British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Canada and its Provinces have entered into agreements that allow a person to be nominated by the Provincial Government and to be issued an Immigrant Visa without having to meet the pass mark that is required for skilled workers and business immigrants.

As a result, individual Provinces are responsible for issuing nomination certificates. If you are successful in convincing a Province that you have a skill or business which is in high demand for that particular Province, the Province will issue you a certificate, provided that you meet all other statutory and admissibility requirements of Citizenship and Immigration Canada and that you can become economically established. You will then be issued an Immigrant Visa for entry into Canada.

The BC Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is an economic immigration program based on provincial priorities and selection criteria designed to help B.C. meet its evolving labour market needs. The program offers accelerated immigration for foreign workers and entrepreneurs who intend to live permanently in B.C., demonstrate the skills and ability to become economically established and contribute significantly to the provincial economy. It also selects entrepreneurs ready to invest in our economy and create jobs for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

Economic growth in B.C. depends on people – on having the qualified workers and entrepreneurs we need to meet labour market demand and ensure the continued prosperity of our province. Immigration will play an important role in helping B.C. meet anticipated labour market shortages.

The Process

The PNP is one way for individuals to obtain permanent resident status in Canada. The first step in the process is to apply to the PNP. If your application is approved by the PNP, you are a Provincial Nominee who may then apply to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for a permanent resident visa in the Provincial Nominee Class.  As part of the application to CIC, nominees can also apply for a permanent resident visa for their spouses and dependants.

The PNP is operated by the Province of B.C. in partnership with the federal government through Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). The PNP assesses applications and nominates candidates for permanent residence, after which CIC makes the final decision on each application and issues permanent resident visas to successful applicants.

Successful applicants will receive a British Columbia Provincial Nomination Certificate, which will speed-up the Canada Immigration (Permanent Resident) Visa application process.

Under the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), you may qualify under one of two streams:

British Columbia PNP Strategic Occupations Stream

To qualify you must have a job offer from an employer in British Columbia that cannot be filled by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and be either:

  • A skilled worker: Applications in the Skilled Worker category must have a job offer in an eligible occupation in skill type 0 or skill levels A, and B of Canada’s National Occupational Classification Matrix (NOC);
  • A health care professional, specifically physicians, registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses, and midwives; or
  • An international graduate of a recognized Canadian post-secondary institution.
  • A semi-skilled worker in select Tourism/Hospitality occupations, Long-Haul Trucking occupations, and Food Processing occupations.

International Post-Graduates Pilot Project

The province of British Columbia recently added the International Post-Graduates Pilot Project to its PNP. Under this category, international students who have obtained masters or doctorate degrees in the natural, applied or health sciences from eligible, recognized BC institutions within the last two years may apply even if they have not obtained a job offer from a BC employer.

British Columbia PNP Business Immigrants Stream
Immigration to British Columbia (including Vancouver and Abbotsford)

Immigration to British Columbia (outside of Vancouver and Abbotsford)

There are several immigration options available for people interested in moving to Canada. Some of the benefits of the PNP are outlined below.


Helping workers and entrepreneurs immigrate to B.C.

The PNP offers many advantages to workers and entrepreneurs wishing to settle in B.C.:

  • Each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis.
  • The PNP provides Provincial Nominees with a letter of support they can use to obtain or extend a work permit from CIC. This helps applicants continue working in Canada while they are waiting for CIC to process their permanent resident application.
  • When Provincial Nominees apply to CIC for a permanent resident visa, their application receives expedited processing.

Helping employers meet critical skill needs

The PNP helps B.C. employers meet their critical labour market needs:

  • If employers are unable to fill vacancies through the local labour market, the PNP can be a useful tool for attracting and retaining foreign workers – making it easier to transition workers from temporary to permanent status.
  • If the PNP nominates your employee for permanent residence, you do not need to apply for a Labour Market Opinion. Where required, the PNP can issue a letter of support that your employee can use to apply for or extend a work permit.
  • Our staff are available to help you determine whether you and your employees meet the requirements of the program.

Contributing to B.C.’s economic prosperity

The PNP nominates individuals for permanent residence who can contribute to B.C.’s economy by:

  • meeting critical skill shortages,
  • creating or maintaining employment,
  • transferring skills and knowledge to Canadians,
  • accelerating the adoption of new technologies,
  • developing new products, technologies, services or markets and
  • establishing new businesses or enhancing existing businesses.

