The B.C. Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) provides a way to accelerate Permanent Resident applications for skilled and/or experienced workers and experienced business persons who want to settle in B.C. permanently. The program is administered by the province through the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training in collaboration with Citizen and Immigration Canada (CIC). For those attempting to fast-track the immigration process by way of the B.C. PNP, the applications and requirements vary according to the category under which application is made.
There are two components to the B.C. PNP: Strategic Operations and Business Immigration.
Strategic Operations is an employee driven program which is used to address skill shortages in the labour force. It aids B.C. employers in recruiting or retaining qualified foreign workers to meet labor needs. Nominees for Strategic Operations must have a job offer from a B.C. employer in an eligible occupation, (levels O, A and B of Canada’s National Occupation Classification Matrix, (NOC), and select level C and D jobs), or have completed a masters or doctorate degree at a B.C. post secondary institution in either the natural, applied or health sciences.
The Level O, A and B occupations are generally higher skilled jobs that require some formal training. Select entry level or semi-skilled workers (level C and D occupations) are also eligible for nomination.
Occupations in Skill Types 1 through to 9 are classified under Skill Levels A, B, C or D. Management occupations, which span all Skill Types, are found above the Skill Level categorization in the NOC Matrix.
Skill Level is referenced by the second digit of the NOC code. The second numeral in the NOC code for an occupation identifies the Skill Level as follows:
• 1 corresponds to Skill Level A
• 2 or 3 correspond to Skill Level B
• 4 or 5 correspond to Skill Level C
• 6 corresponds to Skill Level D
NOC Skill Types:
• 0 Management Occupations
• 1 Business, Finance and Administration Occupations
• 2 Natural and Applied Sciences and Related Occupations
• 3 Health Occupations
• 4 Occupations in Social Science, Education, Government Service and Religion
• 5 Occupations in Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport
• 6 Sales and Service Occupations
• 7 Trades, Transport and Equipment Operators and Related Occupations
• 8 Occupations Unique to Primary Industry
• 9 Occupations Unique to Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities
For international students studying at the graduate level at a publicly funded institution in the province, if they are offered employment in their field that is legitimate and the salary and conditions are standard, then a nomination can be granted. This is a helpful way of circumventing the federal regulation that skilled workers must have at least one year of work experience. Graduates of both four year degree programs and two year diploma programs are eligible as follows:
Acceptable 4 Year Programs:
Natural Sciences, Applied Sciences or Engineering
Computer Science, Information Systems or Digital Media
Business or Commerce
Acceptable 2 Year Programs:
Applies Sciences or Technologies or Engineering
Health Science or Technologies
Computer Science or Technologies, Information Systems or Digital Media
Business or Commerce
The Business Immigration component of the B.C. PNP accelerates the immigration process for investment-ready and qualified entrepreneurs ready to invest in and actively manage an eligible business in B.C. General guidelines are as follows:
• The business’ primary purpose is to earn profits from active income from the supply of products/services;
• The sustained commercial viability of the business must be feasible.
• The business needs to provide economic benefits to the province through one of the following avenues:
• increasing the exports of goods/services;
• increasing value-added manufacturing, processing, or primary resource activity;
• increasing tourism to the province;
• increasing research and development and technology commercialization;
• creating innovative approaches to traditional businesses;
• providing services to an underserved regional market;
• transferring skills, technology, and know-how to the province;
• succession plan buy-outs where eligible businesses are purchased from retiring owners.
There are three categories of Business Immigration:
1. Business Skills
2. Regional Business
3. Strategic Projects
Each category has different requirements for the minimum personal net worth of the applicant, the amount of investment, geographic location and number of Canadian employees in proposed business.
Applicants must have a personal net worth of $800,000, make a minimum investment of $400,000 to establish the business, and own at least one third of the equity in the business. Applicants must create a business plan that generates at least three jobs for Canadian citizens and be actively involved in the daily management of the business. In addition to the principal applicant, one foreign national may be included on the application as a staff member.
To be considered for this program, the business that the applicant invests in must be located outside of the Vancouver metropolitan areas and the Abbotsford metropolitan area. Applicants must have a personal net worth of $400,000, make a minimum investment of $200,000 in the business, and own at least one third of the equity in the business. The applicant must create at least one job for a Canadian citizen and be actively involved in the daily management of the business. Foreign staff may not be included on the application under this category.
This category aids existing foreign-controlled companies who wish to expand their business in B.C. Under this category, applicants may bring up to five professional, managerial or technical support staff members. Companies applying must make an equity investment of at least $500,000. For each foreign staff member included in the application, three jobs must be created for Canadian citizens.
Business Succession Plan Buy-Out
Applicants who commit to purchasing an existing business receive priority processing and a reduced job creation requirement. For example, in the Business Skills category, the job creation requirement is reduced by one. For applicants under the Regional Business category, the job creation requirement is dropped.