If you wish to immigrate to British Columbia as a skilled worker, then you have two options to choose from:
- Skills Immigration Stream
- Express Entry British Columbia Stream
Skills Immigration Stream
The Skills Immigration Stream is for skilled workers, healthcare professionals, international graduates and post-graduates as well as entry-level and semi-skilled workers. All candidates, except for international postgraduates, need to have a job offer or already work in BC. There are two streams in the general Skilled Workers category of BC’s PNP. Skilled Immigration is divided into the following five pathways:
Skilled immigration category
To be eligible for this stream, candidates must have a job offer from an employer in BC and must be able to demonstrate at least two years of experience in a skilled occupation that falls under NOC type 0, A or B.
Healthcare professionals category
This is a separate stream for those in healthcare occupations. There are 11 healthcare occupations that are eligible for this pathway and there are often targeted draws in BC for this stream in order to fill gaps in the labour force.
International graduates’ category
International graduates must have graduated from an eligible Canadian university in the past three years and have a job offer from a BC employer.
International postgraduates’ category
Postgraduates, or those with a master’s or doctoral degrees from an eligible Canadian university or college, do not require a job offer. However, they must have completed their education in natural, applied or health sciences.
Entry level and semi-skilled category
The Entry Level and Semi-Skilled Worker program targets candidates with experience in hospitality, tourism, food processing or long-haul trucking. Those in other semi-skilled or entry level occupations may be eligible for this stream if they are living and working in the Northeast Development Region of BC.
Express Entry British Columbia stream
Express Entry BC (EEBC) works with the federal government’s Express Entry immigration selection system, allowing eligible applicants to receive priority processing of both their BC PNP application and, if nominated, their permanent residence application. If an EEBC candidate receives a provincial nomination, they can include this with their IRCC application for 600 additional CRS points and an increased chance of being invited to apply for permanent residency.
The following Skills Immigration categories may be processed through Express Entry British Columbia:
- Skilled Worker Category
- Health Care Professional Category
- International Graduate Category
- International Post-Graduate Category
BC also offers a category for entrepreneurs. Under this category, candidates must choose one of three streams.
Base: Candidates who are senior managers or already business owners who plan to invest funds into a proposed business in BC
Regional Pilot: This program is for candidates who wish to establish a new business in a small community in British Columbia
Projects Category: This category is for foreign controlled companies or business to set up an operation with British Columbia. Through this program, up to five managerial, professional, or technical staff may receive provincial nomination
Candidates with an Express Entry profile can gain an additional 600 CRS points by receiving a Letter of Nomination from a province. A high CRS score is a huge advantage for those trying to get permanent resident status. In the most recent Express Entry draw held June 8, Canada invited 932 PNP candidates to apply with CRS scores of at least 796. This was the largest PNP draw since March 2 when Canada invited 1,047 PNP candidates. IRCC typically holds draws every two weeks on Wednesdays.