February was a busy month for the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) Tech Pilot with three consecutive draws. The province also announced it would stop posting the scores that guarantee an Invitation to Apply (ITA) to candidates applying through any of the BC PNP categories.
So far this year, B.C. has sent 1,096 invitations to applicants in the Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC categories. This month, 221 out of 511 invitations were sent out as part of Tech Pilot draws specifically.
Candidates in B.C. who apply for Canadian immigration through one of the existing provincial immigration streams and who have a job offer in one of 29 eligible occupations may be considered for an ITA through the Tech Pilot program.
The BC PNP Tech Pilot is a fast-track immigration pathway for in-demand tech workers and international students.
To apply through the Tech Pilot candidates must first create a profile through the BC PNP’s online portal and register under its Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS) in one of the Skills Immigration or Express Entry BC categories.
“The BC PNP Tech Pilot is a priority initiative that supports economic growth and helps the tech sector recruit top international talent,” a spokesperson from the Ministry of Jobs Economic Development and Competitiveness wrote to CIC News in an email. “We continue to support the tech sector’s growth through weekly draws.”
A program representative from the BC PNP said that the frequency of invitations is based on the annual nomination allocations from the federal government and the program’s processing capacity.
The Tech Pilot was launched in 2017 to provide the technology sector in B.C. the ability to attract and retain international talent. This was due to the fact that demand in the tech sector was continuously increasing. The initiative was extended to June 2020.
In the past, a guaranteed invitation score for each category was provided to indicate the minimum points that an individual would be expected to have to be guaranteed an invitation. As of February 19, candidates who score over certain points thresholds in the SIRS are no longer guaranteed an invitation for a provincial nomination.
Candidates in the Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC immigration categories are ranked based on economic factors and human capital factors. Points are awarded based on the skill level of the job offer, the wage, and the regional district of employment, as well as a candidate’s work experience, education, and language ability.
The Skills Immigration pathway is for skilled and semi-skilled workers that are in high-demand occupations within the province. Hopeful Express Entry BC candidates must also qualify for one of three federal economic immigration programs: Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, or Canadian Experience Class.
Please note: on the basis of new information, this article was revised on 27 February 2020. A previous version stated that the month of February rendered a higher number of Tech Pilot Draws than any previous month after March 2018.
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