Express Entry BC FAQs

Find answers to common questions about the requirements, process and other topics. If you can’t find what you’re looking for or need more information, please contact us or refer to our guides:

Program requirements

What is Express Entry?
  • Express Entry is a system that lets Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) manage how people with skilled work experience apply to immigrate to Canada.
  • Learn more about Express Entry.

What is Express Entry BC?

  • Express Entry BC (EEBC) is a stream under the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) that allows B.C. to take advantage of the federal Express Entry system. It is a faster way for eligible skilled workers to gain permanent residence in B.C.
  • You can apply under one of four EEBC categories.
  • Learn more about Express Entry BC.

What are the main differences between the Express Entry BC stream and the Skills Immigration stream?

  • Express Entry BC
    • An online application process for applying to IRCC for permanent residence.
    • Faster processing by IRCC of permanent residence applications.
    • Is only for skilled occupations (National Occupational Classification Matrix skill level 0, A or B).
    • Requires applicants to meet the minimum criteria for one of IRCC’s federal economic immigration programs, including work experience, language and settlement funds.
  • Skills Immigration
    • A paper application process for applying to IRCC for permanent residence.
    • IRCC processing times differ from applications for permanent residency under Express Entry.
    • Is for all eligible occupations in the (National Occupational Classification Matrix skill level 0, A, B, C and D).
    • Does not require applicants in some categories to have prior work experience, although experience can benefit your application.

Can an Entrepreneur Immigration stream application be processed through Express Entry BC?

  • No. There are no Express Entry BC options for the Entrepreneur Immigration stream.

Do I need to meet the requirements under IRCC’s Express Entry, as well as Express Entry BC, when applying for permanent residence in B.C.?

Can I register and/or apply under Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC at the same time?

  • No. You can only have one registration and/or application at a time.

Do I need a valid job offer to be eligible for IRCC’s Express Entry system?

  • Please visit the IRCC website for complete and up-to-date information on job offer requirements, as well as other federal economic immigration program requirements.

Do I need a job offer to be eligible for BC PNP’s Express Entry BC stream? 

  • Yes, unless you are applying to the EEBC — International Post-Graduate category.
  • The job offer must be full-time and indeterminate (permanent, or with no set end date) and from an eligible B.C. employer.

My job offer from a B.C. employer meets BC PNP requirements. Does it qualify as a job offer under IRCC's Express Entry system? 

Does a job offer under Express Entry BC require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)?

  • No. A job offer under Express Entry BC does not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). If you have one, a copy of the LMIA may be requested during application assessment
  • Please visit the IRCC website for complete and up-to-date information on the LMIA requirements of each applicable federal economic immigration program.

Are there any differences in the role of the employer in a BC PNP application under the Express Entry BC and Skills Immigration streams?

  • No. The role of the employer remains the same under both streams. For more information, please visit the Employer Requirements page.

When do I need to show settlement funds (or proof of funds) to meet IRCC's Express Entry minimum requirements?

What are the processing times under Express Entry BC?

  • View estimated BC PNP processing times for Express Entry BC.
  • Registrations are not included in the processing times.
  • For permanent residence application processing times, please visit IRCC’s website.

How can I check the status of my Express Entry BC registration/application?

 

Language requirements

Do I have to take a language test to register or apply for one of the Express Entry BC categories?

Educational Credential Assessments

What is an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)?

  • An ECA is used to verify that your foreign degree, diploma, certificate (or other credential) is valid and equivalent to Canadian credentials.
  • The ECA must be from a designated agency.
  • You will receive points in your registration if you have an ECA, which may improve your registration score.
  • An ECA may be required as part of your BC PNP Express Entry BC application if it is required for your IRCC Express Entry profile.
  • Learn more about ECAs.

Do I need to send an original copy of my ECA to the BC PNP?

  • If you have foreign educational credentials, and have included your ECA in your BCPNP Online profile, you may provide a clean copy instead of an original if you are invited to apply. However, the BC PNP may request an original copy.
  • If you get a new ECA after you have registered to the BC PNP but have not yet received an invitation to apply, you must update your BCPNP Online profile.
  • If you get a new ECA after you have applied to the BC PNP, you must provide the BC PNP with a copy of your new ECA.

 

Registration

What is the Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS)?

  • SIRS is an online points-based application management system that helps B.C. select in-demand workers to meet labour market needs.
  • Learn more about SIRS.

How does the SIRS points-based system work?

  • You will receive a score based on your job, where it is located in B.C., your offered wage as well as your work experience, education and language ability.
  • If your score is high enough, you will receive an invitation to apply under the BC PNP Skills Immigration or Express Entry BC streams.

Why did B.C. introduce SIRS?

  • The BC PNP receives a limited number of nominations each year from the federal government. This means we often receive more applications than we have nominations.
  • SIRS is transparent, flexible and manages applications efficiently. It allows us to ensure we have the right resources to process all the nominations we receive from IRCC without having to stop accepting applications.
  • It ensures the BC PNP meets B.C.'s labour market and economic development priorities.

How does the registration process work?

  • You must first create a profile with BCPNP Online and register for the EEBC - Skilled Worker or the EEBC - International Graduate category.
  • You don’t have to register if you are applying under the EEBC - HealthCare Professional or EEBC - International Post-Graduate category. Instead, please apply directly via BCPNP Online.
  • View the registration process.
  • For information about how to complete the online registration and application, please refer to the BC PNP Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC Technical Guide (PDF, 1MB).

What factors affect my SIRS score?

