The province of British Columbia announced some major changes and updates to the BC Provincial Nominee Program in March 2022.
The BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) is an economic immigration program administered by the Government of British Columbia’s Immigration Programs Branch.
The program enables the province to select and nominate foreign workers, international students and entrepreneurs to help meet B.C.’s labour market needs, support government priorities, and help grow B.C.’s economy. – If you are nominated, you and your family can then apply to Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to become a permanent resident of Canada.
On March 10, 2022, the B.C. provincial government announced it is responding to the crucial need for more healthcare workers and early childhood educators by implementing changes to the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) Skills Immigration stream to prioritize these occupations and increase support for the care economy.
Key Changes Effective March 10, 2022:
Below are the key changes divided into general changes which affect all programs under BC PNP, as well as specific category changes within each immigration stream:
General Updates: Changes that affect all programs
Stream Update #1: Changes to Skilled Workers Stream
Stream Update #2: Health Authority Stream
Stream Update #3: International Graduates Stream
Stream Update #4: International Post-Graduate Stream
Stream Update #5: Entry-Level and Semi-Skilled Stream
For full details about these and other changes, a new version of the BC PNP Skills Immigration Program Guide is now available.
General Updates: Changes that affect all programs under BC PNP
BC will now be conducting targeted invitations to apply for specific industries based on provincial labour market needs.
BC will also be conducting targeted invitations for both Skilled and Semi-Skilled occupations.
BC have taken away the 10 bonus points for "high-demand" occupations which provides a more even playing field across all occupations.
BC will be scheduling specific invitations to address current provincial priorities.
BC have also updated their minimum income thresholds which have increased.
BC updated what was previously called the "Job Offer Form", which is now called the "Employer Declaration Form".
BC have updated the previous Health Care Professionals stream to now be the Health Authority stream.
Third-party recruiters can no longer act as a representative in an application.
BC have increased their focus on recruitment efforts.
Stream Updates #1: Skilled Worker Stream
BC now requires a minimum of TWO years prior skilled work experience in any occupation. Previously they required two years of directly-related skilled work experience in the occupation matching your BC job offer.
Only skilled workers can now be nominated in management positions. Previously international graduates could also be nominated.
Applicants on a paid co-op work permit are only accepted if their work qualifies as skilled work experience, and they have already completed their co-op program.
Stream Updates #2: Health Authority Stream
This was previously called the Health Care Professionals stream.
Applicants under this stream do not have to wait for an Invitation to Apply (ITA). As long as a candidate meets the eligibility criteria and have a valid job offer they can apply to BC PNP.
A qualifying job offer has to be full-time and indeterminate (i.e. non-seasonal with no end date). However, it can be in any occupation and in any NOC (National Occupation Classification), as long as the job offer is from a qualified BC Public Health Authority.
There are even some occupations that BC PNP have specifically identified as "tech health care occupations", that don't require an indeterminate job offer or an ITA to apply to BC PNP.
The job offer can come from the following BC Public Health Authorities:
Physicians, Nurse practitioners, and Midwives have additional occupation specific requirements.
Stream Updates #3: International Graduates Stream
BC PNP have now specified that Co-Op's, practicums, internships will not count towards the 8-month minimum period of study requirement for international graduates.
BC PNP have specified that job offers under the International Graduate stream, cannot be in a management occupation (NOC Type 0 positions). This may impact BC PNP's SIRS points for certain candidates. Under the previous program all skilled occupations were accepted.
Candidates working as a supervisor, must be able to demonstrate to BC PNP prior supervisory experience.
Stream Updates #4: International Post-Graduates Stream
Candidates can apply upon completion of a qualifying master’s or doctorate degree in natural, applied or health sciences. Under the previous program they were required to have studied in Canada for at least 50% of their program, this requirement has been removed.
If candidates are not yet living in BC at time of application, they must demonstrate and submit to BC PNP proof of their intention to reside in BC.
Stream Updates #5: Entry-Level Semi-Skilled Stream (ELSS)
BC have updated the list of approved occupations to include certain entry-level semi-skilled health care positions. Previously this stream was limited to occupations in tourism/hospitality, long-haul trucking, and food processing.
BC will also be conducting targeted invitations under the ELSS stream specific to certain health-care occupations. Previously all ELSS candidates had to wait to be invited under the general invitation rounds held every 2 weeks.
ELSS candidates who have a job offer within the Northeast Development Region, can still apply under all NOC C or D positions, and are not limited to specific occupations. The only exception are live-in caregivers, who they have their own pathway via one of the Federal programs.
It's important to note for BC PNP that you must meet all program requirements both at the time of registration to seek a nomination, as well as at the time of application (if nominated), and all the way through until a decision is made on your permanent residence application.
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