Immigrate to Canada without a job offer: British Columbia PNP

Alexandra Miekus
Published: December 11, 2021

If you have a graduate degree in science from an eligible British Columbia institution, you can get Canadian permanent residence without a job offer.

Science grads may be eligible to apply for a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) called the Skills Immigration - International Post-Graduate category.

Under this category, the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) gives priority to immigration candidates who have completed a master's or doctorate (PhD) degree in the following natural, applied, or health sciences programs:

  • agriculture;
  • biological and biomedical sciences;
  • computer and information sciences and support services;
  • engineering;
  • engineering technology;
  • health professions and related clinical sciences;
  • mathematics and statistics;
  • natural resources conservation and research;
  • physical sciences;

To meet the eligibility for this category, you will need to submit your application to BC PNP within three years of the date shown on your official transcript.

To be eligible under this stream, you must also be able to demonstrate that you have the intention and ability to live and work in B.C. This may be done, for example, by submitting evidence of your previous or current period of residence in the province. You can also send proof of your work, study or family ties to B.C. Another way is to submit a description of any steps you have taken to settle permanently, such as finding a job or a place to live, or community involvement.

Candidates applying under this stream do not need to have a profile in the federal Express Entry system to be eligible.

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Express Entry BC - International Post-Graduate Stream for priority processing

However, candidates who meet the eligibility requirements of the SkiIls Immigration - International Post-Graduate category and who also have an active Express Entry profile may be able to benefit from priority processing of both their BC PNP application and if nominated, their permanent residence application.

B.C. has a category that aligns with the federal government’s Express Entry immigration selection system called the Express Entry BC - International Post-Graduate.  Under this category, candidates must have a valid Express Entry profile number and an IRCC Express Entry job seeker validation code in addition to the base eligibility requirements.

In general, creating an Express Entry Profile has several advantages. Express Entry candidates who receive a nomination under provincial streams are awarded an additional 600 points toward their Express Entry ranking score, which effectively guarantees an ITA in a subsequent Express Entry invitation round held by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

In addition to British Columbia, almost all Canadian provinces and territories have at least one Provincial Nominee Program stream linked to the federal Express Entry system. Many of these PNPs do not require a job offer, including programs in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Nova Scotia.

Besides allowing Canada's provinces to draw you from the pool of candidates under their provincial streams, having an Express Entry profile also puts you in a position to receive an Invitation to Apply directly from IRCC under federal programs providing you meet Comprehensive Ranking System requirements.

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