All You Need To Know About Immigrating To Canadian Province of British Columbia

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All You Need To Know About Immigrating To Canadian Province of British Columbia
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Canada immigration news: British Columbia is poised to welcome more new permanent residents by the end of the year than it did in the last full year before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Despite the public health restrictions that impeded international travel for much of this year, the West Coast province received 45,990 new permanent residents in the first nine months of this year, already up more than 61.4 per cent over the 28,490 for all of 2020.

At the current rate of immigration to British Columbia, the province could hit 61,320 new permanent residents this year, up almost 22.1 per cent from the 50,230 new permanent residents in 2019, the last full year before COVID-19 was first detected in Canada.


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This year’s higher immigration level is more in keeping with the long-term trend in British Columbia.

Growing by slightly more than 6.5 per cent from 35,735 new permanent residents in 2015 to 38,075 the following year, British Columbia immigration nudged up a few hundred permanent residents in 2017 to 38,445.

The following year, immigration spiked up a further 16.7 per cent to hit 44,870 new permanent residents and then rose another 11.9 per cent in 2019.

That was the year the province launched its British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program Entrepreneur Immigration (EI) Regional Pilot to attract immigrant entrepreneurs to smaller regional centres in the province.

It seems to be working.

“Over the past two years, the pilot has demonstrated its ability to attract entrepreneurs from around the world and to contribute to regional economic development needs, despite the impacts of COVID-19,” British Columbia immigration has claimed in a statement.

Although the pandemic closed borders and put a damper on air travel, British Columbia was still able to welcome 300 new permanent residents under its business class of economic immigration programs from the start of last year to the end of August this year, data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reveals.

Under the BC PNP EI Regional Pilot, foreign entrepreneurs interested in starting a new business in a smaller community can qualify if they:

  • establish an eligible new business aligned with the priorities of the referring community;
  • show business and/or management experience;
  • have a personal net worth of at least $300,000;
  • make an eligible personal investment of at least $100,000 in the business;
  • create at least one new full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
  • demonstrate a minimum language proficiency of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4;
  • have, or are eligible for, legal immigration status in Canada, and;
  • have been lawfully admitted in the country where they currently live.

Entrepreneur Immigration Extended For Three Years

The original, two-year pilot was extended in late March this year for another three years, until March 31, 2024, to help communities welcome new entrepreneurs to their regions, and be well-positioned to support economic recovery post-pandemic.

As 2021 comes to an end, so too is the last wave of COVID-19 in British Columbia.

That means the province’s economy is picking back up. In mid-November, the Indeed.ca job website had more than 76,000 positions up for grabs in British Columbia, with roughly 22,000 of these having been posted within the previous two weeks.

In partnership with the IRCC, British Columbia operates its PNP as a two-stage process with three major categories of programs.

Immigration Under BC PNP A Two-Stage Process

Under the two-stage process, applicants seek to be nominated by the provincial government, and then, if nominated, they can apply for permanent residence to the federal government.

The three major categories for immigration under the PNP are: Skills Immigration; Express Entry BC, and; Entrepreneur Immigration. Each category has its own streams.

The Skills Immigration category targets skilled and semi-skilled workers in high-demand occupations in BC and is further divided into five components:

  • Skilled Workers;
  • Healthcare Professionals;
  • International Graduates;
  • International Post-Graduates, and;
  • Entry-level and semi-skilled workers.

The Express Entry streams, through periodic draws, enable the province to nominate qualified candidates for admission to Canada under the federal Express Entry immigration system, including:

  • Skilled workers;
  • Healthcare Professionals;
  • International Graduates, and;
  • International Post-Graduates.

The Entrepreneur category is aimed at high net worth individuals who wish to invest and operate a business in British Columbia and eventually settle in the province. It has the following three streams:

  • Entrepreneur Stream;
  • Entrepreneur – Regional Pilot, and;
  • Strategic Projects.

The province also has its BC PNP Tech program which allows British Columbia immigration officials to expedite the processing of immigration candidates for in-demand technology occupations.

BC PNP Tech Targets Candidates Applying For 29 Occupations

Through weekly draws, invitations are issued to candidates with work experience in one of 29 eligible occupations in the BC technology sector.

BC PNP Tech prioritizes technology sector applications under existing BC immigration streams. Candidates must still meet the basic requirements of an applicable British Columbia immigration category or stream, including a minimum one-year job offer from an employer in the province.

Eligible categories under the BC PNP Tech program include:

  • Skilled Workers;
  • Healthcare Professionals;
  • International Graduates;
  • International Post-Graduates, and;
  • Entry-Level and Semi-Skilled Workers.

The BC PNP estimates a processing time of two to three months for nomination applications under Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC.

For applications under Entrepreneur Immigration, the BC PNP estimates a six-week processing time from the date of registration, for the Registration Score Notification stage. Another four-week processing time must be calculated from the date of submission of supplication until the decision notification (at the work permit stage).

