British Columbia (BC) Skills Immigration

The BC PNP Skills Immigration streams are for people who are managers or skilled workers and/or who work in occupations that BC’s economy needs. These streams are separate from the BC Express Entry streams although the types of professionals or workers may be similar. This means that you deal directly with BC PNP’s online portal rather than first going through Express Entry. We will examine the BC Express Entry streams in the next blog.

 

General Requirements:

A BC employer has offered you a full-time indeterminate job. Indeterminate means there is no cut-off or end date to your job. It is NOT a temporary contract, in other words.

However, if your job offer is in one of 29 tech jobs listed below then you may have a job offer of only 1 year and it does not have to be indeterminate. This is part of the BC PNP Tech Pilot program. Please note that there must be 120 calendar days remaining on the job offer when you apply for a BC PNP nomination. In other words, you can apply for a BC PNP after you start a 1-year job in the occupations listed below as long as your application for a BC PNP nomination (which comes after you have registered with BC PNP and received an Invitation to Apply).

NOCJOB TITLE (only require a 1-year job offer under Tech Pilot program)
0131Telecommunications carriers manager
0213Computer and information systems manager
0512Managers – publishing, motion pictures, broadcasting & performing arts
2131Civil engineers
2132Mechanical engineers
2133Electrical & electronics engineers
2134Chemical engineers
2147Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
2171Information systems analysts and consultants
2172Database analysts and data administrators
2173Software engineers and designers
2174Computer programmers and interactive media developers
2175Web designers and developers
2221Biological technologists and technicians
2241Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
2242Electronic service technicians (household & business equipment)
2243Industrial equipment technicians and mechanics
2281Computer network technicians
2282User support technicians
2283Information systems testing technicians
5121 Authors and writers
5122Editors
5125Translators terminologists and interpreters
5224Broadcast technicians
5225Audio and video recording technicians
5226Other technical and coordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting and the performing arts
5227Support occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting and the performing arts
6221Technical sales specialists – wholesale trade

If your job offer is in NOC skill levels B, C, or D, you must have CLB/NCSC level 4. This Basic Proficiency where you can communicate simple needs, follow simple conversations with some effort, read simple instructions, and write simple emails, texts etc. The following table shows the equivalent scores in accepted language tests:

 ListeningReadingWritingSpeaking
IELTS4.53.54.04.0
CELPIP4444
TEF145121181181

You must meet minimum income requirements which is defined as your annual gross income and does NOT include things like bonuses or overtime. If your spouse or partner has a valid work permit or valid work authorization and is working, their gross annual income will also be included. The following table shows minimum income levels required by family size (dependents who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents are not included in family size) and by area of residence:

 

Family Income Threshold by Area of Residence

Size of FamilyGreater Vancouver Regional DistrictAnywhere else in BC
1CAD$22,804CAD$19,006
2CAD$28,390CAD$23,659
3CAD$34,902CAD$29,087
4CAD$42,376CAD$35,316
5CAD$48.062CAD$40,054
6CAD$54,205CAD$45,175
7 or moreCAD$60,350CAD$50, 296

 

BC PNP – Skilled Worker stream

This is for managers, professionals and skilled tradespeople. You must intend to live and work in the province of British Columbia if you apply through this stream.

 

Eligibility requirements:

  • Minimum 2 years full-time work experience in the same NOC occupation as your job offer. It cannot be part-time or free co-op work, but it can be either in Canada or abroad.
  • A letter on official company letterhead offering you a full-time indeterminate (with no end date) job from an eligible BC employer. The letter must include:
    • Job title and duties
    • Rate of pay and standard hours of work
    • Statement that position is indeterminate and full-time (at least 30 hours per week)
    • Any discretionary benefits like pensions and medical plans
    • Any collective agreements that the job is bound by
  • You must meet minimum language and income requirements as outlined above.
  • Your Employer must be permanently established in BC and must be:
    • Incorporated or extra-provincially registered, OR
    • Registered in BC as a limited liability partnership, OR
    • An eligible public or non-profit sector employer
  • Your employer must also have at least 5 full-time employees if in Greater Vancouver Regional District or at least 3 full-time employees if in the rest of BC.
  • Your employer must be financially sound and able to provide financial statements and have a history of good workplace and business practices.
  • Your employer must sign an employer declaration that they have been in business for 1 or 2 years (depending where in BC they are located) and they have complied with all federal and provincial regulations.
  • Your employer must demonstrate it has made efforts (advertising locally for at least 14 days) to recruit locally before hiring a foreign skilled worker.
  • Your employer must show your job offer does not have an end-date and that it offers a wage in line with market guidelines.
  • The following public sector and non-profit sector organizations are accepted:
    • Provincial and regional healthcare authorities and agencies
    • Public post-secondary educational and training institutions
    • Private, non-profit post-secondary institutions accredited or registered with Private Career Training Institutions of BC
    • Research institutions supported by the Federal government or the Provincial Government of BC doing research in:
      • Natural and applied sciences
      • Engineering
      • Computer and information systems
      • Health sciences
    • Federal/Provincial/Municipal organizations or agencies
    • Other non-profits such as charitable organizations
  • The following employers are NOT eligible:
    • Employers producing, distributing, or selling pornographic or sexually explicit products
    • Employers providing sexually oriented entertainments or services
    • Employment agencies unless establishing employer-employee relationship with the applicant
    • Any other type of business that would bring BC PNP or the Government of BC into disrepute

