About The BC Provincial Nominee Program

This page was last updated on April 27, 2022.

The BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) is an economic immigration program administered by the Government of British Columbia’s Immigration Programs Branch.
 
The program enables the province to select and nominate foreign workers, international students and entrepreneurs to help meet B.C.’s labour market needs, support government priorities, and help grow B.C.’s economy. If you are nominated, you and your family can apply to IRCC to become a permanent resident of Canada.
 
Topics on this page:

Strategic Priorities & Initiatives

The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) is an immigration program jointly administered by the Province and Canada under the Canada-British Columbia Immigration Agreement (CBCIA). Through the BC PNP, B.C. nominates applicants who help address the province’s unique labour market needs and contribute to economic development.
 
B.C. is allocated a set number of nominations each year. Strategic priorities and initiatives help to ensure that the BC PNP is most effectively administered in a way that it remains aligned with the StrongerBC Economic Plan while maintaining program integrity and supporting qualified applicants for success.
 
The Province will continue to monitor and evaluate the BC PNP to ensure it is aligned with recovery efforts to support stronger, more resilient communities.
 

Supporting B.C.’s Care Economy

B.C. has a critical need for more health care workers and early childhood educators (ECEs). Under the BC PNP, these occupations are prioritized, increasing support for the care economy. Healthcare workers in select occupations and ECEs will be given priority access to apply, which provides a better chance for assessment under the program’s eligibility criteria.
 
Registrants whose occupation is on a pre-determined list of in-demand health occupations and ECEs, and who have a qualified, permanent job offer in B.C., will be given priority access to the BC PNP. The Health Authority category is open to any occupation.
 
Priority access is achieved through direct-to-apply categories, such as workers employed by a Health Authority, or targeted draws for qualified workers with a job offer as an ECE or in one of the in-demand occupations in healthcare. As registrants / applicants and employers must continue to meet all relevant program criteria, please carefully review the BC PNP Skills Immigration Program Guide for specific details.
 

BC PNP Tech

BC PNP Tech provides B.C. tech employers with the continued ability to recruit and retain international talent in tech occupations when local skilled workers are unavailable. This initiative gives in-demand foreign workers and international students a pathway to permanent residence, so they can help grow our economy and build a great life here in B.C.
 
BC PNP Tech has supported more than 6,000 tech workers to be nominated for permanent residence since its launch in May 2017. BC PNP Tech helps ensure B.C. can continue to attract and retain the talent needed to sustain and grow the technology sector in the province. 
 

Key Features

BC PNP Tech key features are based on service, timeliness, prioritization and engagement in response to the needs of the industry.
 
We offer an employer concierge service for companies wishing to support an applicant under BC PNP Tech. If you are a tech employer in B.C. and want to know more about the program or this initiative, please contact our office by emailing PNPConcierge@gov.bc.ca.
 
We conduct targeted tech-only draws to ensure that skilled tech applicants have priority access to the program. We also assign files to a dedicated team, resulting in more timely processing of tech applications.
 
We continue to proactively engage technology employers and industry stakeholders through targeted outreach and other activities, to keep up to date with the issues facing the tech sector in B.C.

Benefits to applicants: 
  • an immigration pathway that does not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
  • work permit support letters for nominees so they can apply for a new work permit or renew their current work permit and continue to work throughout the federal permanent residence process
  • client support services through email and phone until permanent residence

Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP)

In 2018, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) launched the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP) to provide complementary pathways to permanent residence for skilled refugees.
 
The EMPP helps employers find skilled refugees for positions that can’t be filled domestically due to British Columbia’s labour shortages. Successful EMPP applicants arrive in the province as permanent residents and contribute their skills and experience to their new employer and B.C.’s labour market.

The pilot partners include IRCC, the Province of B.C. (BC PNP), United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and designated non-government organization partners (NGOs).
 

IRCC’s role

IRCC will continue intake of EMPP applications under economic immigration pathways. IRCC is also responsible for operational oversight and policy direction of the EMPP.
 

The BC PNP’s role

We are participating in Phase 2 of the EMPP. Our role is to process registrations and applications from EMPP candidates. We are accepting registrations and applications from candidates with the skills and experience to qualify under BC PNP Tech’s key technology occupations. These occupations have strong labour market demand, high median salaries and quality employment.

The Province will initially target up to 50 EMPP skilled refugees who meet the program criteria and who are referred to the BC PNP by a designated NGO partner.
 

The role of designated NGO partners

Designated NGO partners will assist in identifying candidates abroad with in-demand skills and qualifications, and will facilitate a match with local opportunities. They also provide the preparation and submission of immigration applications for EMPP candidates.

