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Understanding the Provincial Nominee Program of British Columbia

Michael Golden Law Corporation Nov. 7, 2023

British Columbia is Canada’s westernmost province, and with 28.3 percent of its population born outside of Canada, it is second only to Ontario with its 29.1 percent. Overall, the percentage is higher than the national average of 21.9 percent by some seven points. Home to the nation’s third largest city, Vancouver, British Columbia is also renowned for its natural beauty. Indeed, the region’s economy has a strong natural resources economic sector, focusing on forestry and mining. 

Vancouver is a bustling city with a robust economy, and the neighboring communities of Burnaby, Surrey, and Coquitlam also have thriving economic sectors. In short, British Columbia is a region that is attractive to foreigners seeking opportunity and the enjoyment of everything that the region offers. 

Fortunately for those seeking to immigrate to British Columbia, the province administers a program called the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) to fill gaps in sectors of the economy. The program focuses on three groups—foreign workers, international students, and entrepreneurs—in an effort to help meet the province’s labour needs. 

If you are seeking to immigrate to British Columbia and restart your life, contact the immigration lawyers at Michael Golden Law Corporation. With more than 35 years’ experience in helping foreign nationals achieve permanent resident status in Canada, we can help you qualify for BC PNP or other legal avenues to help you achieve your dream of immigrating to beautiful British Columbia. You as a foreign national can rebuild your life in Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, Coquitlam, and other communities. 

What Does the BC PNP Do?

Administered jointly by the Government of British Columbia’s Immigration Programs Branch and by the national government under the Canada-British Columbia Immigration Agreement (CBCIA), the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) nominates applicants who can help address the province’s unique labour market needs and contribute to its economic development. 

British Columbia is allocated a set number of nominations it can make each year. Priorities and initiatives are established to help make sure that BC PNP is administered in a way that aligns with the province’s StrongerBC Economic Plan.  

StrongerBC focuses on two goals; one called “inclusive” and the other “clean growth.” Inclusive means to make life better for all by lowering the cost of living and training individuals for the jobs of tomorrow. Clean growth means tackling climate change and helping to develop a low-carbon economy. 

Options for Applying for the BC PNP

The application process is based on national standards, and there are thus two streams for applying. One is called Express Entry, and the other is Non-Express Entry. Both pathways require the applicant to pass both a medical exam and a police check. The first step in either process is to contact the province or territory in which you want to apply; for BC PNP, that would obviously be British Columbia. 

  • NON-EXPRESS ENTRY PROCESS: This is, as the name implies, a slower process than the express route. You will need to meet the eligibility requirements of the province whose nomination you seek, and if nominated, you must apply for permanent residence online. The medical exam and police check requirements are also part of the process. 

  • EXPRESS ENTRY PROCESS: Again, you must contact the province to nominate you. If they agree, then you can apply for Express Entry online by creating a profile. An alternative route consists of creating the profile for Express Entry and then telling the provincial authorities what you’re interested in. If the province sends you a “notification of interest,” you can then contact them directly. If you’re nominated, the province will send you a nomination certificate, which you can accept online. The medical and police check requirements are also part of the process. 

Priority Occupations in British Columbia

The province has two key strategic priorities in attracting foreign workers. One is to support the province’s Care Economy. The other is called BC PNP Tech. 

The Care Economy initiative is designed to attract health care workers in select occupations, as well as early childhood educators (ECEs). Registrants whose occupation is on a pre-determined list of in-demand health occupations and ECEs, and who have a qualified, permanent job offer in B.C., will be given priority access to the BC PNP. 

BC PNP Tech is an initiative that allows B.C. tech employers to recruit international talent when local skilled workers are in short supply. The program embraces not only foreign workers but also international students who can come to B.C. to obtain the education and skills needed. 

Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot Program

Another avenue for foreign workers to fill gaps in British Columbia’s labour force is what is called the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP), which was launched in 2018. Successful applicants will be given permanent resident status upon arrival. 

Understand Your Immigration Options and Rights

The brief outline of immigration options provided above shows that there are routes to becoming a permanent resident in British Columbia, but there are quotas involved and sometimes confusing and challenging routes to applying.  

If you’re looking to immigrate and work and live in British Columbia, contact us at Micheal Golden Law Corporation. We are immigration lawyers with over 35 years of experience who can help you navigate the immigration system and become part of British Columbia’s vibrant economy and public life.