What is the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program?

Posted January 17, 2023 6:00 AM EST


aerial view of Vancouver

British Columbia is Canada’s westernmost province and home to the country’s third largest city, Vancouver. The province’s economy depends on a strong natural resource sector, centered on forestry and mining.

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If you want to immigrate to British Columbia, there are three options under the Provincial Nominee Program:

  • Skills Immigration Stream
  • British Columbia Express Entry Stream
  • Immigration of entrepreneurs

Skills Immigration Stream

There are many categories under the Skills Immigration Stream for Skilled Workers, Medical Professionals, International Graduates, Graduates and Semi-Skilled Workers. These categories include:

  • The Skilled Worker category: this category is for people who have received a qualifying job offer in a skilled occupation.
  • Health Professional Category: This category is for people with experience and eligible job offers as doctors, nurses or allied health professionals. There are 11 eligible health professions.
  • International Graduates Category: This category is for individuals who have graduated from an eligible Canadian university or college within the last three years and have a job offer from a British Columbia employer.
  • International Post-Graduation Category: This category is for individuals who have graduated from a master’s or doctoral program in the natural, applied or health sciences from an eligible educational institution in British Columbia. No job offer is required in this category.
  • Category of entry-level and semi-skilled workers: This category is for workers in entry-level or semi-skilled positions in the tourism, hospitality, food processing, or long-haul trucking industries. Individuals may also be eligible if they are in entry-level or semi-skilled positions living and working in the BC Northeast Development Region.

British Columbia Express Entry

Express Entry BC aligns with the federal government’s Express Entry immigration system, which handles applications for permanent residency. Many PNP flows also use the Express Entry system, and these are referred to as “enhanced flows”.

Express Entry assigns immigration applicants a score based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), based on multiple factors such as their age, education, work experience and language skills. Candidates with the highest score are invited to apply for permanent residence. Express Entry candidates who receive a British Columbia provincial nomination receive an additional 600 CRS points, essentially guaranteeing an invitation to apply for permanent residency in the next Express Entry draw.

The following skill immigration categories can be processed by Express Entry British Columbia:

  • Skilled Worker Category
  • Health Professional Category
  • International Graduates Category
  • International Postgraduate Category

Immigration of entrepreneurs

As an entrepreneur, you can immigrate to British Columbia through three options:

  • Entrepreneur Immigration – Basic Category: This category is for senior executives or business owners who are considering investing in a proposed business in British Columbia.
  • Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot Project: This category is for international entrepreneurs looking to establish a new business in a small BC community.
  • Category Strategic Projects: This category allows foreign-controlled companies to establish themselves in British Columbia. Up to five key management, professional or technical personnel may be nominated for permanent residence in the province.

It is important to choose the stream that is right for you based on your specific situation. An experienced immigration lawyer can help you decide which stream is right for you. Cohen Immigration Law’s team of lawyers and professionals will endeavor to provide as much assistance as possible in submitting a PNP application.

Find out if you qualify for Canadian immigration

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