British Columbia invited 140 tech workers to apply for a provincial nomination on February 15. The invitations were issued through the BC PNP Tech, which is a stream under the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP).
The BC PNP is an economic immigration pathway used by the province of British Columbia to attract experienced, high-demand foreign workers. The program gives people who choose to live and work in British Columbia a path to permanent residence.
Candidates invited through BC’s Tech draws must meet the requirements of one of British Columbia’s Express Entry BC and Skills immigration categories, which are managed through the Skills and Immigration Registration System (SIRS). Candidates who received invitations in this draw were from the Skilled Worker and International Graduate subcategories and needed a minimum provincial score of 85.
Invited candidates now have 30 calendar days to apply for the nomination.
BC PNP Tech program
The BC PNP Tech was launched in May 2017 as a pilot project following a labour market study, which found that access to talent was the biggest issue facing BC’s technology sector. Given the success of the project, BC made it a permanent program. It is designed to enable employers in British Columbia’s technology sector to continue to attract and select international talent when qualified workers are not available locally.
More specifically, the BC PNP Tech is a fast-track immigration pathway for in-demand tech workers and international students. Candidates need to be registered in one of BC’s existing provincial immigration streams and have a valid job offer of at least 12 months in one of 29 eligible occupations to qualify for the stream.
Unlike other BC PNP streams, job offers under the BC PNP Tech must be for a minimum of one year, with at least 120 days remaining at the time of application to the BC PNP. It must also be full-time and from an eligible employer in the province.
Invitations through the province’s tech program are sent out weekly to the top-scoring candidates who meet the eligibility requirements. Candidates who are invited to apply for a provincial nomination will need to submit a complete application. Once this is done, most tech applications will be processed within two to three months.
If they are approved, candidates will receive a nomination confirmation that can be used to apply for permanent residence from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) under the Provincial Nominee Program Class.
PNP candidates automatically earn 600 points for their score in the Comprehensive Ranking System and thus have a very good chance of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence through the Express Entry system.