British Columbia issued 95 invitations to apply for a provincial nomination for permanent residence on March 23.
The BC PNP Tech Pilot is a fast-track immigration pathway for in-demand IT workers and international students. It operates through B.C.’s existing provincial immigration streams.
B.C. also announced it was extending the Entrepreneur Immigration (EI) Regional Pilot until March 31, 2024.
The BC PNP Tech Pilot offers an accelerated immigration pathway for those who have tech skills and are seeking to become permanent Canadian residents. Candidates need to be registered in one of B.C.’s existing provincial immigration streams and have a valid job offer of at least 12 months in one of the Tech Pilot’s 29 eligible occupations.
Unlike the other BC PNP streams that require a permanent job offer, Tech Pilot job offers must be for a minimum of one year, with at least 120 days remaining at the time of application to the BC PNP. The job offer must also be full-time and from an eligible employer in the province. Job offers of more than one year are also eligible under the pilot program.
Invitations through the province’s tech pilot are sent out weekly to the top-scoring candidates who meet the eligibility requirements.
Candidates who are invited to apply for a provincial nomination have 30 days to submit a complete application. Once this is done, most tech applications will be processed within two to three months.
If they are approved, candidates will receive a nomination confirmation that can be used to apply for permanent residence from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) under the Provincial Nominee Class.
Because the Tech Pilot is not a separate stream or category of the BC PNP, those who wish to apply must first create a profile through the province’s online portal, the Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS), and register under one of its existing categories.
The SIRS is a point system that allows the BC PNP to give priority to candidates who have the required skills to contribute to the province’s economic growth.
Applicants are evaluated and issued a score that determines whether they may be invited to apply in a given invitation round. The score is based on a number of factors such as level of education, years of work experience and having a B.C. job offer.
Eligibility for the Tech Pilot is based on the registrant’s job offer or occupation.
The pilot project was launched in May 2017, following a labour market study that found the biggest issue facing B.C.’s tech sector was access to talent. So, the Tech Pilot was created to support the tech sector’s growth by making it easier and faster for workers with in-demand skills to immigrate to B.C.
The pilot has been extended several times, most recently until June 2021.
The Entrepreneur Immigration — Regional Pilot, was launched in early 2019. The pilot allows B.C. to work in partnership with regional communities of less than 75,000 people to welcome approved immigrant entrepreneurs who want to open a new business.
Communities must be located farther than 30 kilometres from a population centre of more than 75,000 people in order to be enrolled in the pilot.
All interested entrepreneurs must complete an exploratory visit to the community where they wish to set up their business and must obtain a community referral before registering for the pilot.
Successful candidates are granted a temporary work permit. The Province may then issue a nomination for permanent residence once it determines that the business has met all the criteria outlined in a performance agreement.
“This extension will help communities welcome new entrepreneurs to their regions, and be well-positioned to support recovery post-pandemic,” the government announcement states.
“A total of 65 communities have enrolled in the initial pilot phase.” The Province also expects many communities will welcome new entrepreneurs once restrictions on international travel are lifted.
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