Submitted by BC Government
B.C. has introduced a new immigration stream under its Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) called Express Entry British Columbia. This new stream will work in tandem with Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) new Express Entry application system, introduced on Jan. 1, 2015, allowing eligible applicants to receive priority processing of both their B.C. PNP application, and if nominated, their permanent residence application.
The new Express Entry British Columbia stream has several benefits for B.C.’s economic and labour market priorities, including:
• Faster processing time for skilled workers to gain permanent residence in B.C.
• Giving employers a key role in selecting skilled immigrants, as most Express Entry British Columbia applicants are required to have a job offer from a B.C. employer.
• Allowing B.C. to nominate 1,350 more skilled applicants this year than in 2014 as part of an increased provincial nominations quota under the federal Express Entry system.
Express Entry British Columbia requires applicants to meet the minimum criteria for one of B.C.’s three new categories:
1. Express Entry British Columbia – Skilled Workers (including Health Care Professionals)
2. Express Entry British Columbia – International Graduates
3. Express Entry British Columbia – International Post Graduates
A part of these new requirements includes satisfying CIC’s criteria for one of its three federal economic immigration programs via the new federal Express Entry system including the:
1. Federal Skilled Worker Program
2. Federal Skilled Trades Program
3. Canadian Experience Class
These federal categories include meeting a mandatory language proficiency level, demonstrating sufficient funds to support the applicant and their family, and may also include an independent educational credential assessment for equivalency with Canadian standards.
The Express Entry British Columbia stream is effective immediately, and does not impact any of the existing categories under B.C.’s current Skills Immigration stream, including the Entry-Level or Semi-Skilled category, or the Northeast Pilot Project.
By 2022, B.C. expects one million job openings throughout the province. Through B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, government is re-engineering B.C.’s education system to ensure British Columbians have the skills needed to be first in line for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
Where British Columbians are not available, however, Express Entry British Columbia supports the goals of the Skills for Jobs Blueprint by creating more pathways to permanent residency for skilled workers from around the world who want to live and work in British Columbia.
“Our priority is to have British Columbians first in line for jobs, however we know that economic immigration will play a key role in meeting the labour demands of a growing economy,” says Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour. “Express Entry British Columbia will provide a more streamlined process and another pathway to permanency for skilled workers from around the world who wish to make B.C. their home.”
The B.C. PNP is an economic immigration program administered jointly by the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). PNP allows B.C. to select economic immigrants for permanent residence based on provincial labour market and economic development needs, priorities and selection criteria. CIC sets annual national immigration and provincial/territorial nominations targets. CIC retains final selection authority and has sole authority to determine admissibility of nominees and eligible family members, and to issue visas.