 

BC Skills Immigration – Healthcare Professional

  • If you are one of the following healthcare professionals, you may be eligible to apply for the Healthcare Professional stream:
    • Physician
    • Specialist physician
    • Registered nurse
    • Registered psychiatric nurse
    • Nurse practitioner
    • An allied healthcare professional such as:
      • Diagnostic medical sonographer
      • Clinical pharmacist
      • Medical laboratory technologist
      • Medical radiation technologist
      • Occupational therapist
      • Physiotherapist
    • Midwife – you must have letter of confirmation from an established practice group in BC

 

Eligibility requirements:

  • An offer of employment in one of the above healthcare professions from a Public Health Authority in BC. These are one of the following organizations:
    • The Provincial Health Services Authority
    • The Regional Health Authorities:
      • Fraser Health
      • Interior Health
      • Northern Health
      • Vancouver Coastal Health
      • Vancouver Island Health Authority
    • The First Nations Health Authority
  • The job offer must be on official company letterhead and include the following:
    • Be signed and dated by the company official hiring you and by you
    • Job title and duties
    • Rate of pay and hours of work
    • States that the position is indeterminate (no end-date) and full-time (min 30 hours per week)
    • States any additional discretionary benefits such as pension and medical plans
    • Whether your position is covered by a collective agreement
  • A minimum of 2 years work experience in the occupation your job offer is in.
  • Evidence that you meet the language and income requirements listed above in the general requirements

Go to Health Match BC to get more information about the healthcare job market in BC and available opportunities in order to find a possible job offer from a public health authority.

 

BC Skills Immigration – International Graduate

This is for international students who have graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution and may be eligible for this BC PNP stream.

 

Eligibility requirements:

  • You must have a degree, diploma, or certificate from an eligible Canadian post-secondary institution obtained within 3 years of the date you apply. It can NOT be a distance-learning educational institution.
    • A diploma or certificate from a private institution is NOT eligible.
    • ESL language training diplomas or certificates are NOT eligible.
    • A degree can be from any Canadian post-secondary institution authorized to grant degrees
  • A job offer for a full-time, indeterminate (no end date) job in a position that typically requires a university degree and is at a market wage.
    • The job must be NOC skill type 0, or skill level A, or B
    • You must demonstrate that you have the work experience for a manager or supervisor job offer.
  • A letter on official company letterhead offering you a full-time indeterminate (with no end date) job from an eligible BC employer. The letter must include:
    • Job title and duties
    • Rate of pay and standard hours of work
    • Statement that position is indeterminate and full-time (at least 30 hours per week)
    • Any discretionary benefits like pensions and medical plans
    • Any collective agreements that the job is bound by
  • You must meet minimum income and language requirements. If your job is NOC skill level B, then you must achieve CLB/NCSC 4 as shown above in the general requirements. You may be asked to provide a language test result even if your job is NOC 0, or A.

 

BC Skills Immigration – International Post-Graduate

This is for international students who have graduated with a Master’s or Doctoral (PhD) degree from a BC post-secondary institution in the following programs of study:

  • Natural sciences
  • Applied sciences
  • Health sciences

 

Eligibility requirements:

  • A master’s or doctoral degree obtained from an eligible post-secondary institution in BC, within 3 years of applying, in one of the following programs of study:
    • Agriculture, agricultural operations and related sciences
    • Biological and biomedical sciences
    • Computer and information sciences and support services
    • Engineering
    • Engineering technology and engineering-related fields
    • Health professions and related programs
    • Mathematics and statistics
    • Natural resources conservation
    • Physical sciences
  • NO job offer is required
  • You must provide evidence of your ability and intent to live and work in BC with the following as examples of proof of ability and intent to live and work in BC:
    • Previous residence in BC
    • Connections through work, study, or family
    • Job searches or searches for a place to live in BC with indications of date you will reside in BC if not currently living in BC
    • Current employment in BC
    • Community involvement
    • Plans to obtain work permits/authorization to live and work in BC

 

BC Skills Immigration – Entry Level and Semi-Skilled (ELSS)

You may be eligible if you are living and working in BC in one of the following industries in occupations which are normally NOC C or D:

  • Tourism/hospitality
  • Long-haul trucking
  • Food processing
  • OR if you are living in the Northeast Development Region of BC in any entry-level or semi-skilled occupation other than live-in caregiver.

