The diverse and welcoming city of Vancouver, British Columbia, is the third-largest in Canada. The province itself features an economy that is based around mining, forestry, and natural resources. British Columbia is a notably beautiful region with attractive natural features and is popular with immigrants seeking permanent residence.
The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) is the province’s immigration program. Immigrants with relevant skills may be invited by the government of the province to apply for the British Columbia Provincial Nomination Certificate. Once awarded, the candidate can apply for permanent residence in the province via one of two main pathways. These are:

  • Skills Immigration
  • Entrepreneur Immigration

The Skills Immigration pathway includes the Express Entry process. Each of the streams includes several options for specific applicants.

Skills Immigration

The Skills Immigration pathway is split as follows:

Skilled Worker Category – Candidates who have a valid job offer in Canada in a skilled position, and who can demonstrate several years of experience in that role, may apply via this pathway.

Healthcare Professional – There are 11 qualifying healthcare positions that qualify for this category. Should a candidate have a valid job offer in one of them, they are entitled to apply.

International Graduate – Graduates from recognized British Columbia universities who obtained their qualification in the past three years and have a valid job offer in the province may use this pathway.

International Post-Graduate – Persons with Masters or Doctorate degrees from recognized Canadian universities may apply via this route, without the need for a job offer.

Entry Level and Semi-Skilled – Those living in British Columbia and working in one of many semi-skilled positions – including long haul truckers, hospitality workers, and more – may qualify for this pathway.

All but the Entry Level pathways are aligned with the Express Entry system.

Entrepreneur Immigration

There are three pathways for persons intending to settle and invest in British Columbia. These are:

Entrepreneur Immigration Category – for persons intending to invest in a proposed business in the province.

Entrepreneur Immigration Regional Pilot – for persons willing to establish a new business in a small community in BC

Strategic Projects – Foreign companies may use this pathway when setting up a branch in British Columbia and nominate five key members for permanent residence.

Each of the above has specific criteria which must be met.

Express Entry

Applicants recognized as being valuable to British Columbia’s economy who have entered a profile in the Express Entry scheme may be awarded a Notification of Interest (NOI) by the province. They are then entered into the Express Entry pool. Should they be pulled from the Express Entry pool they are then awarded an Invitation to Apply (ITA) and can begin the process of applying.

BC may issue an NOI to candidates who meet the following criteria:

  • Meet the specific requirements of the BC PNP
  • Have a profile in the Express Entry Pool
  • Intend to settle permanently in British Columbia
  • Work in a job that meets with BC’s economic development and diversification requirements
  • Achieve a minimum score on the CRS that is set regularly.

Those with a valid job offer or work experience in British Columbia, or with family in the province are more likely to be accepted.