BC PNP Tech Pilot

The B.C. technology sector is a major driver of economic growth in the province, with tech employment at its highest level ever recorded. The demand for talent in B.C.’s tech sector is increasing faster than the supply.

The priorities for the Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology include establishing B.C. as a preferred location for new and emerging technologies, increasing the growth of domestic B.C. tech companies, and removing barriers to attracting skilled workers.

B.C. is developing the highest quality local talent by introducing students to tech earlier, adjusting training and education in post-secondary institutions and creating work experience opportunities.

Beyond using the skills and talent of B.C. workers, companies need to be able to attract skilled workers from around the world. Tech entrepreneurs and skilled workers from other leading-edge countries can help grow B.C.’s technology sector, leading to more jobs for British Columbians.

In support of these priorities, a pilot under the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) works to ensure the technology sector can attract and retain the talent it needs to be sustained and to grow the sector further.

The BC PNP Tech Pilot helps employers to address their talent needs by providing a fast-tracked, permanent immigration pathway for in-demand foreign workers and international students.
 

BC PNP Tech Pilot Features

The BC PNP Tech Pilot key features are based on service, timeliness, prioritization, and engagement in response to the needs of the industry:

  • Service: A dedicated BC PNP concierge for tech employers provides tailored information and navigation assistance of immigration programs and processes.
  • Timeliness: Weekly invitations to apply are issued to qualified skilled tech workers, minimizing the wait for employers and their prospective employees.
  • Prioritization: Tech applications are prioritized during processing to meet the sector’s fast-paced demands.
  • Engagement: Continuous support to tech sector employers through proactive engagement activities and participation at key industry events.

Updates and enhancements to the BC PNP Tech Pilot

BC PNP Tech Pilot extended to June 2019

The BC PNP Tech Pilot has been extended for another year to provide employers with a degree of stability that will allow them to plan for their future staffing needs.

Updates to eligible Tech Pilot occupations

We have also updated the list of eligible occupations for the Tech Pilot to focus on the 29 tech occupations that have been demonstrated to be in high demand by the tech sector so that we can maintain the speed of service.

Labour market research conducted by the BC Tech Association and the Vancouver Economic Commission identified access to talent as the biggest issue facing the tech sector, posing the most significant barrier to economic growth.

The research identified 32 in-demand tech occupations, and eligibility for the BC PNP Tech Pilot was originally based on these 32 tech occupations. Based on actual demand from tech sector employers in the pilot’s first year, the pilot will continue with 29 of these occupations eligible under the pilot.

This change allows the program to focus resources on prioritizing those tech occupations demonstrated to be in high demand within the tech sector to maintain the speed of processing and high level of service to tech employers.
 
The complete list of the 29 in-demand tech occupations can be downloaded from our website here (PDF, < 1MB).

Technology companies hiring for occupations that are not eligible for the BC PNP Tech Pilot are still able to connect with the concierge service regarding their specific needs.
 
Tech Pilot enhancements to include one-year job offers
 
The BC PNP Tech Pilot is also being enhanced by reducing the eligibility requirement for a permanent full-time job offer, to a one-year full-time job offer.

As of June 26, 2018, individuals who apply under the BC PNP Tech Pilot must have a job offer of at least one year (365 days) in length. The job offer must have at least 120 days remaining at the time of application to the BC PNP.

Longer duration job offers, including indeterminate job offers, will continue to be eligible.
 

BC PNP Tech Pilot process

Weekly invitations
 
We issue weekly invitations to qualified registrants who have valid job offers in the 29 key technology occupations.
 
The free registration process includes providing information about your company as the supporting B.C. employer. In order to be issued an invitation to apply, both you and your employee must meet all program requirements at the time of registration.

Meeting program requirements does not guarantee that your employee will be invited to apply. 
 
Priority processing

We prioritize applications in the 29 key technology occupations. Once your employee submits a complete application, their file will be assigned within the next business day to a dedicated Tech Pilot processing team.

Processing times for 80% of BC PNP applications is 2-3 months from receipt. Tech Pilot applications are typically processed in shorter timeframes.
 

Engagement and outreach

The Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology will continue to proactively support technology employers and industry stakeholders. Staff are available to deliver presentations, exhibit at immigration or newcomers trade shows, speak at conferences and events, and provide individualized services to employers.

These BC PNP Tech Pilot services are in addition to the benefits that are available to all users of our program, such as: 
  • pathways that don’t require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
  • work permit support letters for approved individuals that allow them to apply for a new work permit or renew their current work permit and continue to work throughout the permanent residency process with the federal government
  • client support services through email, phone and in-person

BC PNP concierge services

If you are an employer in B.C.’s technology sector and have more questions, please contact the BC PNP concierge: PNPTechEmployers@gov.bc.ca

If you are an applicant and have questions about the BC PNP including the PNP Tech Pilot, please visit our Contact Us page

For more information