 

Eligibility requirements:

  • Have a minimum of 9 months full-time, paid work experience with the BC employer who is supporting your ELSS application
    • BC PNP may allow you to change occupations with the same employer or to be promoted to an NOC skill level B as long as you already qualified for ELSS
  • Have a written job offer from a BC employer for a full-time, indeterminate job in the above-listed industries in an NOC C or D skill level at a wage that meets industry standards.
  • A letter on official company letterhead offering you a full-time indeterminate (with no end date) job from an eligible BC employer. The letter must include:
    • Job title and duties
    • Rate of pay and standard hours of work
    • Statement that position is indeterminate and full-time (at least 30 hours per week)
    • Any discretionary benefits like pensions and medical plans
    • Any collective agreements that the job is bound by
  • Evidence that you meet minimum income requirements as listed above in the general requirements
  • A copy of your secondary (high school) diploma, certificate, or transcript in Canada or abroad
  • Long-haul truck drivers must have a valid BC Class 1 driver’s license valid for the full 9 months of their work experience and any required certification and an air-brake endorsement
  • You must have CLB/NCSC 4 as outlined in the general requirements listed above
  • In the Northeast Development Region of BC you are not restricted to the occupations listed above, most NOC C or D occupations are eligible in the Northeast Development Region.

The following table lists the specific occupations eligible under ELSS in BC:

 

Occupations in Travel & Accommodation

NOCOccupation
6525Hotel Front Desk Clerks
Tour and Recreational Guides and Casino Occupations
6531Tour and Travel Guides
6532Outdoor Sport and Recreational Guides
6533Casino Occupations
Occupations in Food and Beverage Service
6511Maitres d’hotel Hosts/Hostesses
6512Bartenders
6513Food and Beverage Servers
6711Food Counter Attendants, Kitchen Helpers, and Related Occupations
Cleaners (Employed Directly by Hotels/Resorts)
6731Light Duty Cleaners
6732Specialized Cleaners
6733Janitors, Caretakers, and Building Superintendents
6721Support Occupations in Accommodation, Travel and Facilities Set-Up Services
Other Service Occupations (Employed Directly by Hotels/Resorts)
6741Dry Cleaning, Laundry, and Related Occupations
6742Other Service Support Occupations
Food Processing
9461Process Control and Machine Operators, Food and Beverage Processing
9462Industrial Butchers and Meat Cutters, Poultry Preparers and Related Workers
9463Fish and Seafood Plant Workers
9465Testers and Graders, Food, Beverage and Associated Products Processing
9617Labourers in Food, Beverage and Associated Products Processing
9618Labourers in Fish and Seafood Processing
Long-haul Truck Drivers
7511Long-haul Truck Drivers

 

How to Apply

Having outlined the general and stream-specific requirements, let’s now look at the process of applying step by step.

 

Step 1: Decide whether to use a representative

Representatives can be paid or unpaid.

  • A paid representative must be a member in good standing with the ICCRC (Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council) with the Law Society of BC or another Canadian law society (including the Nova Scotia Barrister’s Society and the Chambres des Notaires du Quebec).
  • An unpaid representative is any representative that does not charge any fees or any kind of compensation. They can include friends and family members.
  • You are not required to use a representative and can instead decide to manage the entire process yourself.
  • Don’t forget to fill out a Use of a Representative form which you can find here.
  • If your employer is using a representative they should use the appropriate form which can be found here.

 

Step 2: Registration

Registration is free, and it involves creating an online profile at BCPNP Online which will then be graded (much like an Express Entry profile receives a CRS score). In the case of BC Skills Immigration, a scoring system called SIRS is used to grade your profile. The key factors that SIRS takes into account are:

  • NOC skill level/type of your job offer
  • Wage you are offered
  • Location of your job
  • Directly related work experience
  • Level of education
  • Language proficiency

Please note that only the following BC Skills Immigration streams need to register online:

  • Skilled Worker
  • International Graduate
  • Entry Level and Semi-Skilled Worker (ELSS)

The following BC Skills Immigration streams do NOT have to register online and can instead apply directly at BCPNP Online for a provincial nomination:

  • Healthcare professional
  • International Post-Graduate

To register you first create an online profile at BCPNP Online and then fill out the registration form.

 

Step 3: Invitation

Periodically, BCPNP will issue invitations to candidates with the highest-ranking scores. Go here for information on previous draws for invitations. If you are invited to apply you have 30 days to submit a completed application for a nomination at BCPNP Online.

Please remember that an invitation to apply is not a guarantee of getting a nomination. You must successfully complete the rest of the application process and be deemed a good fit for BC’s economy in order to be nominated.

 

Step 4: Application

When you receive an Invitation to Apply you must then fill out an online application at BCPNP Online. The Technical Guide found here helps you with each field in the online form. You must ensure that the information is truthful and accurate, or your application may be rejected. If your application is approved, you will receive a provincial nomination worth 600 points that you can then use to apply for permanent residence in BC.

 

Step 5: Nomination

If you are nominated, you or your representative will receive the following:

  • A confirmation of nomination
  • A nomination package with instructions on how to proceed in order to apply for permanent residence to the IRCC

If you need a work permit in order to continue working while your application for permanent residence is being processed, you may request a Work Permit Support Letter only if the following conditions are met:

  • You have been nominated by BCPNP
  • You submitted your application for permanent residence to IRCC before your nomination certificate expired
  • You continue to meet the conditions for nomination
  • Your current work permit expires within 120 days

Email your request for a Work Permit Support Letter to the following address: PNPPostNom@gov.bc.ca