British Columbia Immigration

British Columbia is the westernmost province of Canada, located between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. With an estimated population of 5 million as of 2019, it is Canada’s third-most populous province. British Columbia is  home of Canada’s third largest city, Vancouver. B.C is leading the country in economic growth, and continues to rely on economic immigration to meet labour market demand.

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP)

The BC Provincial Nominee Program offers three streams to become a permanent resident in B.C. Each pathway contains different categories you can apply under, depending on your National Occupational Classification skill level, job, or international student status. 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). There is a two part process, one is to  apply for nomination to the provincial government, and then, if nominated, second is to apply for permanent residence to the federal government.

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

BC-PNP News

The Skills Immigration (SI) stream of the  BC PNP is for people with the skills, experience and qualifications needed by B.C. employers. If you would like to settle in B.C., the this stream can help you become a permanent resident.

SKILLED WORKER

The Skills Immigration (SI) – Skilled Worker category of the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) is a way for workers in a professional, management, technical, trade or other skilled occupation to gain permanent residence in B.C.

To qualify, you must first accept a valid job offer from a B.C. employer. You also need relevant training and experience.

Eligibilty

To qualify for this category, you must:

  • have accepted a full-time, indeterminate job offer (a permanent job, or one with no set end date) from a B.C. employer. The job must be in a National Occupational Classification (NOC) skilled occupation (Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B).
  • be qualified to perform the duties of the job
  • have at least two (2) years of directly related work experience
  • show you can support yourself and your dependents
  • have, or be eligible for, legal immigration status in Canada
  • for NOC skill level B occupations, meet minimum language requirements
  • have a wage offer in line with B.C. wage rates for the occupation

Employer eligibility

Your employer must be willing to support your application. They must meet the eligibility criteria and fulfill certain responsibilities during the application process. View the employer requirements.

How does it work?

To start the process, please create a profile with our online application and registration system, BCPNP Online. After submitting your registration, you will receive a score based on your skills and job. Periodically, we invite people with the highest scores to apply through BCPNP Online.

INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE

Did you graduate with a valid qualification from an eligible Canadian university or college within the last three years? The Skills Immigration (SI) – International Graduate category of the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) can help you gain permanent residence in B.C.

Want a faster way to apply for permanent residency? See if you qualify for Express Entry BC — International Graduate.

Am I eligible?

To qualify for this category, you must:

  • have accepted a full-time, indeterminate job offer (a permanent job, or one with no set end date) from a B.C. employer. The job must be in a National Occupational Classification skilled occupation  (Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B).
  • qualify to work in your occupation in B.C.
  • show you can support yourself and your dependents
  • have, or be eligible for, legal immigration status in Canada
  • have completed a degree, diploma or certificate from an eligible post-secondary institution in Canada in the past three years
  • for NOC skill level B occupations, meet minimum language requirements
  • have a wage offer in line with B.C. wage rates for the occupation

Is my employer eligible?

Your employer must be willing to support your application. They must meet the eligibility criteria and fulfill certain responsibilities during the application process. View the employer requirements.

How does it work?

To start the process, please create a profile with our online application and registration system, BCPNP Online. After submitting your registration, you will receive a score based on your skills and job. Periodically, we invite people with the highest scores to apply through BCPNP Online.

HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL

British Columbia needs more health care professionals. The Skills Immigration (SI) – Healthcare Professional category of the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) helps physicians, specialists, nurses and allied health professionals work in B.C. and gain permanent residence.

Want a faster way to apply for permanent residency? See if you qualify for Express Entry BC — Healthcare Professional.

Find opportunities in B.C.

Health Match BC is a free health recruitment and placement service. It can help you find a job in your field with one of B.C.’s health authorities. Health Match BC staff can also answer your questions about the BC PNP and support you in the application process.

Find a health care job through Health Match BC.

Am I eligible?

To qualify for this category, you must:

  • have the support of, or a full-time, indeterminate job offer (a permanent job, or one with no set end date) from a public health authority as a:
  • physician
  • specialist
  • registered nurse
  • registered psychiatric nurse
  • nurse practitioner
  • allied health professional such as a:
    • diagnostic medical sonographer
    • clinical pharmacist
    • medical laboratory technologist
    • medical radiation technologist
    • occupational therapist
    • physiotherapist
  • if you are a midwife, have a letter of confirmation from an established practice group in B.C.
  • qualify to work in your occupation in B.C.
  • have at least two (2) years of directly related work experience
  • show you can support yourself and your dependents
  • have, or be eligible for, legal immigration status in Canada
  • for NOC skill level B occupations, meet minimum language requirements
  • have a wage offer in line with B.C. wage rates for the occupation

Is my employer eligible?