  • Key economic factors that support the attraction of skilled workers to B.C. and their successful integration into the labour market:
    • The National Occupation Classification skill level of your B.C. job offer aligns the BC PNP with labour market needs. This lets B.C. prioritize high-demand occupations.
    • The annual wage of the B.C. job offer indicates labour market demand and economic impact. It also helps workers settle successfully in B.C.
    • The region of employment recognizes the challenges regional communities face in attracting and retaining workers.
  • Human capital factors that recognize the skills and experience of candidates to support their short- and long-term settlement in B.C.:
    • Directly related work experience in the occupation of your B.C. job offer demonstrates direct skills transfer to the B.C. workforce. It also shows a higher likelihood of success in your role.
    • Higher levels of education enable workers to earn more and settle in B.C. more easily.
    • English language proficiency helps build a successful economy and integrate new workers into B.C.

How is my registration scored?

What happens after I register?

  • Immediately after you register, you will:
    • receive a score according to the scoring factors that apply when you register
    • be entered into a selection pool for your chosen category
    • receive a confirmation email
  • Periodically, the BC PNP sends the highest-scoring registrants from each category an invitation to apply.
  • We recommend that you prepare the information you will need for your application in advance.

How do I receive an invitation to apply?

  • We regularly conduct draws to invite candidates from each category’s selection pool to apply.
  • The number and frequency of invitations is based on annual nomination allocations and our processing capacity to ensure timely processing of applications.
  • Learn more about invitations to apply.

What do I do after I receive an invitation to apply?

  • If you are invited to apply, you will have up to 30 calendar days from the date of invitation to submit a complete application via BCPNP Online.
  • Your registration will be removed from the selection pool.
  • Learn more about invitations to apply.

What if I am not invited to apply?

  • Your SIRS registration is not an application to Express Entry BC and does not guarantee that you will receive an invitation to apply.
  • If you have not been invited to apply within 12 months, we will remove your registration from the selection pool.

Can I register with SIRS again?

  • Yes. You may improve your score and register again. For example, you may try to improve your language score or obtain a higher level of education.
  • You can use your existing BCPNP Online profile.

How often are draws conducted?

  • We conduct draws periodically based on annual allocation and processing capacity.
  • View current information about invitations to apply, including draw dates, number of invitations issued and minimum scores.

How long is my registration valid for?

  • Your registration is valid for 12 months from the date of submission.
  • This date will be in the confirmation email you receive once you have successfully submitted your registration.

Do I need to do a language test before using SIRS?

How can I find out my registration score?

  • After you register, we will assign you a score according to the scoring factors that apply at the time, and send you an email to confirm your registration.
  • You can log in to your profile in BCPNP Online to see your score and check the status of your registration at any time.

What are guaranteed invitations?

  • If you meet or exceed the registration scores in the BC PNP Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC Program Guide (PDF, 1MB) you are guaranteed to receive an invitation to apply in the next draw for your category.
  • We may issue invitations to apply for scores lower than these minimums.
  • We will post the minimum scores and dates for each draw on the BC PNP website.
  • The frequency of invitations is based on annual nomination allocations and program capacity to ensure timely processing of applications.
  • Guaranteed invitation scores are subject to change.

I already have an application with the BC PNP. Can I register?

  • No. You can only have one active registration and/or application at a time.

I received an invitation to apply but didn’t submit my application within the 30 days. Can I still apply?

  • If you do not submit a complete application within 30 days, your registration and invitation will be cancelled.
  • Your BCPNP Online profile will remain, and you may submit a new registration at any time using your existing profile. 

When will you be doing the next draw?

  • View current information about invitations to apply, including draw dates, number of invitations issued and minimum scores.

I submitted my registration. How do I change my information?

  • Once you submit your registration, it is locked. To make changes, log in to your existing BCPNP Online profile and use the ‘withdraw’ button on your profile dashboard. You can submit a new registration with the updated information.
  • It is important to make sure your registration information is up to date. We may not be able to process your application if the information is different from your registration submission.
  • You can still change your profile information after you register by logging in to your existing BCPNP Online profile.
  • You can check the status of your registration at any time by logging in to BCPNP Online.

Can I change my representative?

I submitted a BC PNP registration. Can you provide a work permit support letter?

  • No. We may issue a work permit support letter to nominees if ALL of the following are met:
    • You have been nominated by the BC PNP.
    • You have submitted your application for permanent residence to IRCC within six months of being nominated.
    • You continue to meet the conditions of nomination.
    • Your current work permit expires within 120 days.
    • Learn more about work permit support letter requests after nomination
  • For more information on how to obtain a work permit, please review the BC PNP Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC Program Guide (PDF, 1MB).

 

Application

How much does it cost to apply?

  • There is a $700 processing fee to apply to the Express Entry stream of the BC PNP.

How does the Express Entry BC stream work?

My Express Entry BC application was refused by IRCC. Can it be considered under the Skills Immigration stream instead?

  • No. Applicants under the Express Entry BC stream who are refused by IRCC may submit a new registration and/or application under the Skills Immigration stream.
  • You may submit a new registration and/or application to the BC PNP at any time if you meet the requirements for your chosen category.

I was nominated under the Skills Immigration stream. Can I apply for permanent residence through IRCC's Express Entry system?

What if there is a change in my employment after I’ve been nominated?

  • After you are nominated for permanent residence by the BC PNP, both you and your employer must tell the BC PNP about any employment changes by emailing PNPPostNom@gov.bc.ca.
  • This includes a promotion, lay-off, termination or a potential new job with a new employer. Please note that failing to inform us of a change in your employment status could lead to the withdrawal of your nomination. It could also lead to questions from IRCC when they process your application.
  • all post-nomination requests, including requests for work permit support letters, change of employers, and re-nominations, must now be emailed to PNPPostNom@gov.bc.ca.
  • We have provided information regarding our processing times for post-nomination requests. Please see our Processing Times page for more information.