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British Columbia immigration candidates who lose their job due to coronavirus will only be able to place their applications on hold until August 30, 2020, according to new rules announced Tuesday.

While applications can be held for up to 24 weeks, the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program says that period cannot go beyond the August 30 deadline.

A statement said the decision was “to align with the recent change to the temporary layoff provisions of the Employment Standards Act (ESA)”.

“Applicants whose employment has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are able to place their applications on hold for up to 24 weeks, but not beyond August 30, 2020,” the statement said.


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The BC PNP issued the following guidance for various scenarios:

  • Candidates whose employment situation has changed are required to immediately notify the BC PNP. If they have already applied, the application will be placed on hold.
  • Candidates whose employment situation has changed and have received an invitation to apply but not yet applied, can submit their application and then ask for it to be placed on hold.
  • Where a candidate does not meet program criteria at the end of the hold period, they should withdraw their application. If the application is not withdrawn, it will be assessed against program criteria and not refund will be given.
  • Candidates who were laid off and recalled to the same position and same employer before August 30, 2020, and within 24 weeks, will have their application assessed against program criteria.
  • Where candidates have a new job offer from a new employer, the new employer is required to demonstrate they have tried to recruit an existing Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

The BC PNP has continued to conduct weekly draws to invite skilled worker and international graduate candidates for its direct provincial and Express Entry-linked streams.

Officials have conducted both general draws and BC PNP Tech Pilot draws, which focus on 29 in-demand technology occupations.

The general draws have excluded 31 occupations which have recently received a high volume of invitations, as a response to the impact of coronavirus lockdowns.

Those occupations are:

  • 0621 – Retail and wholesale trade managers
  • 0631 – Restaurant and food service managers
  • 0632 – Accommodation service managers
  • 0651 – Managers in customer and personal services, n.e.c.
  • 3236 – Massage therapists
  • 6211 – Retail sales supervisors
  • 6311 – Food service supervisors
  • 6313 – Accommodation, travel, tourism and related services supervisors
  • 6321 – Chefs
  • 6322 – Cooks
  • 6341 – Hairstylists and barbers
  • 6421 – Retail salespersons
  • 6511 – Maîtres d’hôtel and hosts/hostesses
  • 6512 – Bartenders
  • 6513 – Food and beverage servers
  • 6521 – Travel counsellors
  • 6522 – Pursers and flight attendants
  • 6523 – Airline ticket and service agents
  • 6524 – Ground and water transport ticket agents, cargo service representatives and related clerks
  • 6525 – Hotel front desk clerks
  • 6531 – Tour and travel guides
  • 6532 – Outdoor sport and recreational guides
  • 6533 – Casino occupations
  • 6562 – Estheticians, electrologists and related occupations
  • 6564 – Other personal service occupations
  • 6611 – Cashiers
  • 6621 – Service station attendants
  • 6711 – Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations
  • 6721 – Support occupations in accommodation, travel and facilities set-up services
  • 6722 – Operators and attendants in amusement, recreation and sport
  • 6731 – Light duty cleaners
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