Your employer must be willing to support your application. They must meet the eligibility criteria and fulfill certain responsibilities during the application process. View the employer requirements.

How does it work?

To start the process, please create a profile with our online application system, BCPNP Online. As a Healthcare Professional applicant, you can apply directly via BCPNP Online.

INTERNATIONAL POST-GRADUATE

Do you have a graduate degree in the sciences from an eligible B.C. institution? Consider advancing your career in B.C.’s growing technology, health care, and applied sciences sectors.

The Skills Immigration (SI) – International Post-Graduate category of the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) can help you gain permanent residence in B.C. You don’t need a job offer to apply.

Want a faster way to apply for permanent residency? See if you qualify for Express Entry BC — International Post-Graduate.

Which graduate degrees are valid?

You must have graduated in the last three years with a master’s or doctorate (PhD) degree in the natural, applied or health sciences:

  • agriculture
  • biological and biomedical sciences
  • computer and information sciences and support services
  • engineering
  • engineering technology
  • health professions and related clinical sciences
  • mathematics and statistics
  • natural resources conservation and research
  • physical sciences

Please see the BC PNP IPG & EEBC IPG Eligible Programs of Study Document (PDF, 1MB) for a complete listing of eligible programs of study.

Am I eligible?

To qualify for this category, you must:

  • have, or be eligible for, legal immigration status in Canada
  • have completed a valid graduate program of study at an eligible post-secondary institution in B.C. in the last three years.
  • show your intent and ability to live in B.C.

How does it work?

To start the process, please create a profile with our online application system, BCPNP Online. As an International Post-Graduate applicant, you can apply directly via BCPNP Online.

ENTRY LEVEL AND SEMI-SKILLED

The Skills Immigration (SI) – Entry Level and Semi-Skilled category of the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) is a way for workers in a valid tourism/hospitality, long-haul trucking or food processing occupation to gain permanent residence in B.C.

To qualify, you must first accept a valid job offer from a B.C. employer. Please note that this category is not eligible under the Express Entry BC stream.

Am I eligible?

To qualify for this category, you must:

  • have accepted a full-time, indeterminate job offer (a permanent job, or one with no set end date) from a B.C. employer in a specific occupation in tourism/hospitality, long-haul trucking, or the food processing industry. For the Northeast Development Region of B.C., you may apply in any National Occupational Classification occupation (skill level C or D).
  • have been working full-time for your employer for a minimum of nine consecutive months before applying
  • meet minimum language and education requirements
  • qualify to do the job offered to you
  • show you can support yourself and your dependents
  • have legal immigration status in Canada
  • be earning a wage in line with B.C. wage rates for the occupation

Is my employer eligible?

Your employer must be willing to support your application. They must meet the eligibility criteria and fulfill certain responsibilities during the application process. View the employer requirements.

How does it work?

To start the process, please create a profile with our online application and registration system, BCPNP Online. After submitting your registration, you will receive a score based on your skills and job. Periodically, we invite people with the highest scores to apply through BCPNP Online.

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.

ENTREPRENEUR IMMIGRATION – BASE CATEGORY PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

If you want to immigrate to B.C. and are ready to invest in and actively manage a valid business here, you may qualify for our Entrepreneur Immigration – Base Category. Here is an overview of the requirements.

Personal requirements

To qualify, you must:

  • have a personal net worth of at least CAD$600,000
  • demonstrate business and/or management experience
  • have, or be eligible for, legal immigration status in Canada

You must also have been lawfully admitted in the country where you currently reside.

Please review our Entrepreneur Immigration – Base Category Program Guide to see the complete personal requirements.

Business, job and investment requirements

To qualify you must:

  • establish an eligible new business or purchase and improve an existing business
  • make an eligible personal investment of at least CAD$200,000 in the business
  • create at least one new full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in the business

Please review our Entrepreneur Immigration – Base Category Program Guide to see the complete business and investment requirements, including business eligibility and job requirements.

Registration and application fees

All applicants must pay the following fees:

  • $300 registration fee
  • $3,500 application fee
  • $1,000 for each key staff application

How does it work?

The first step is to research B.C.’s economy and regions to find a business opportunity. The WorkBC website provides comprehensive information and data about B.C.’s labour market and industries. When you have a business idea, please create a profile and a registration with our online application and registration system, BCPNP Online. Please include a business concept.