Designated NGO partners can help employers find skilled refugee candidates abroad who meet the EMPP eligibility requirements. They match those candidates with the skills and qualifications for specific job vacancies. They also help with the preparation and submission of immigration applications for EMPP candidates.

The designated NGO partners for the EMPP are:

Eligibility

To be eligible for EMPP, candidates must: More information about eligibility, requirements and process can be found in the BC PNP Skills Immigration Program Guide
 

Process

B.C. employers looking to recruit an EMPP candidate for a vacancy in one of the BC PNP Tech occupations, that cannot be filled locally, can contact a designated NGO partner directly.


More information

If you are an employer hiring for one of the occupations eligible for BC PNP Tech and would like to learn more about EMPP, please email us at  PNPConcierge@gov.bc.ca for more information.
 
Visit the IRCC website for information about the EMPP, the federal eligibility requirements and the process to apply. 
 

EI Regional Pilot

To support balanced and strong economic development throughout the province, the BC PNP  introduced the Entrepreneur Immigration - Regional Pilot in 2019.

The pilot creates an innovative partnership between communities and the provincial government to attract, recruit, select and integrate foreign entrepreneurs to become new British Columbians.

Go to our BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration page for full information about the pilot. 

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Priority Occupations

This section contains priority occupations that may be invited to apply in periodic targeted draws. For more information on draws, visit the Invitations to Apply page. For a description of the main duties for each occupation, visit the National Occupational Classification.
 

BC PNP Tech Occupations

0131 Telecommunication carriers managers
0213 Computer and information systems managers
0512 Managers - publishing, motion pictures, broadcasting and performing arts
2131 Civil engineers
2132 Mechanical engineers
2133 Electrical and electronics engineers
2134 Chemical engineers
2147 Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
2171 Information systems analysts and consultants
2172 Database analysts and data administrators
2173 Software engineers and designers
2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers
2175 Web designers and developers
2221 Biological technologists and technicians
2241 Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
2242 Electronic service technicians (household and business equipment)
2243 Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics
2281 Computer network technicians
2282 User support technicians
2283 Information systems testing technicians
5121 Authors and writers
5122 Editors
5125 Translators, terminologists and interpreters
5224 Broadcast technicians
5225 Audio and video recording technicians
5226 Other technical and co-ordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting and the performing arts
5227 Support occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting, photography and the performing arts
5241 Graphic designers and illustrators
6221 Technical sales specialists - wholesale trade
 

Care economy: Healthcare occupations

0311   Managers in healthcare
3011   Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors
3012   Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses
3111   Specialist physicians
3112   General practitioners and family physicians
3113   Dentists
3122   Chiropractors
3124   Allied primary health practitioners
3125   Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating
3131   Pharmacists
3132   Dietitians and nutritionists
3141   Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
3142   Physiotherapists
3143   Occupational therapists
3144   Other professional occupations in therapy and assessment
3211   Medical laboratory technologists
3212   Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists' assistants
3214   Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
3215   Medical radiation technologists
3216   Medical sonographers
3217   Cardiology technologists and electrophysiological diagnostic technologists, n.e.c.
3219   Other medical technologists and technicians (except dental health)
3221   Denturists
3222   Dental hygienists and dental therapists
3223   Dental technologists, technicians and laboratory assistants
3232   Practitioners of natural healing
3233   Licensed practical nurses
3234   Paramedical occupations
3237   Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment
3411   Dental assistants
3413   Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates*
4151   Psychologists
4152   Social workers
4153   Family, marriage and other related counsellors
4212   Social and community service workers

*For the purposes of the BC PNP, only health care assistants / health care aides are eligible under NOC 3413.
 

Care economy: Childcare occupations

4214   Early childhood educators and assistants
 

Other priority occupations

3114   Veterinarians
3213   Animal health technologists and veterinary technicians

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COVID-19 updates

Immigration Programs operations updates

The health and safety of BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) staff, clients, and the community in which we operate is our top priority. We continue to respond to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the BC PNP and are working to give timely and accurate updates about our operations.

We have made some changes to our processes:
  • Our office is closed on Mondays and Fridays.
  • Please contact us by email only for all requests, including to ask for a phone call from BC PNP. Please include a phone number in your email where we can call you back.  
  • If you are having trouble getting information to BC PNP staff, please email us a description of your situation. Include details if you have experienced delays with submitting documents, applying, responding to procedural fairness letters, and other program deadlines. We will take the information into consideration when assessing your application.

