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Provincial Nomination Program (PNP)

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)

British Columbia is Canada’s westernmost province, located at the crossroads of the Pacific Ocean and the majestic Rocky Mountains. Through strategic immigration initiatives, British Columbia is committed to fostering a dynamic and prosperous community. BC Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) offers skilled professionals and seasoned entrepreneurs a pathway to permanent residency. This program is designed to attract highly skilled and in-demand talent, enabling them to build their careers, families, and futures in British Columbia.

The BC PNP has two main components

Skills Immigration: For workers and recent graduates with the skills, experience and qualifications needed by B.C. employers. There are five streams, each tailored to the skills, experience, and education of different people.

Entrepreneur Immigration: For experienced entrepreneurs who intend to create and actively manage a business in the province. This is a “temporary to permanent” immigration pathway. You will come to BC initially as a temporary resident and then apply for permanent residence after starting a business successfully. Currently there are three streams under Entrepreneur Immigration.

Skills Immigration streams and eligibility requirements


Skilled Worker

Job Offer

  • Full-time, indeterminate (no defined end date) under TEER 0, 1, 2 or 3
  • The job does not need to be indeterminate if it’s a priority technology occupation or a university professor or lecturer (NOC 41200).

Education

  • The educational requirements vary as per TEER level. 
  • Usually, university degree for TEER 0 and 1 occupations and high school and/or college diploma/certificate for TEER 2 and 3 occupation is required.

Experience

  • Minimum 2 years, full-time (or full-time equivalent) in TEER 0, 1, 2, or 3. 
  • May be from Canada or abroad within 10 years.
  • Experience obtained through a paid co-op is eligible if it meets the following criteria:
    • Co-op was full-time (minimum 30 hours per week).
    • Co-op experience is in TEER 0, 1, 2 or 3. 
    • You have successfully completed your program.
    • Work experience that is not part of a paid co-op term does not count.

  • To qualify, experience is not required to be directly related. However, to claim points under SIRS it must be directly related.
  • Express Entry BC applicants must have an IRCC Express Entry Profile Number and a Job Seeker Validation Code.

Language

TEER 0 or 1: Not required unless you claim language points.

TEER 2 or 3: CLB 4

 

Health Authority

Direct employees of a provincial health authority or physicians, nurse practitioners, or midwives with support from a provincial health authority may apply directly to the Health Authority stream. Workers not employed by a health authority must register in another stream. Those with job offers in targeted occupations may benefit from targeted invitations.

Job Offer

  • Full-time, indeterminate (no defined end date) under any TEER from BC public health authority, or be a physician, nurse practitioner or midwife. The job does not need to be indeterminate if it’s a priority technology occupation.

BC public health employees

Provincial Health Services Authority 
First Nations Health Authority 
Fraser Health 
Interior Health 
Island Health 
Northern Health 
Vancouver Coastal Health 
Providence Health Care 

Education

Meet the public health authority’s education, training, and qualification requirements.

Experience

  • Meet the public health authority’s experience, training, and qualification requirements.
  • Express Entry BC applicants must have an IRCC Express Entry Profile Number and a Job Seeker Validation Code.

Language

TEER 0 or 1: Not required unless you claim language points.

TEER 2, 3, 4 or 5: CLB 4


International
Graduate

Job Offer

  • Full-time, indeterminate (no defined end date) under TEER 1, 2 or 3
  • The job does not need to be indeterminate if it’s a priority technology occupation or a university professor or lecturer (NOC 41200).

Education

  • Degree, diploma, or certificate from an eligible public post-secondary institution in Canada in the past 3 years. Diplomas and Certificates from private institutions are not eligible.
  • Information about degree programs offered in BC and authorized degree programs offered by BC private institutions and theological schools can be found on the following websites.

Education Planner
Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training


Credentials obtained at campuses of Canadian institutions located outside of Canada are not eligible.

Experience

  • No minimum experience required. 
  • Express Entry BC applicants must have an IRCC Express Entry Profile Number and a Job Seeker Validation Code.

Language

TEER 1: Not required unless you claim language points.

TEER 2 or 3: CLB 4


International Post-
Graduate

Job Offer

No job offer required.

Education

A master’s or PhD degree from a BC institution in the natural, applied, or health sciences within the past three years. 

