British Columbia to pause PNP draws for a month

Edana Robitaille
Published: September 30, 2022

British Columbia will be pausing draws in the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) between October 12 and November 16, 2022. While this would not be unusual for some provinces, British Columbia typically holds PNP draws every week.  

As Canada updates its National Occupation Classification (NOC) system the first major NOC update since 2016, Provincial Nominee Programs across Canada may need to make some changes to ensure a smooth transition for candidates. 

BC PNP candidates who have applications in the pool after October 12 will be removed and will need to resubmit their application when the system re-opens again in November. If a candidate is invited on or before October 12, they still have 30 days to submit their application, which will be evaluated using NOC 2016 (the current) criteria. The BC government says application processing times are anticipated to remain within the service standard of 3 months for 80% of applications. 

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There are some exceptions to the pause. The province will continue to issue ITAs under the Entrepreneur Immigration program and candidates applying under Health Authority, International Post-Graduate categories can continue to submit applications until Nov. 13, 2022. 

Changes under NOC 2021 

Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC) system acts as a major component of evaluating candidates who wish to come to Canada under an economic class program, such as Express Entry or a Provincial Nominee Program. These programs target skilled immigrants who wish to enter Canada’s workforce.  

The NOC breaks down employment activities in Canada to help understand the nature of the Canadian labour market, run government programs, promote skills development, conduct research, and help Canada manage its immigration and foreign worker programs. 

Approximately every five years, the federal government makes updates to the NOC and overhauls the system every ten years. Changes to the NOC reflect changes to the Canadian economy and labour market. 

Under the current approach under NOC 2016, categorizing jobs is based solely on a candidate’s type of employment and splits occupations into four categories ranging from management positions to low-skilled.  

The new system will categorize jobs into six levels based on a new Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) system. Statistics Canada explains that this new structure will place more emphasis on a candidate’s transferable skills and abilities rather than their occupational experience.  

TEER 0
  • Management occupations.
TEER 1
  • Completion of a university degree (bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate); or
  • Several years of experience in a specific occupation from TEER category 2 (when applicable).
TEER 2
  • Completion of a post-secondary education program of two to three years at community college, institute of technology or CÉGEP; or
  • Completion of an apprenticeship training program of two to five years; or
  • Occupations with supervisory or significant safety (police officers and firefighters) responsibilities; or
  • Several years of experience in a specific occupation from TEER category 3 (when applicable).
TEER 3
  • Completion of a post-secondary education program of less than two years at community college, institute of technology or CÉGEP; or
  • Apprenticeship training of less than 2 years; or
  • More than six months of on-the-job training, training courses or specific work experience with some secondary school education; or
  • Several years of experience in a specific occupation from TEER category 4 (when applicable).
TEER 4
  • Completion of secondary school; or
  • Several weeks of on-the-job training with some secondary school education; or
  • Several years of experience in a specific occupation from TEER category 5 (when applicable).
TEER 5
  • Short work demonstration and no formal educational requirements.

BC invites more than 258 candidates in weekly PNP draw 

More than 258 candidates were invited to apply for provincial nomination in British Columbia on September 28. 

Most candidates, 215, were invited in a targeted draw for tech occupations. The invitations were issued to candidates in the Skilled Worker and International Graduates categories and included Express Entry candidates. 

Candidates who were invited in the target tech draw had minimum SIRS scores of 100. SIRS acts much like the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) but is only used for British Columbia’s PNP. 

The province also held rounds of invitations for candidates working in the following occupations. 

  • 28 early childhood educators and assistants (NOC 4214) with scores of at least 60 points; and 
  • 15 Healthcare workers from the Skilled Worker, International Graduate, Entry Level and Semi-Skilled (includes EEBC option) with scores of at least 60 points 
  • Healthcare assistants from the Entry Level and Semi-Skilled category with minimum scores of 60 and;  
  • Other priority occupations with minimum scores of 60 

About the PNP 

The PNP was established in 1998 to encourage newcomers to settle outside of urban centres in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia and distribute the benefits of immigration throughout the entire country. 

The program now welcomes over 80,000 new permanent residents a year to Canada. Candidates can apply through Express Entry (enhanced nomination) or directly to provincial governments. If a candidate applies as part of their Express Entry program and is successful in getting provincial nomination, they automatically receive an additional 600 points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), making it highly likely they will receive an Invitation to Apply from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). 

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