British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program

British Columbia’s PNP program is a popular program among aspiring migrants planning to move to Canada. The provincial nominee program of British Columbia is popular because this province has a history of high economic growth and relies on economic immigration to meet labor market needs.

The British Columbia (BC) PNP is a pathway for permanent residence for highly skilled workers, in-demand workers, and entrepreneurs. This program is operated by the province’s government in collaboration with the federal immigration department and the IRCC. The province gets a limited number of nominations each year.

The BC PNP accepts applications under three major categories:

Skills Immigration
Express Entry BC
Entrepreneur Immigration
Each category has its individual streams.

Here are more details about each stream

Skills immigration: This stream is targeted at skilled and semi-skilled workers required for high-demand occupations in the province and further divided into five categories.
Skilled Worker Category
Healthcare Professional Category
International Graduate Category
International Post-Graduate Category
Entry Level and Semi-Skilled Worker Category

Invitations under this stream are issued based on points. Some of the categories do not need prior work experience. Skilled workers require work experience while the entry level and semi-skilled category of workers need to have some work experience in the province. Recent international graduates from a Canadian university or college do not need any prior work experience.

Express Entry BC: This stream provides a faster way for skilled workers to move to the province. To qualify for this stream, you must be eligible under a federal economic immigration program. Applicants must complete their Express Entry profile and meet the eligibility requirements in any one of the following immigration programs under Express Entry:

Federal Skilled Worker Program
Federal Skilled Trades Program
Canadian Experience Class

If applicants meet the minimum eligibility requirements under any of the above programs, they will get their Express Entry profile number. The invitations are given provided applicants qualify under a points-based system. The eligibility requirements under this stream are similar to the Express Entry stream which includes relevant work experience, language and education requirements.

Entrepreneur Immigration: This program consists of three streams.

Entrepreneur Immigration Category
Entrepreneur Immigration — Regional Pilot
Strategic Projects Category

Entrepreneur immigration category: This stream is for entrepreneurs who wish to set up a business in the province. The invitation under this system is also points-based. The applicants must have the required funds to invest in a business. They will be eligible for PR under the entrepreneur immigration stream. Entrepreneur immigration regional pilot stream: This is for investors wishing to start a new business in the regional communities across the province. Strategic Projects Category: Under this category foreign based companies can set up their operations in the province. Five foreign professionals who can work for the business can be nominated for PR in the province under this scheme.

Application Process

Applicants to the BC PNP must follow a two-stage process, they must first apply for a nomination to the provincial government and if they are nominated, they must next apply for permanent residence to the federal government.

What is the BC PNP’s Skills Immigration [SI] pathway?

The SI of the BC PNP offers a pathway to Canada PR for those with the skills, experience as well as qualifications required by the employers within British Columbia.

Do I need a valid job offer to register for the SI of the BC PNP?

Generally, a valid job offer – for a full-time, permanent job with an eligible BC employer – will be needed. 
However, a job offer is not required if applying under the SI – International Post-Graduate category.

What is the SIRS?

SIRS stands for the Skills Immigration Registration System [SIRS], an online points-based application system

Why does the BC PNP use the SIRS?

With a limited number of nominations allotted by IRCC annually, often the volume of applications received might exceed the nomination spaces available.  

The SIRS allows BC PNP to ensure that –  

  • Candidate selection is as per the requirements of the local labour market, and 
  • All applications that are received are processed without the need to stop accepting applications.  

SIRS is flexible, transparent and manages BC PNP applications in an efficient manner.

How do I register with the BC PNP for Skills Immigration?

Begin by creating a profile with BC PNP Online and registering for the categories of Skilled Worker, International Graduate, or Entry Level and Semi-Skilled.

Is SIRS mandatory for all categories under BC PNP’s skills Immigration?

Not required if applying under SI – Healthcare Professional or SI – International Post-Graduate categories. Such individuals can directly apply via BC PNP Online.

What is assessed by the BC PNP for SIRS score?

The SIRS assesses [1] key economic factors that include – NOC skill level of job, annual wage being offered, and location of job in BC; [2] factors that affect ability of settling in BC such as proficiency in the English language, a higher level of education etc.

Am I automatically entitled to work in BC if the BC PNP nominates me for Canada PR?

No. A BC PNP nomination for Canada PR does not provide the nominee with the legal status to work in BC. An application will have to be made to IRCC for Canada work permit.

What is Express Entry BC?

Linked with the federal Express Entry system, the EEBC stream of the BC PNP offers an expedited pathway for a skilled worker to acquire permanent residence in British Columbia.

How many can be invited annually by the BC PNP?

The frequency and number is as per the annual allocation by IRSS. The number of invitations that are issued by the BC PNP will also depend on their ability for ensuring timely processing of applications.

What is an ECA?

An Educational Credential Assessment [ECA] will be required as verification that an individual’s foreign degree or diploma etc. is valid and equivalent to Canadian credentials.

Will an ECA help my SIRS score?

An ECA fetches points that are added to the registration score of a candidate.

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