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Immigration to British Columbia: the province’s pathways

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British Columbia (BC) is Canada’s third largest province in terms of size and population, and is home to the city of Vancouver. It’s well-known for its pacific coastline, and beautiful suburban neighbourhoods.

Due to efforts for population growth and economic growth, BC operates its own provincial nominee program, known as the BC PNP. Under the BC PNP, there are two streams:

  • Skills Immigration/Express Entry B.C
  • Entrepreneur Immigration

The Skills Immigration Stream is for skilled and semi-skileld candidates in high-demand occupation, as well as graduates of Canadian post-secondary institutions.

The Skills Immigration Stream has five categories: Skilled Worker, Healthcare Professional, International Graduate, International Post-Graduate, and Entry Level and Semi-Skilled Worker.

The first four of these categories – Skilled Worker, Healthcare Professional, International Graduate and International Post-Graduate – are linked to the Express Entry, a federal immigration pool.

Express Entry candidates with a provincial nomination receive an additional 600 points, which guarantee them an opportunity to apply for permanent residence.

In 2018, BC nominated 6,500 candidates, of which half came from the Express Entry pool.

Eligibility requirements vary depending on the category. However, candidates under Skills Immigration and Express Entry usually require a permanent, full-time job offer, with exception to those in the International Post-Graduate category.

Points-based system

BC uses a points system called Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS), which ranks candidates on language skills, education, job offer, and more.

All Skills Immigration/Express Entry categories (except Healthcare Professional and International Post-graduate) require a SIRS profile.

Tech Pilot

The Tech Pilot is a program of the PC PNP that targets skilled candidates in 29 designated tech occupations, using the Skills Immigration/Express Entry system.

Entrepreneur streams

BC also welcomes candidates with entrepreneurial experience. There are three categories under BC PNP’s Entrepreneur Immigration pathway: the Entrepreneur Immigration – Base Category; the Regional Pilot; and the Strategic Pilots Category.

Candidates who apply and are approved are able to apply for a two-year work permit from the Canadian government.

Entrepreneurs who successfully establish their business, and meet the PC PNP’s business performance requirements can apply for a provincial nomination for permanent residence.

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