ENTREPRENEUR IMMIGRATION – REGIONAL PILOT

The BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot (EI – Regional Pilot) is focused on attracting entrepreneurs from around the world to establish businesses in regional communities. This will help meet the communities’ economic development needs and encourage investments outside urban areas.

Before considering the Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot, you should familiarize yourself with the program criteria and check your eligibility. Please refer to the Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot Program Guide for more information, including details on ineligible businesses.

Why an Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot?

As each community has the best knowledge of their local business environment, they are perfectly situated to identify economic development priorities and support services that give foreign entrepreneurs a good start in their journey to building successful businesses and growing the local economy.

Key features of the EI – Regional Pilot

Key features of the EI Regional Pilot:

  • Active community role – participating communities have a key role in the pilot. They are actively involved in attracting foreign entrepreneurs to their community and working with local partners and existing networks to provide support for entrepreneurs settling into their communities.
  • Referral from the community – participating communities may refer foreign entrepreneurs to the BC PNP whose business concept aligns with the community’s economic priorities. The foreign entrepreneur must be invited by the community to conduct an exploratory visit and present their concept to the community’s designated contact person prior to receiving a referral.
  • Community concierge – a dedicated BC PNP concierge service supports communities with immigration program information.
  • Invitations & prioritization – foreign entrepreneurs who are referred by a participating community are placed in a separate registration pool dedicated to the pilot when they register. Regional pilot registrations and applications are prioritized.

Community eligibility

For a list of participating communities, visit the EI – Regional Pilot – Community Profiles page.

We ask interested parties to respect and follow a community’s specific process. Communities reserve the right to meet only with those potential applicants for the EI Regional Pilot that have been qualified through the community’s official intake process.

After reviewing the detailed community profiles and their priority sectors, you should contact the community using only the contact details listed in each community’s profile.

Applicant criteria

To reflect the lower costs of starting a business and settling in regional communities with smaller populations, the personal net worth and investment criteria is lower than the existing Entrepreneur Immigration – Base Category (EI – Base Category). There is also a language proficiency requirement where the foreign entrepreneur must have a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 equivalent.

Before considering the Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot, you should familiarize yourself with the program criteria and check your eligibility. For more information, including details on ineligible businesses, please refer to the Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot Program Guide.

The EI – Regional Pilot is for foreign entrepreneurs who are planning to start a new business. Entrepreneurs wishing to purchase an existing business can register and apply under the
EI – Base Category of the BC PNP.

Pilot timeline

The pilot will be delivered for a two-year period and will be evaluated to ensure that the community and entrepreneur are benefitting the program, and to ensure continued program integrity for the BC PNP.

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

EEBC — SKILLED WORKER

British Columbia’s growing economy requires skilled workers in high-demand occupations. The Express Entry BC (EEBC) – Skilled Worker category of the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) is a faster way to gain permanent residence in B.C.

To qualify, you must first accept a valid job offer from a B.C. employer. You also need relevant training and experience.

Express Entry BC connects to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) Express Entry system to speed up the permanent residence process.

Am I eligible?

To qualify for this category, you must:

  • have received an Express Entry Profile Number and a Job Seeker Validation Code from the IRCC Express Entry system. This shows you meet the minimum criteria for one of IRCC’s Express Entry programs:
  • have accepted a full-time, indeterminate job offer (a permanent job, or one with no set end date) from a B.C. employer. The job must be in a National Occupational Classification skilled occupation  (Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B).
  • qualify to work in your  job in B.C.
  • have at least two (2) years of directly related work experience
  • show you can support yourself and your dependents
  • have, or be eligible for, legal immigration status in Canada
  • meet minimum language requirements
  • have a wage offer in line with B.C. wage rates for the occupation

Is my employer eligible?

Your employer must be willing to support your application. They must meet the eligibility criteria and fulfill certain responsibilities during the application process. View the employer requirements.

How does it work?

To start the process, please create a profile with our online application and registration system, BCPNP Online. After submitting your registration, you will receive a score based on your skills and job. Periodically, we invite people with the highest scores to apply through BCPNP Online.

EEBC — HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL

British Columbia needs more health care professionals. The Express Entry BC (EEBC) – Healthcare Professional category of the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) helps physicians, specialists, nurses and allied health professionals put your valuable skills to work in the province and get permanent residence.

Express Entry BC connects to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) Express Entry system to speed up the permanent residence process.

Find opportunities in B.C.