Highlights of BC PNP

  • A Labour Market Opinion by the Employer is not necessary
  • If you are applying to the B.C. Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) based on a job offer in a National Occupational Classification Skill Level 0, A or B occupation, you do not need to demonstrate language proficiency
  • Work permit is not necessary unless you want to work before getting your permanent residence
  • PNP will provide ongoing support after you have been nominated. This includes providing a work permit support letter so you can apply for a temporary work permit without requiring your employer to apply for a Labour Market Opinion
  • You do not require British Columbia work experience (unless you are applying in the entry-level or semi-skilled worker category)
  • BC PNP  is not assessed on the basis of the six selection factors of the Federal Skilled Workers Program and there is no need to meet the pass mark that is required in the case Federal Skilled Workers and Business Immigrants
  • If  BC PNP nominates you, the application you submit to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for a permanent resident visa receives expedited processing
  • You can apply to the PNP if you work in any occupation classified as Skill Level 0, A or B by the National Occupational Classification, as well as select entry-level and semi-skilled occupations
  • If you are an international student who has graduated from a Canadian university or public college, you do not require prior work experience. In the international graduate category you can apply to the PNP immediately after you complete your graduation requirements
  • You can only apply to the PNP without a job offer if you are applying as an international student with a master’s or doctoral degree from a B.C. university in the natural, applied or health sciences
  • If you are applying to the B.C. Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) based on a job offer in a National Occupational Classification Skill Level C or D occupation (the entry-level or semi-skilled or international graduate categories), you must demonstrate language proficiency

Minimum Income Requirements

To be eligible for the BC Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), you must demonstrate that you are able to support yourself (and your dependants) according to your:

  • income,
  • location of residence in B.C., and
  • number of dependants.

We have established minimum family income thresholds for the Metropolitan Vancouver area and the rest of B.C. Your family must meet the minimum family income threshold for your chosen area of residence.

Family income is the total of:

  • your regular annual wage from the B.C. employer supporting your PNP application, and, if applicable,
  • your spouse or common-law partner’s regular annual wage in B.C. from work authorized under a valid work permit.

In calculating your family income, we will only consider regular annual wages. We do not consider bonuses, commissions, profit-sharing distributions, tips/gratuities, overtime wages or other similar payments to be part of your wage.

Your spouse’s annual wage will only be included in the family income calculation if your spouse or common-law partner has a valid work permit and is currently employed in B.C. In the table below, you will see that we include the size of your family unit (your spouse or common-law partner and dependants, whether they come with you to live in B.C. or not), to determine if you meet the minimum family income threshold for your area of residence.

Size of Family Family Income Threshold by Area of residence
Metropolitan Vancouver Rest of B.C.
1 $21,282 $17,738
2 $26,496 $22,081
3 $32,574 $27,146
4 $39,548 $32,960
5 $44,855 $37,382
6 $50,588 $42,161
7 or more $56,323 $46,940

The income thresholds in this table represent 90% of an amount calculated from the appropriate Low-Income Cut-Off (LICO) figures set for 2012 by Statistics Canada. This table will be updated regularly to reflect the latest published LICO figures.

A word about British Columbia

Snow-capped mountains, fertile valleys, lush green rainforests, rolling vineyards, and one of the world’s most spectacular coastlines – this is British Columbia (BC), Canada.

Breathtaking scenery; diverse geographic regions and climates; a rich multi-cultural history; a dynamic arts & culture scene; and plenty of opportunities for recreation and leisure.  These are just some of the reasons why BC is a wonderful place to live in.

BC is Canada’s most westerly province, bordered by: Canada’s Yukon and Northwest Territories and the US state of Alaska to the north; the province of Alberta to the east; and the US states of Washington and Idaho to the south.

The province’s magnificent Pacific Ocean coastline, with its many bays, islands, and inlets, stretches over 7,000 rugged kilometres.

The capital of British Columbia is Victoria. The largest city is Vancouver, the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada, the largest in Western Canada, and the second largest in the Pacific Northwest.  British Columbia estimated population is 4,606,371 (about two and a half million of whom are in Greater Vancouver).

British Columbia’s economy is largely resource-based. It is the hub of major Pacific ports facilitating excellent international trade.  The mild climate of  BC encourages outdoor recreation and tourism, though its economic mainstay has long been resource extraction, principally logging, farming, and mining. Vancouver, the province’s largest city and metropolitan area, also serves as the headquarters of many of the Western-based natural resource companies. It also benefits from a strong housing market and a per-capita income well above the national average.

Our goal is to provide each client with a successful outcome by determining the most appropriate solution. If you would like to know whether you could be eligible to immigrate to Canada, we invite you to complete our online assessment questionnaire.

If you are interested in seeking professional assistance to guide you through the immigration process or if you have any questions, please contact us.

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