A guide to the BC PNP Tech for Express Entry candidates
Tech workers bound for British Columbia can get priority processing for their immigration application through the BC PNP Tech program.
Recently turned from pilot to permanent installation, the BC PNP Tech helps B.C. employers recruit foreign talent. In turn, it offers an expedited Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) for tech talent who want to immigrate to B.C.
Qualify for BC PNP Tech through Express Entry
If you are in the Express Entry pool, you have already completed the first step to get a nomination through the Express Entry BC stream. In order to eventually get permanent residence, you will have to be eligible for an Express Entry-managed program such as the Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Worker Program, or Federal Skilled Trades Program.
There are a lot more details available on the B.C. government's program guide, but generally speaking you will need a job offer to be eligible for most of these categories — except the International Post-Graduate.
For the BC PNP Tech in particular you need a full time job offer for one of 29 eligible occupations in the tech sector. The job offer should be for at least one year in duration with 120 calendar days remaining on the contract. B.C. holds invitation rounds every week for tech candidates. Some weeks they hold draws specifically for the tech program, other weeks it is amalgamated in a general draw.
If you are invited you will have 30 days to apply for the provincial nomination. Being invited does not guarantee you will receive the nomination, but if you do, you will have six months to use it toward a permanent residency application. In the meantime, you may be able to get a work permit support letter from the BC PNP, so that you can keep working legally in Canada while you wait for a decision.
As an Express Entry candidate with a provincial nomination, you automatically get 600 points added to your overall score. This will boost your profile to the top of the pool for a subsequent Express Entry draw, where you are very likely to receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence.
A note on expedited processing
The BC PNP only has the jurisdiction over its own provincial immigration program. It cannot expedite your final application for permanent residence, as that is in the hands of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
What the BC PNP can do, is offer options for immigration candidates to continue working in the province throughout the immigration application process. The Tech program is among the pathways that allow candidates to skip the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which can be a costly and lengthy process.
The BC PNP also offers work permit support letters for nominees so they can apply for a new work permit or renew their current status while they wait to get permanent residency.
The BC PNP prioritizes applications for people who have job offers in the 29 key technology occupations. Once you submit a complete application, your file will be assigned to a dedicated processing team within one business day.
The provincial government webpage says processing times for 80 per cent of BC PNP applications is 2-3 months from receipt, but Tech applications typically get processed in a shorter amount of time.
What are the 29 eligible occupations for BC PNP Tech?
If you work in one of these occupations, you may be eligible for the BC PNP Tech. Here is a complete list of the 29 eligible occupations in order of their National Occupational Classification (NOC) code.
- 0131 Telecommunication carriers managers
- 0213 Computer and information systems managers
- 0512 Managers - publishing, motion pictures, broadcasting and performing arts
- 2131 Civil engineers
- 2132 Mechanical engineers
- 2133 Electrical and electronics engineers
- 2134 Chemical engineers
- 2147 Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
- 2171 Information systems analysts and consultants
- 2172 Database analysts and data administrators
- 2173 Software engineers and designers
- 2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers
- 2175 Web designers and developers
- 2221 Biological technologists and technicians
- 2241 Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
- 2242 Electronic service technicians (household and business equipment)
- 2243 Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics
- 2281 Computer network technicians
- 2282 User support technicians
- 2283 Information systems testing technicians
- 5121 Authors and writers
- 5122 Editors
- 5125 Translators, terminologists and interpreters
- 5224 Broadcast technicians
- 5225 Audio and video recording technicians
- 5226 Other technical and co-ordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting and the performing arts
- 5227 Support occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting, photography and the performing arts
- 5241 Graphic designers and illustrators
- 6221 Technical sales specialists - wholesale trade
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