Regular BC PNP operations continue

  • Inquiries - we continue to respond to email and telephone inquiries within 5 business days.
  • Applications - we continue to receive and process all applications for both Entrepreneur and Skills Immigration categories. You can still submit registrations and applications using the BCPNP Online system.
  • Fees and refunds - we charge fees to process registrations, applications and requests for reviews. We will not refund application fees after we have begun assessing your registration (Entrepreneur Immigration only) or application. Request for review fees are non-refundable.
  • Interviews - BC PNP staff are scheduling Entrepreneur Immigration interviews. A program advisor will be in touch with you regarding your application.
  • Final reports - Final reports are being processed by BC PNP staff. We are scheduling site visits on a case-by-case basis. A program advisor will be in touch with you regarding your final report.
  • Post-nomination support - we continue to process post-nomination requests for work permit support letters and changes of employment. The Post-Nomination Guide tells you how to do this and is found on our Documents page.
  • Updates - we will post further updates on our website as they are available.

Program-Specific COVID-19 Information

Skills Immigration

General

There is an Addendum to the BC PNP Skills Immigration Program Guide that details temporary measures introduced due to COVID-19.
 
The Addendum includes information on how the BC PNP will consider changes in employment status at each stage of the process.

Where there is a discrepancy between the Addendum and the BC PNP Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC Program Guide, the Addendum will be the official policy. The Addendum applies until further notice from the BC PNP and changes may be made without notice.

It is your responsibility as a registrant or applicant to demonstrate that you meet the program requirements as outlined in the Program Guide.

You must meet program requirements at the time of registration and at the time of application.

If you are not working at your usual place of work:
  • If you are working from home due to social distancing directives, you may be eligible for nomination if you meet all other criteria
  • If you are working from a location outside B.C., your work arrangement is not eligible for the program

Material changes to employment

When assessing your registration, application or assessment, the way we consider certain material changes in employment status has changed. These changes are described in the Addendum to the BC PNP Skills Immigration Program Guide.
 

Document deadlines

Before you register, we expect that you have gathered all the required documents, including language test results, education credential assessment, and diplomas.

However, if you cannot provide documents from third parties due to COVID-19, you must respond by the deadline stated (i.e. to meet an application deadline or a deadline to respond to an information request, etc.) with the following:
  • a written explanation as to why you can’t obtain the document(s), and
  • evidence that you have requested the document(s) from the individual or organization who will issue them or evidence the issuing body is not issuing documents due to COVID-19
We will follow up with you during the assessment. You should submit any missing documents to us as soon as you receive them.


Entry Level and Semi-Skilled (ELSS) candidates

ELSS candidates must have completed 9 months of continuous full-time employment with the employer supporting the BC PNP application before registering with the BC PNP.

Please read the Addendum for details.
 

International Graduate candidates

Considering the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on IG candidates who have lost employment, we will accept your new registration under the IG category if you can show that your original registration was submitted within the 3-year timeline to apply.

We recognize that most post-secondary schools have moved to an online curriculum given the impact of the pandemic. This has affected many international students' ability to apply to the BC PNP and we are therefore temporarily amending the learning requirement.
 
If you are an international student and you completed an eligible program of study on or after March 1, 2020, you may be eligible to apply under this temporary change if:

  • you completed at least 50% of your studies from within Canada
  • you meet all other program criteria

If you completed a program of study before March 1, 2020, you must have completed 50% of more of your studies in-class.
 
This is a temporary change that is in response to the impact of the pandemic. We will continue to review this and other policies to determine if changes or extensions are appropriate.
 
For more information about this policy and other temporary measures introduced due to COVID-19, please refer to the BC PNP Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC Program Guide - Addendum which can be found on the Documents page.

We encourage you to visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website for the most up-to-date information about federal temporary policy changes pertaining to international students who are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Entrepreneur Immigration

Entrepreneur Immigration (EI) Regional Pilot and requirement for exploratory visits

Exploratory visits and community referrals are mandatory for applicants wishing to apply to the BC PNP EI Regional Pilot. You cannot request a referral from a community without an exploratory visit.

  • You must comply with travel restrictions for air and land travel imposed by federal, provincial and local governments. 
  • Please contact the community of your interest to find out how you can prepare for the exploratory visit before you are able to travel to B.C.
  • You can learn more about each community on the Community Profiles pages.

If you have been invited to apply:

  • If you are experiencing a delay in applying and you are within 30 days of the deadline to apply, please email us describing your specific circumstances.

If you have applied:

  • If you have already applied, and BC PNP staff have requested information or documents that you are not able to get, please respond to the email to describe your specific circumstances.