Health Match BC is a free health recruitment and placement service. It can help you find a job in your field with one of B.C.’s health authorities. Health Match BC staff can also answer your questions about the BC PNP and assist you with your application.

Find a health care job through Health Match BC.

Am I eligible?

To qualify for this category, you must:

  • have received an Express Entry Profile Number and a Job Seeker Validation Code from the IRCC Express Entry system. This shows you meet the minimum criteria for one of IRCC’s Express Entry programs:
  • have the support of, or a full-time, indeterminate job offer (a permanent job, or one with no set end date) from a public health authority as a:
    • physician
    • specialist
    • registered nurse
    • registered psychiatric nurse
    • nurse practitioner
    • allied health professional such as a:
      • diagnostic medical sonographer
      • clinical pharmacist
      • medical laboratory technologist
      • medical radiation technologist
      • occupational therapist
      • physiotherapist
  • if you are a midwife, have a letter of confirmation from an established practice group in B.C.
  • qualify to work in your occupation in B.C.
  • have at least two (2) years of directly related work experience
  • show you can support yourself and your dependents
  • have, or be eligible for, legal immigration status in Canada
  • meet minimum language requirements
  • have a wage offer in line with B.C. wage rates for the occupation

Is my employer eligible?

Your employer must be willing to support your application. They must meet the eligibility criteria and fulfill certain responsibilities during the application process. View the employer requirements.

How does it work?

To start the process, please create a profile with our online application system, BCPNP Online. As a Healthcare Professional applicant, you can submit an Express Entry BC application directly via BCPNP Online.

EEBC — INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE

Did you graduate with a valid qualification from an eligible Canadian university or college within the last three years? The Express Entry BC (EEBC) – International Graduate category of the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) can help you gain permanent residence in B.C.

Express Entry BC connects to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) Express Entry system to speed up the permanent residence process.

Am I eligible?

To qualify for this category, you must:

  • have received an Express Entry Profile Number and a Job Seeker Validation Code from the IRCC Express Entry system. This shows you meet the minimum criteria for one of IRCC’s Express Entry programs:
  • have accepted a full-time, indeterminate job offer (a permanent job, or one with no set end date) from a B.C. employer. The job must be in a National Occupational Classification skilled occupation  (Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B)
  • qualify to work in your occupation in B.C.
  • show you can support yourself and your dependents
  • have, or be eligible for, legal immigration status in Canada
  • have completed a degree, diploma or certificate from an eligible post-secondary institution in Canada in the past three years
  • meet minimum language requirements
  • have a wage offer in line with B.C. wage rates for the occupation

Is my employer eligible?

Your employer must be willing to support your application. They must meet the eligibility criteria and fulfill certain responsibilities during the application process. View the employer requirements.

How does it work?

To start the process, please create a profile with our online application and registration system, BCPNP Online. After submitting your registration, we will give you a score based on your skills and job. Periodically, we invite people with the highest scores to apply through BCPNP Online.

EEBC — INTERNATIONAL POST-GRADUATE

Do you have a graduate degree in the sciences from an eligible B.C. institution? Consider advancing your career in B.C.’s growing technology, health care, and applied sciences sectors.

The Express Entry BC (EEBC) – International Post-Graduate category of the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) can help you gain permanent residence in B.C. You don’t need a job offer.

Express Entry BC connects to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) Express Entry system to speed up the permanent residence process.

Which graduate degrees are valid?

You must have graduated in the last three years with a master’s or doctorate (PhD) degree in the natural, applied or health sciences:

  • agriculture
  • biological and biomedical sciences
  • computer and information sciences and support services
  • engineering
  • engineering technology
  • health professions and related clinical sciences
  • mathematics and statistics
  • natural resources conservation and research
  • physical sciences

Please see the BC PNP IPG & EEBC IPG Eligible Programs of Study Document (PDF, 1MB) for a complete listing of eligible programs of study.

Am I eligible?

To qualify for this category, you must:

  • have received an Express Entry Profile Number and a Job Seeker Validation Code from the IRCC Express Entry system. This shows you meet the minimum criteria for one of IRCC’s Express Entry programs:
  • have, or be eligible for, legal immigration status in Canada
  • have completed a valid graduate program of study at an eligible post-secondary institution in B.C. in the last three years.
  • show your intent and ability to live in B.C.

How does it work?

To start the process, please create a profile with our online application system, BCPNP Online. As an International Post-Graduate applicant, you can submit an Express Entry BC application directly via BCPNP Online.

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.