British Columbia Immigration

British Columbia is Canada’s westernmost province, defined by the Pacific coastline and mountain ranges, and home of Canada’s third largest city, Vancouver. The province’s economy is diverse and relies on a strong natural resources sector, with a focus on forestry and mining.

British Columbia’s culture combines a unique mix of European, Asian, and First Nations influences, and its eight regions each provide dynamic and diverse features.

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP)

The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) aims to accelerate the process for those wishing to obtain Canadian permanent resident status and who intend to settle permanently in British Columbia. 

The program is operated by the British Columbia government in partnership with the federal immigration department, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Interested candidates must follow a two-stage process: apply for nomination to the provincial government, and then, if nominated, apply for permanent residence to the federal government.

IRCC allocates to BC PNP a limited number of nominations each year. 

The Skills Immigration (SI) category targets skilled and semi-skilled workers in high-demand occupations in BC and is further divided into five components:

The Express Entry streams, through periodic draws, enable the province to nominate qualified candidates for admission to Canada under the federal Express Entry immigration system:

The Entrepreneur category is aimed at high net worth individuals who wish to invest and operate a business in British Columbia and eventually settle in the province.

The BC PNP Tech Pilot

The BC PNP Tech Pilot allows British Columbia immigration officials to expedite the processing of immigration candidates for in-demand technology occupations.

Through weekly draws, invitations are issued to candidates with work experience in one of 29 eligible occupations in the BC technology sector.

The BC PNP Tech Pilot prioritizes technology sector applications under existing BC immigration streams. Candidates must still meet the basic requirements of an applicable British Columbia immigration category or stream, including a minimum one-year job offer from a B.C. employer.

Eligible categories: Skilled Workers, Healthcare Professionals, International Graduates, International Post-Graduates and Entry-Level and Semi-Skilled Workers.

Targeted occupations

The BC PNP awards additional points for candidates whose occupation appears on the list of high demand occupations published in BC Labour Market Outlook 2018 Edition.

BC PNP Draws

The BC PNP issues periodic Invitations to Apply to candidates for nomination under one of BC PNP’s eligible streams:

  • Skills Immigration: Skilled Worker, International Graduate, Entry Level and Semi-Skilled
  • Express Entry BC: Skilled Worker, International Graduate
  • Entrepreneur Immigration

History of BC PNP Draws

Processing times

The BC PNP estimates a processing time of 2-3 months for nomination applications under Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC.

For applications under Entrepreneur Immigration, the BC PNP estimates a 6-week processing time from the date of registration, for the Registration Score Notification stage. Another 4-week processing time must be calculated from the date of submission of supplication until the decision notification (at work permit stage).

At the federal level, IRCC currently processes provincial non-Express Entry nominee applications within 15-19 months. For the Express Entry streams, the general average of 6 months applies.