Master’s Level Programs

  • Agriculture, agriculture 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

Doctoral Level Programs

  • Any field at a BC public post-secondary institution.
  • A PhD in a professional or regulatory field, such as a Juris Doctor (J.D.) or an MD, is not eligible.

Experience

  • No minimum experience required. 
  • Express Entry BC applicants must have an IRCC Express Entry Profile Number and a Job Seeker Validation Code.

Language

No language requirements 


Entry Level and Semi-Skilled

Job Offer

Full-time, indeterminate (no defined end date) under TEER 4 or 5 in an eligible occupation in the tourism/hospitality, food processing sectors or in any occupation under TEER 4 or 5 (except live-in caregivers TEER 44100) if you are currently working in the Northeast Development Region. 

Education

Minimum high school 

Experience

Minimum 9 months of full-time and continuous experience in an eligible occupation with same employer who is extending a job offer.

9 months of qualifying experience may come from a different but eligible occupation with the same employer.

Language

CLB 4

 

General Employer Requirements for BCPNP

Minimum Number of Years in Operation in British Columbia

  • The employer must have operated in BC for at least one year (two years in the Entry Level and Semi-Skilled (ELSS) stream, including employment in the Northeast Development Region of BC).
  • Your employer must be in good standing and must have one of the following business structures:
    • Incorporated or extra-provincially registered.
    • Registered as a limited liability partnership in BC.
    • An eligible public sector or non-profit employer.

 

Valid Business Licence

  • Employers must have a valid business license for their BC location.
  • Employers who are exempt from licensing must provide a policy or regulation that allows this.
  • If a business is located on unincorporated land or on land belonging to a First Nation, the BCPNP may waive the license requirement.

 

Minimum Number of Full-Time Employees in British Columbia

  • If your employer is located within the Greater Vancouver Regional District, your employer must have at least 5 indeterminate, full-time employees (or full-time equivalents) in BC.
  • If your employer is located outside of the Greater Vancouver Regional District, your employer must have at least 3 indeterminate, full-time employees (or full-time equivalents) in BC.
  • Only individuals who are on the company’s payroll will be considered employees of the company. Your employer may be asked to submit a T4 Summary of Remuneration Paid to demonstrate that this requirement is met.

 

History of good workplace and business practices

Your employer must be financially sound and have a history of good workplace and business practices, including complying with all applicable BC. and federal employment, labour, immigration, health and safety laws and regulations. Your employer may be asked to provide financial statements prepared by a certified professional accountant.

Offer of employment 

The employer must provide a job offer for a full-time (minimum 30 hours per week) and indeterminate (no end date) position. Contract positions are not eligible. The onus is on the employer to demonstrate that the job offer is bona fide.

Wage/Salary

The wage stated in offer of employment must be at market rate and comparable to the rate paid to workers with a similar level of experience and training for equivalent jobs in BC and consistent with the wage compensation structure of the employer. The BC PNP do not consider bonuses, commissions, profit-sharing distributions, tips/gratuities, overtime wages, housing allowances, room and board, or other similar payments to be part of your wage.

Entrepreneur Immigration streams and eligibility requirements

Base streams

Minimum Personal Requirements

  • Active and ongoing management of the day-to-day business operations in BC
  • Demonstrated residence in BC within 100 kilometers of the business. The applicant must demonstrate BC residence for at least 75 percent of the time while on a work permit.
  • Admissibility to Canada. The applicant must not be prohibited from entering Canada; have been in Canada illegally; have an unresolved refugee claim in Canada or under a removal order in Canada.
  • Personal net worth of at least $600,000 CAD (including cash, assets in bank accounts, fixed deposits, real properties, investments, etc.) under the candidate’s name and/or candidate’s spouse’s name. The net worth must be legally obtained and verifiable.
  • A minimum of 2 years of post-secondary education or experience as an active business owner-manager with 100 percent ownership of the business for at least three of the past five years. The 100 percent ownership may be shared between the applicant, the applicant’s spouse, and any dependent children.
  • Work experience
  • The candidate must have enough knowledge and experience to successfully establish business in BC.
  • The candidate must have a minimum of more than three years of experience as an active business owner-manager, or
  • The candidate must have more than 4 years of experience as a senior manage, or a combination of at least one year of experience as an active business owner/manager and at least 2 years of experience as a senior manager.

