British Columbia held two Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draws on February 16th, inviting a total of 494 candidates. In addition, the province announced that it was lifting temporary restrictions on 31 occupations which have recently been excluded from draws.
Out of the two draws, 459 of the invitations issued were to candidates in the Skills Immigration (SI) and Express Entry BC (EEBC) streams of the British Columbia PNP. Of these, the main sub-categories were the Skilled Worker, International Graduate and Entry Level and Semi-Skilled streams.
The remaining 35 invitations went to candidates in the service industry, such as retail and wholesale trade managers or food service supervisors. The province chose these occupations due to a large number of candidates working in the positions registered under the PNP stream.
The minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores for these draws were between 85 and 104 points.
In terms of future draws, the province has announced plans to include occupations which have typically been left out of most draws. These include tourism, hospitality, retail, and personal service fields.
These draws bring the province’s total for the year to nine, and the total number of invitations issued to 1,308.
B.C.’s Provincial Nominee Program aims to help hopeful immigration applicants come to work and live in the province. Eligible applicants must demonstrate prior work experience, intention to stay in the province, and, if necessary, a valid work offer in the province.
An invitation to apply for provincial nomination is not the same as an invitation to apply for permanent residence. Provincial nomination does, however, increase a candidate’s chances of being offered an invitation to apply for permanent residence, since it adds 600 points if PR is applied through express entry. In other cases it takes approximately 18 months after the permanent residence application is submitted.
BC PNP has many pathways through which candidates can hope to gain entry to the province. Among these are Skills Immigration, Express Entry BC, Entrepreneur Immigration, and other immigration streams.
Skilled Immigration is open to skilled or semi-skilled workers with interest in any of B.C.’s high-demand occupations. Prior experience may or may not be required, and experience working abroad may count towards that. Recent graduates are also in a good position for this stream. In this stream are sub-streams for tech workers, international graduates, healthcare workers, and more.
Express Entry BC works similarly to the federal Express Entry system, only it is intended to draw more hopeful immigrants directly to B.C.
Entrepreneur Immigration is a stream for experienced entrepreneurs who are interested in managing a business in B.C. There is a Regional Pilot substream for those who want to start a new business in the province in regional communities.
B.C.’s next PNP draw is expected to be held in 2-3 weeks time. It is unknown which stream will be the focus.