British Columbia PNP: Skilled Worker Immigration Pathway



Every year since 2016, British Columbia reveals the statistical reporting of its immigration pathways, particularly, its Provincial Nomination Program (BC PNP) for the interested audience to get a general briefing about prospective opportunities, forecasted numbers, regulations, and the like.

Developed in the year 2001 to significantly hand-select potential candidates and nominate even lesser of them for eventual permanent residency post immigration, the program permits nominees to apply via the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) for both, themselves as well as their respective dependants. The BC PNP is considered to be the sole stream for the allowance of provincial influence towards the selection of economic immigrants who wish to settle within the province.

The two major streams involved include the Skilled Immigration (SI) stream and the Entrepreneur Immigration (EI) stream. The main focus of this article shall be the former, which specially caters to the working class in possession of relevant and market-specific working experience, skills, and necessary qualifications in order to meet the requirements of B.C.

Skilled Immigration (SI) stream

More than about 99% of the BC PNP nominees apply via this Skilled Worker stream, the figures showing about 6,200 for the year 2020. Recently, the BC PNP authorities have developed a range of varied performance metrics, which are ways to assess the potential sparked within interested candidates applying through the Skilled Worker program. However, there are expected to be certain modifications in these measures as the years go by.

Some examples of such metrics include:

  • nominees who can prove their self-sufficiency and capability of contributing towards increasing the average income within their personal work sector.
  • nominee families wishing to immigrate with the preliminary aim of settling into affordable communities which are located out of B.C.’s major urban areas.

BC PNP focuses most of its attention and denotes top-most priority to those skilled employees who are capable of contributing their specialized expertise, knowledge, and skills towards the betterment and uplifting of the province as a whole.

Skilled Immigration Pathways

When discussing the Skilled Immigration (SI) stream, there are a total of 5 sub-categories, such as:

  • Skilled Workers
  • International Graduates
  • International Post-Graduates
  • Healthcare Professionals
  • Entry-Level and Semi-Skilled applicants

Except for the last category, the rest come along with the prominent option of Express Entry as a pathway. In this situation, candidates must mandatorily satisfy the criteria of the BC PNP along with those stated by the federal Express entry programs to accelerate the speed of their applications being processed.

Pool for Registration and ITAs (Invitations to Apply)

British Columbia makes use of a virtual model display of the points-based system called the EOI (Expression of Interest) to curate candidate profiles and subsequently manage the intake of applications and provide updates on their status. Here, potential applicants having a high match rate with the acceptability criteria are screened and taken ahead in the process.

Those interested are required to register without paying any fees through this online portal and receive a prominent scoring based on a list of selection factors like:

  • Job position
  • Language Proficiency Skills
  • Age Group
  • Working experience
  • Location of the potential job
  • Salary package as proposed by the potential B.C. employer
  • Educational background

Successful registrations get placed into an entrant pool, where they tend to remain for a period of one year. Voluntary withdrawal is permitted at all points in time. The BC PNP authorities have a frequent release of ITAs to those meeting most of the eligibility criteria, upon receival of which a period of 30 days is provided to proceed with applications. Approximately, 9000 ITAs were sent out to prospective applicants in the year 2020 alone. 2020 also witnessed a rise of 1.5% in applicants who accepted their ITAs in comparison to those applying without Express Entry.

BC PNP Tech/Tech Pilot Program

This novel pathway was launched for permitting potential employers within the province to streamline notable talent in order to address job-related gaps within the market space. Here, employers could screen applications from international skilled workers and lure potentially excellent ones towards permanent residency within the region. Ever since its launch in the month of May 2017, there has been a significant growth rate contributed to immigration in the province.

Geographical Origins

Asia accounts for a majority of the population of Skilled Workers applying for immigration, wherein approximately 60% of these come from South/Southeast or Central Asia. About 14% of these nominees also reside within Europe, while 10% are from Latin American regions. The top 3 source countries were found to be Indian, China and Brazil.

Job Positions

Recently, increased importance has been denoted upon the natural and applied sciences stream through this BC PNP SI stream, accounting for more than 25% of the 2020 nominees. However, a drop was observed amongst sales and services-related occupations due to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic which caused restrictions to be levied upon occupations like tourism, travel, retail, hospitality, and certain personalized services. The highest amount of nominees were found to belong to Natural and Applied Sciences, Business Administration, Finance, and Trades & Transportation.

Target Regions

The most popular destinations for potential immigration were found to be the developing regions of the Mainland/Southwest zones of the province. About 93% of nominees preferred migrating to the Metropolitan Vancouver regional district arena, with others moving to Vancouver Island, Thompson, and Cariboo to name a few.

Salary scale

Calculating median salary data as presented through fiscal reports, it was found that the average skilled worker got paid a package of about $74K while those applying via Express Entry as Skilled Workers got paid about $81K. The amounts for International graduates were about $50K and about $51K for Express Entry applicants. Entry-level and Semi-skilled employees bagged about $58K as their salary package.

The year 2020 reported a significant rise in these salaries when compared on an average and median scale. The reason for this was accounted towards the sudden pause of the COVID-19 pandemic mayhem.

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