 

Minimum Business Requirements

When registering, you’ll need a business idea. This idea gets scored on its potential, how well your skills match, and its economic benefits. A detailed business plan will be required if you are invited to apply. The BCPNP is open to various business arrangements, including starting new businesses, buying existing ones, forming partnerships, or teaming up with entrepreneurs. You should provide goods and/or services that will make profits and demonstrate a long-term potential for success. Franchise businesses are acceptable if they’re established brands. Buying an existing franchise is also an option, but you’ll need a plan to expand or improve it, meeting the franchiser’s standards. Seasonal businesses are only considered if they operate for at least eight months each year. This ensures a focus on profitable, sustainable, and well-structured business ventures.

 

Ineligible businesses

The BCPNP does not accept certain types of business. These include:

  • Businesses linked to immigration investment schemes.
  • Businesses with investment terms including a buy-back option.
  • Bed and breakfasts, hobby farms, and home-based businesses.
  • Financial services like payday loans, cheque cashing, money exchange, and ATM businesses.
  • Pawnbrokers and scrap metal recycling.
  • Coin-operated laundry and automated car washes.
  • Businesses primarily selling used goods, except those offering additional services like repairs or recycling.
  • Real estate, insurance, or business brokerage.
  • Businesses offering pornography, explicit materials, or sexually oriented services.
  • Any business that could negatively impact the BCPNP or British Columbia’s Government.

 

Additionally, the BC PNP excludes registrations for certain business types in regions with populations over 300,000. These include convenience stores, DVD rental stores, gasoline stations, personal dry-cleaning services, and tanning salons. This ensures the program supports diverse and ethically sound business ventures.

 

Minimum Investment Requirements

To register, the candidate must demonstrate that he/she will make an eligible personal investment of at least $200,000 CAD in the proposed business within 610 days (approximately 20 months) of arriving in BC on a BC PNP supported work permit. If proposing a key staff member, the candidate must demonstrate that he or she will make an eligible personal investment of $400,000 CAD.

 

Minimum Job Creation Requirements

Applicant must demonstrate that the business in BC will create at least one permanent new full-time equivalent job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in the proposed business as well as the likelihood of supporting long-term employment of Canadians or permanent residents in the business. Job creation requirements differ for candidates who proposed to include a key staff member on their application.

 

Invitation to Apply

Just meeting the basic eligibility criteria doesn’t ensure an invitation to apply for the BCPNP Entrepreneur Program. Candidates enter the selection process and are scored and ranked. Top-ranked candidates are invited to apply. If invited, you’ll have 4 months to submit a detailed application. There is a mandatory in-person interview at the BC PNP office in Vancouver in either English or French. Upon approval, you’ll receive a Letter of Confirmation, a support letter for a 2-year work permit, which will be issued by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) after submitting a separate work permit application. You’ll sign a performance agreement and have 20 months to implement your business proposal. If invited, you’ll also need to have your personal net worth and funds accumulation verified by a certified supplier as part of the nomination process.

Transition to Permanent Residence

If the applicant meets the requirements of the performance agreement within the 20 months, the BC PNP will nominate him/her for permanent residence. He/she, along with his/her dependent family members can then apply for permanent residence under the BC PNP with IRCC. Once the entrepreneur completes the terms of the performance agreement, he/she can submit a final report to the BC PNP to be issued a nomination certificate. The entrepreneur must demonstrate to the BC PNP that he/she:

  • Is actively managing a business (i.e., be accountable for the day-to-day operations of the business) in BC.
  • Resides within 100 kilometers of the business.
  • Has been physically present in BC for at least 75 percent of the time that he or she was on a work permit; and
  • Has complied with any other terms of the performance agreement.

Regional Pilot

Regional Pilot is for entrepreneurs who want to start a new business in participating regional communities across BC. To reflect the lower costs of starting a business and settling in regional communities with smaller populations, the personal net worth and investment criteria is lower than the existing Entrepreneur Immigration – Base Category (EI – Base Category)

 

Key features of the EI – Regional Pilot

Active community role: Participating communities have a key role in the pilot. They are actively involved in attracting foreign entrepreneurs to their community and working with local partners and existing networks to provide support for entrepreneurs settling into their communities.

Referral from the community: Participating communities may refer foreign entrepreneurs to the BC PNP whose business concept aligns with the community’s economic priorities. The foreign entrepreneur must be invited by the community to conduct an exploratory visit and present their concept to the community’s designated contact person prior to receiving a referral.