If you have been approved to apply for a work permit:

  • We understand that COVID-19 will have an impact on your arrival plans. If you are experiencing delays, please email us and tell us your specific circumstances. You must continue to keep us informed of your situation.
  • If you have family members who will also require travel authorization to Canada, they first must apply for either:
    • An electronic travel authorization (eTA)
    • A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)
  • If your spouse/partner has applied for a work permit and/or if your child has applied for a study permit, an eTA or TRV will be part of the process, depending on their country of citizenship. For more information, please see IRCC’s COVID-19: Foreign workers page.

If you have arrived in B.C. with your work permit to establish your business:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has led to tremendous economic uncertainty. As an experienced entrepreneur, you are best placed to make business decisions appropriate to your personal situation and the current environment.
  • Your business must be able to demonstrate a history of business operations before you submit a final report. In order to be nominated by the BC PNP, you will have to meet the terms of your performance agreement when you submit your final report, including actively managing your business and fulfilling residency requirements. More information on the final report is available in the BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration Post-Arrival Guide.
  • You can ask for an extension to your business establishment period and/or work permit support. Please email us about your situation. Describe your efforts and progress you've made towards fulfilling the terms of your performance agreement.

If you have been operating your business:

  • COVID-19 is placing tremendous demands on British Columbians, including business owners. We understand that you may have needed or will need to make difficult decisions, such as temporary closures and layoffs to meet the Provincial Health Officer’s orders and in response to the challenging business environment.
  • You may request an extension to your business establishment period and BC PNP support for your work permit. Please email us about your situation. Describe the efforts you have taken and progress you’ve made towards the terms of your performance agreement.
  • To be nominated by the BC PNP, provincial and federal legislation requires that you are actively managing a business. When you submit your final report to the BC PNP, you must demonstrate that you have met the terms of your performance agreement including being the owner-manager of your business and fulfilling residency requirements. 
  • The BC PNP cannot continue to support your work permit if you no longer own and actively manage a business. More information on the final report requirements is available in the BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration Post-Arrival Guide.

Submitting your final report:

  • We continue to receive and assess final reports from entrepreneur applicants.
  • We have temporarily closed our Vancouver office to in-person inquires. Please do not courier or drop off materials to our office.
    • If your file number begins with “BCE”, you must submit your final report using the BCPNP Online system. Each upload must not exceed 3MB in size. You may upload documents in unused upload fields.
    • If your file number begins with “BR” or “BS”, you may submit your final report by email. When submitting your final report form and supporting documents by email, please provide a list of attachments you are sending and make sure you confirm receipt of the emails. Each file attachment must not exceed 10MB in size.
  • It is recommended that you prepare individual PDF or JPG files by separating documents into appropriate groupings and compressing/reducing the file size. Each upload or file attachment should be clearly labelled.
  • Reminder: you can only submit one final report. Please ensure that you gather all documentation to submit at one time. Subsequent emails and documents will not be accepted, even if they are submitted before the assessment of your final report.
  • More information on the final report requirements is available in the BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration Post-Arrival Guide.
  • Final reports are being processed by BC PNP staff, but if some parts of the assessment need to be postponed, the decision will be delayed.

BC provincial nominees and permanent residence

If you are a Skills Immigration nominee, you and your employer are required to let us know any changes to your employment. You can follow the instructions in the BC PNP Skills Immigration Post-Nomination Guide regarding how to notify us of these changes. 
  • We may contact you to request additional information or to discuss further.
  • Keep complete records about your dates of travel, your employment status in B.C., etc. We may request them from you for our records. 
If you are an Entrepreneur Immigration nominee and have not yet received a decision from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on your application for permanent residence, you must continue to maintain the conditions of your BC PNP nomination. To be approved by IRCC as a permanent resident through the Provincial Nominee Class, federal legislation requires that you continue to own and actively manage a business. The BC PNP cannot continue to support your nomination if you no longer own and actively manage a business. More information is available in the BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration Post-Nomination Guide.

Travel and work permits

If you are affected by travel restrictions or delays in processing of permanent residence applications:
  • Please email us an explanation of your circumstances and notify our office of changes. We will take this into consideration. We may contact you to discuss further.
  • As a B.C. provincial nominee (including those who are overseas), we may continue to support you if you meet the conditions of nomination until you receive a decision about your application for permanent residence. 

Impact of expiring work permits on MSP coverage and drivers license renewals

If your work permit is expiring soon, you may need to request extensions to your medical coverage and your driver’s licence.