At the federal level, IRCC currently processes provincial non-Express Entry nominee applications within 15 to 19 months. For the Express Entry streams, the general average of six months applies.

The province’s immigration department itself publishes a list of the 105 most in-demand occupations based on their National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes under five categories.

The job categories are:

  • high demand occupations in management usually requiring a combination of education and work experience;
  • high demand occupations usually requiring bachelor’s, graduate or first professional degree;
  • high demand occupations usually requiring diploma, certificate or apprenticeship training;
  • high demand occupations usually requiring high school and/or occupation specific training, and;
  • high demand health occupations.

Here are those occupations:

High Demand Occupations in Management Usually Requiring a Combination of Education and Work Experience

NOC code

Occupation Title

0012

Senior government managers and officials

0013

Senior managers – financial, communications and other business services

0014

Senior managers – health, education, social and community services and membership organizations

0015

Senior managers – trade, broadcasting and other services

0016

Senior managers – construction, transportation, production and utilities

0111

Financial managers

0112

Human resources managers

0113

Purchasing managers

0114

Other administrative services managers

0121

Insurance, real estate and financial brokerage managers

0122

Banking, credit and other investment managers

0124

Advertising, marketing and public relations managers

0125

Other business services managers

0211

Engineering managers

0212

Architecture and science managers

0213

Computer and information systems managers

0412

Government managers – economic analysis, policy development and program administration

0414

Other managers in public administration

0421

Administrators – post-secondary education and vocational training

0422

School principals and administrators of elementary and secondary education

0423

Managers in social, community and correctional services

0512

Managers – publishing, motion pictures, broadcasting and performing arts

0513

Recreation, sports and fitness program and service directors

0601

Corporate sales managers

0621

Retail and wholesale trade managers

0631

Restaurant and food service managers

0632

Accommodation service managers

0651

Managers in customer and personal services

0712

Home building and renovation managers

0714

Facility operation and maintenance managers

0731

Managers in transportation

0821

Managers in agriculture

0912

Utilities managers

High Demand Occupations Usually Requiring Bachelor’s, Graduate or First Professional Degree

NOC Code

Occupation Title

1111

Financial auditors and accountants

1112

Financial and investment analysts

1113

Securities agents, investment dealers and brokers

1114

Other financial officers

1121

Human resources professionals

1122

Professional occupations in business management consulting

1123

Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations

2131

Civil engineers

2147

Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)

2151

Architects

2171

Information systems analysts and consultants

2173

Software engineers and designers

2174

Computer programmers and interactive media developers

2175

Web designers and developers

4011

University professors and lecturers

4021

College and other vocational instructors

4032

Elementary school and kindergarten teachers

4112

Lawyers

4151

Psychologists

4152

Social workers

4153

Family, marriage and other related counselors

4161

Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers

4163

Business development officers and marketing researchers and consultants

4165

Health policy researchers, consultants and program officers

5121

Authors and writers

5131

Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations

High Demand Occupations Usually Requiring Diploma, Certificate or Apprenticeship Training

NOC Code

Occupation Title

1212

Supervisors, finance and insurance office workers

1215

Supervisors, supply chain, tracking and scheduling co-ordination occupations

1221

Administrative officers

1222

Executive assistants

1223

Human resources and recruitment officers

1224

Property administrators

1241

Administrative assistants

1242

Legal administrative assistants

1243

Medical administrative assistants

1311

Accounting technicians and bookkeepers

1312

Insurance adjusters and claims examiners

1315

Customs, ship and other brokers

2242

Electronic service technicians (household and business equipment)

2271

Airline pilots, flight engineers and flying instructors

2281

Computer network technicians

2282

User support technicians

4211

Paralegal and related occupations

4212

Social and community service workers

4214

Early childhood educators and assistants

4311

Police officers (except commissioned)

4312

Firefighters

4313

Non-commissioned ranks of the Canadian Armed Forces

5221

Photographers

5241

Graphic designers and illustrators

5254

Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness

6211

Retail sales supervisors

6221

Technical sales specialists – wholesale trade

6231

Insurance agents and brokers

6232

Real estate agents and salespersons

6235

Financial sales representatives

6341

Hairstylists and barbers

7315

Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors

7321

Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers

High Demand Occupations Usually Requiring High School and/or Occupation Specific Training

NOC Code

Occupation Title

1414

Receptionists

1511

Mail, postal and related workers

1512

Letter carriers

1513

Couriers, messengers and door-to-door distributors

4411

Home childcare providers

4412

Home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations

6513

Food and beverage servers

7513

Taxi and limousine drivers and chauffeurs

High Demand Health Occupations

NOC Code

Occupation Title

3012

Specialty registered nurses

3111

Geriatricians

3111

Psychiatrists

3111

Dermatologists

3112

Family physicians

3124

Nurse Practitioners

3142

Physiotherapists

3143

Occupational therapists

3214

Perfusionists

3216

Sonographers

3233

Licensed practical nurses

3234

Paramedics

3413

Health care assistants

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