Community concierge: A dedicated BC PNP concierge service supports communities with immigration program information.

Invitations & prioritization: Foreign entrepreneurs who are referred by a participating community are placed in a separate registration pool dedicated to the pilot when they register. Regional pilot registrations and applications are prioritized.

Requirements

  • Applicant must start a new business and settle in a regional community with a population of fewer than 75,000 people.
  • Applicant must complete an exploratory visit to the community.
  • Minimum investment of $100,000 CAD in a qualifying business.
  • Personal net worth of at least $300,000 CAD.
  • Must own at least 51% of the company.
  • Business must create at least one new job.

Strategic Projects

This stream is for international companies planning major investments in BC. It allows these companies to bring up to 5 senior employees to BC to manage operations. These employees should be key to company growth and settle permanently. This stream is designed to foster international investment and job creation in BC, ensuring a win-win for both investing companies and the local economy.

 

Company Eligibility

  • Must be financially stable and well-established.
  • Ready to expand in BC.
  • Make a high value investment in BC that benefits the province.

 

Key Staff Eligibility

  • Must be senior employees crucial to starting and managing the BC branch.
  • Should take on executive, senior managerial roles, or have specialized knowledge vital for BC operations.
  • Must work full-time, permanently in BC, and be paid a salary matching their expertise.

 

Investment Requirements

  • The foreign corporation must invest at least $500,000 in BC operations.
  • Start a new business or buy and grow an existing one in BC.
  • For each key staff member, create three full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents, up to a total of 15 jobs for five key staff.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs )for H&C applications

The BCPNP is a pathway for skilled and semi-skilled workers, entrepreneurs, and other professionals to gain permanent residency in British Columbia, Canada, by contributing to the province’s economic growth.

The BCPNP consists of various categories, including Skills Immigration, Express Entry BC, and the Entrepreneur Immigration stream.

It primarily targets sectors like health care, technology, and other critical industries, offering pathways for workers with skills, experience, and qualifications needed by BC employers.

Yes, spouses/common-law partners and dependent children can be included in your nomination for permanent residency.

Language requirements vary by category. For TEER 0 and 1, it’s not mandatory unless claiming language points, whereas TEER 2 and 3 require a minimum of CLB 4.

Yes, under the International Graduate stream, if they have graduated from an eligible Canadian university or college and meet other criteria.

Yes, you can still qualify for the BCPNP. If you have received another indeterminate job offer from a new employer who meets all the BCPNP requirements, your application can continue to be processed. It’s crucial that your new employer fulfills the program’s employer criteria and the job offer aligns with your BCPNP category. It’s advisable to inform BCPNP about your change in employment situation and provide details of the new job offer to ensure your application remains valid and is processed accordingly.

Yes, a minimum personal investment of $200,000 CAD is required for the Base stream (or $400,000 CAD if proposing a key staff member).

Requirements vary but generally include a job offer from a BC employer, relevant work experience, and language proficiency and educational requirements based on the specific stream.

Express Entry BC offers 600 CRS points to eligible candidates if they are nominated, thus enabling them to apply for permanent residency.

Processing times vary based on the stream and application complexity, ranging from several weeks to several months.

Applicants must have a full-time, indeterminate job offer from a BC public health authority or be a designated health professional with support from a health authority.

The community actively refers entrepreneurs whose business concepts align with economic priorities and supports them in settling into the community.

Entrepreneurs must start a business in a regional community, meet specific criteria including a minimum investment, and create at least one new job.

Key staff must be senior employees crucial to the BC operation, take on executive or senior managerial roles, or possess specialized knowledge, and work full-time and permanently in BC.

The BC PNP may request financial statements, policy documents, and other proof to ensure employers are in good standing and meet workplace, business practices, and employee number requirements.

These services provide support and immigration program information to communities involved in the Regional Pilot.

Applicants must have a minimum of 2 years of full-time (or equivalent) experience in TEER 0, 1, 2, or 3 occupations, which may be from Canada or abroad.

No, applicants in this category do not require a job offer but must have completed a master’s or PhD degree in certain fields from a BC institution.

The wage must be at market rate, comparable to rates for similar jobs in BC, and consistent with the employer’s wage compensation structure.