Medical coverage (MSP)

Driver’s licence

COVID-19 Information Sources and Contacts

We are closely monitoring the situation as it continues to evolve. Up to-date information can be found on: If you have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for provincial and federal benefits and services. Accessing financial benefits such as Employment Insurance (EI) or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will not negatively affect your BC PNP application. 
 

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

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Processing times

Processing times indicate how long it takes for us to process applications to the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP). This page has the current estimated processing times.
 
Program processing times are from the date we receive your complete application, and are based on 80 per cent of cases. Processing times are subject to change according to program capacity.

We will not refund application fees after we have begun reviewing your application.
 

Skills Immigration

Estimated processing time
3 months

Post-nomination requests

Estimated processing time
3 months
For time-sensitive requests, we strongly encourage you to submit your requests early to allow us enough time to process.
 
For more information about post-nomination requests, please refer to the Nominees page.
 

Entrepreneur Immigration registrations/applications

 
Stage Estimated processing time
Registration score notification 6 weeks
(from the date registration received)
Application decision notification 
(at work permit stage)
4 months
​(from the date complete application received)

Need more information?

Please contact the BC PNP if you have questions about processing times. We do not respond to status update requests if we are within the above processing times.

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BC PNP fees

We charge fees to process BC PNP applications. These fees cover the cost to administer the program and helps to provide services and supports to clients through the entire immigration process.
 
Applicants will need to pay the fees upon registration or application in the BCPNP Online system.
 
Be aware that fee payments can only be made in the BCPNP Online application system. We do not accept payment in another form (for example, cheques, bank transfers, wire transfers, or gift cards). 

If you are asked to pay the BC PNP fees in another way, please report this to PNP.fraud.tips@gov.bc.ca. Visit the Immigration Fraud and Scams section for more information.
 

Skills Immigration Fees

Registration No fee
Application $1,150
Request for Review $500

Entrepreneur Immigration Fees

Registration $300
Application $3,500
Request for Review $500

Strategic Projects Fees

Registration $300
Application $3,500
Key Staff $1,000
Request for Review $500

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Fees

BC PNP fees are to process a BC PNP registration, application, or request for review. You will also need to pay a fee when you submit your application for permanent residence to IRCC. You may also have to pay other fees such as applying for or extending your work permit.

Please see IRCC’s Fees page for more information about federal immigration fees.

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Contact the BC PNP

Your privacy

As per the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the BC PNP may only share information about an applicant/application with the applicant or their authorized representative. The BC PNP cannot share information about an application with unauthorized third parties. This includes local business owners interested in a BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration application related to the potential sale of their business.
 

General inquiries

We’re here to help. Please email us at:
 
PNPInfo@gov.bc.ca: For questions about Skills Immigration application requirements, criteria and process
 
En.Imm@gov.bc.ca:  For questions about Entrepreneur Immigration and Strategic Projects application requirements, criteria and process
 
PNPPostNom@gov.bc.ca: To tell us about a job loss, or a change in your immigration status or family makeup
 
PNPConcierge@gov.bc.ca: If you are a tech employer, Health Authority staff, or a community representative or economic development representative
 
We cannot:
  • review, pre-assess or help with an application
  • give advice about your immigration options
  • endorse your case to a decision-maker
 If you have a question about the status of your application, check the estimated processing times  first. We will only provide a status update if processing has gone beyond the posted processing standard.

If you have been nominated by the BC PNP, you can access post-nomination support via your dashboard in BCPNP Online. For post-nomination request processing times, check the processing times.

If you have immigration fraud questions or concerns, visit our Immigration Fraud and Scams section. 
 
You can also contact us at:
BC Provincial Nominee Program Office
450 - 605 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 5J3
Canada

Our current office hours for in-person inquiries are: 
Monday: closed
Tuesday: 8:30am-4:30pm
Wednesday: 8:30am-4:30pm
Thursday: 8:30am-4:30pm
Friday: closed

These hours are subject to change. 

Fax: 604-660-4092
Phone: 604-775-2227 (This is a voicemail line)
 

For healthcare professionals

If you are a healthcare professional, you may wish to contact Health Match BC. They offer free recruitment services for select healthcare professions on behalf of B.C.’s health authorities.
 
Health Match BC
300 – 2889 East 12th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5M 4T5
Canada

Tel: 604-736-5920
Fax: 604-736-5963
Email: welcome@healthmatchbc.org
 

Media inquiries

Please use the Media Contact information for the Ministry of Municipal Affairs
 

IRCC

To contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), please visit their website.

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