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There is good news for foreign nationals looking to make British Columbia their new home. Following the success of the BC Tech Pilot, which saw more than 6,000 tech workers nominated for permanent residency, BC has moved to extend the program indefinitely.
Now called BC PNP Tech, the program will continue to offer accelerated processing of provincial nomination program (PNP) applications for workers in one of 29 in-demand tech sector occupations.
According to WorkBC, demand for tech workers is outpacing all other economic sectors in the province. Shortages in qualified employees have left many businesses in BC’s burgeoning tech sector unable to fill high-quality, well-paying jobs.
To help get tech-specific businesses the employee they need and reduce the wait times associated with other PNPs, BC PNP Tech will allow qualifying applicants to benefit from weekly invitations, a dedicated concierge to help navigate the application process, and priority processing.
What is a Provincial Nomination Program?
PNPs offer an important immigration stream to certain skilled, semi-skilled workers, entrepreneurs, and students. PNPs are the fastest-growing segment of economic immigration to Canada; between 2021 and 2023, nearly 250,000 foreign nationals are expected to obtain Canadian permanent residency through one of these programs.
Each province and territory oversees their PNPs, however, final application approval is determined by the officials at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). In most cases, applicants interested in a PNP must first apply to the province or territory. If the application is successful, they will receive a certificate allowing them to apply for permanent residency through the Canadian federal government.
Some PNPs are aligned with the Canadian Express Entry system and can be completed online, while others require a paper-based application. Except for those applying to the international postgraduate category, nearly all BC PNPs, including BC Tech, require a valid job offer.
Understanding the BC PNP Tech Process
Unlike the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP), which offers immigration pathways targeting a wide range of applicants, BC PNP Tech is focused solely on those with experience in one of the following occupations:
BC PNP Tech works in conjunction with existing BC PNP categories. This means the eligible candidates must also satisfy the requirements for either one of BC’s Skills Immigration programs or Express Entry BC streams, both of which are managed under the Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS).
SIRS is a points-based system used to rank and prioritize BC PNP candidates based on their experience, education, and economic factors related to their job offer. Candidates who meet the minimum requirements for BC PNP Tech can create a profile register online via BCPNP and receive a ranking score. Each week, a tech draw will invite the highest-scoring tech sector candidates to apply for a provincial nomination certificate. Upon receiving the invitation, candidates have 30 calendar days to complete their online application for a provincial nomination, which under BC PNP Tech, gets processed on a priority basis.
Approved BC PNP Tech applicants are then required to apply for Canadian permanent residency through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Provided all nomination conditions are met, BC PNP Tech candidates will be issued a permit support letter allowing them to obtain or renew a temporary work permit while waiting for their permanent residency application to be processed.
BC PNP Tech Job Offers
An offer of employment is a prerequisite for BC PNP Tech candidates. Job offers must meet the following criteria:
• A single offer in one of the 29 listed job occupations
• The offer must be for employment lasting at least one year (365 days)
• At the time of application, there must be at least 120 calendar days remaining on the job offer
Other Options for BC PNP
Individuals with experience in an occupation other than those included in BC PNP Tech still have many options for BC immigration through other available streams of the BC PNP.
If you are an experienced worker or international graduate looking to explore your options for BC PNP under the BC PNP Tech or other provincial nomination categories, the immigration consultants at 5S Immigration Services can help put you on the right pathway to living and working in Beautiful British Columbia.