, BC will assess your job, education, and language ability, as well as other factors, and compare it to the current needs of the province.

Who Needs to Register for BCPNP?

  • If you are applying through EE BC Healthcare Professional or Post-Graduate programs, you do not need to make a new account and register through SIRS. You are able to apply directly to the BCPNP program without registering. (Jump to Step 3. Application)
  • If you plan to immigrate through EE BC Skilled Worker or International Graduate programs, you do need to register through SIRS.
  • Applicants to all other categories, you must register through BCPNP Online.

How To Register

  • First, create an online profile with BCPNP Online
  • Complete all sections of the registration 
  • Submit your completed registration

Registration is not the same as applying, and does not guarantee that you will be invited to apply. If you meet a minimum score requirement under the comprehensive ranking system, you’ll be placed in the selection pool for your chosen category. You’ll stay in the selection pool for up to 12 months, or until you receive an invitation to apply.

Step 2: Invitation

Invitation to apply for BCPNP is reserved for the highest scoring applicants in the pool. If you do not receive an invitation to apply after 12 months, we suggest that you take steps to improve your score and re-enter the pool. Before you enter the pool, or if you were not selected, we encourage you to create a plan alongside our consultants. This can dramatically increase your chances of being invited to apply.

What Happens if I’m Invited to Apply?

If you are invited to apply, you need to submit a complete application through BCPNP Online. You only have 30 days to complete this application. Please keep in mind that receiving an invitation to apply (ITA) does not guarantee you will be nominated.

Step 3: Application

Once you receive an ITA, or if you are applying through EE BC Healthcare Professional or Post-Graduate programs, you need to submit your application directly through BCPNP Online. 

The application at the time of writing costs $700. Please verify fees. You can learn more about applying by downloading this guide: BC PNP Skills Immigration and EE BC Technical Guide (PDF, 1MB).

Your application will be assessed and if it’s approved, you’ll receive a nomination to apply for permanent residence. Your application might be denied if what you state in your application is different from what you declared in your registration. This is another very good reason to create a plan with a registered immigration consultant before registering and/or applying.

Step 4: Nomination

If your application is approved you will be nominated to apply for Canadian permanent residence through the EE system. Once you accept your nomination, you will receive a federal ITA for permanent residence as a BC provincial nominee.

You will then need to apply for Canadian permanent residency through the IRCC. When your application is approved, you will receive your permanent resident visa and be eligible to work in British Columbia. 

About British Columbia and the BC PNP

British Columbia (BC), the westernmost province in Canada, is a centre of cultural diversity and economic growth. BC is home to Canada’s third largest city, Vancouver, and is one of the most developed provinces in Canada. BC’s economy is focused on rich natural resources, with an emphasis on forestry, mining, agriculture, tourism, medicine, and technology. BC is also one of the most beautiful places to live in Canada.

The BC Provincial Nominee Program is designed for workers with specific skills and experience, who are looking to settle in the province. The application for a British Columbia Provincial Nomination Certificate helps applicants receive permanent residency in Canada. The processing time for the application takes less time than other immigration systems in other provinces.

The BC PNP will accept your official application for two main programs:

  • Skills Immigration
  • Entrepreneur Immigration

These programs are divided into different streams. Below we will provide you with additional information about each of them to help you determine if the BC PNP is right for you.

Skills Immigration

This stream of the BC PNP is intended for potential immigrants who have the appropriate skills and experience for their profession to apply for provincial nomination in this program. There are also opportunities for entry level candidates.

The Skills Immigration program consists of the following categories:

  • Skilled Worker Category – This category is intended for foreign workers who have a relevant full time job offer for a skilled profession, who would be valuable to a BC employer.
  • HealthCare Professional Category – Within this category, individuals who have relevant experience and have received an offer of employment in the fields of medicine, nursing, psychiatry or other healthcare professions can apply. The job offer must be one of 11 healthcare disciplines allowed by the program.
  • International Graduate Category – This category includes foreign nationals who have graduated from accredited universities or colleges in Canada, no earlier than three years before applying for immigration, and who have received a job offer from an eligible BC employer.
  • International Post-Graduate Category – This category includes post-graduate students from universities and colleges in British Columbia who hold an eligible degree (such as a doctoral degree) in the fields of science, applied science or medical science. In this category, you do not need to receive a job offer.
  • Entry Level and Semi-skilled Workers Category – In this category, individuals who have been working in BC for at least nine months in the fields of tourism/hospitality, long-haul trucking, or food processing are eligible to become Canadian citizens. The individual must also have a secured job offer.

Express Entry BC Category (EE BC)

The EE BC category is consistent with the federal selection system. This system allows suitable applicants to receive a nomination from the province of their choice and allows them to apply for Canadian permanent residency.

The following categories are accepted by the EE program in British Columbia:

  • Skilled Worker Category
  • Health Care Professional Category
  • International Graduate Category
  • International Post-Graduate Category

Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS)

On January 27, 2016, the BC provincial government announced the new Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS) for the BC Provincial Nominee Program. This is a points-based system which determines whether candidates can be invited to apply. The assessment is based on a number of factors such as a registrant’s level of education, previous work experience, valid job offer, and ability to do well in BC’s labour market.

Entrepreneur Immigration

Immigrants who intend to live in British Columbia and invest in its economy can apply for permanent residence in Canada using the Entrepreneur Immigration program. This program is divided into two categories:

  • Entrepreneur Category – This category is for senior managers and business owners who intend to invest in the BC economy
  • Strategic Projects Category – In this category, a foreign company with capital can establish businesses in BC, and up to five key foreign employees of such companies can be nominated for permanent residence in the Canadian province.

The Tech Pilot Program Under The BC PNP

In August of 2017, British Columbia successfully launched the BC PNP Tech Pilot. In this stream, the government issues weekly invitations to qualified registrants with valid job offers in key technology professions. This regional pilot is designed for specialists with a high skill level from a list of 32 eligible occupations important for BC’s technology sector, which is a major driver of economic growth in the province, with tech employment at its highest level ever recorded. The demand for talent in BC’s tech sector is increasing faster than the supply. The Tech Pilot has been extended till June 2019.

If you are interested in immigrating to British Columbia, contact Green Light Canada to see if you are among the eligible candidates! For plenty of useful information about the process of applying and moving to British Columbia, visit WelcomeBC.