Express Entry BC FAQs

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Express Entry BC Program Requirements

  1. What is Express Entry?
  • Express Entry is an online application management system introduced by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in January 2015.
  • British Columbia introduced a stream to the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) called Express Entry British Columbia. This stream allows BC PNP to nominate candidates in IRCC’s Express Entry system to meet B.C.’s labour needs.
  1. What is Express Entry British Columbia?
  • In 2015, B.C. introduced an immigration stream under its Provincial Nominee Program called Express Entry British Columbia that operates in conjunction with the federal government’s Express Entry system.
  • The Express Entry BC stream (EEBC) is one of three options the BC PNP offers for immigrating to B.C.
  • Under the Express Entry BC stream, nominees receive priority processing of their federal permanent residence application.
  • Individuals nominated under the Express Entry BC stream will have their applications for permanent residence processed through IRCC's Express Entry system.
  1. What are the categories under the Express Entry BC stream?
  • There are 4 categories under the Express Entry BC stream: EEBC-Skilled Worker, EEBC-Health Care Professional, EEBC-International Graduate and EEBC-International Post-Graduate.
  • More information about the minimum requirements is available on each category page.
  • There are no Express Entry BC options under the Entrepreneur Immigration stream.
  1. Can I register and/or apply under two streams - Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC - at the same time?
  • No. An individual can only have one registration and/or application at a time under the Skills Immigration or the Express Entry BC stream.
  1. Do I need a valid job offer to be eligible for IRCC’s Express Entry system?
  • A valid job offer may be required depending on which of the federal economic immigration program under IRCC’s Express Entry system to which you intend to apply.
  • Please visit the IRCC website for complete and up-to-date information on job offer requirements as well as other eligibility requirements of the federal economic immigration program(s) to ensure that you meet the requirements.
  1. Do I need a job offer to be eligible for BC PNP’s Express Entry BC stream? 
  • A job offer is required for most categories under the Express Entry BC stream, with the exception of the EEBC-International Post-Graduate category.
  • The job offer must be full-time and indeterminate.
  • Under all Express Entry BC categories, you must also meet the minimum criteria for one of the federal economic immigration programs under IRCC’s Express Entry system.
  1. I have a job offer from my B.C. employer that meets BC PNP requirements. Does it qualify as a job offer under IRCC's Express Entry system? 
  • The requirements for a job offer under the BC PNP are different from the requirements for a valid job offer under IRCC’s Express Entry system. 
  • One of the key differences is that a job offer under the BC PNP does not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) whereas a valid job offer under Express Entry requires a LMIA.
  • Please refer to the BC PNP Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC Program Guide  for more information.
  • Please visit the IRCC website for complete and up-to-date information on the job offer requirements of each economic immigration program subject to Express Entry. 
  1. When do I need to show settlement funds (or proof of funds) to meet IRCC's Express Entry minimum requirements?
  • Please refer to IRCC's website for detailed information regarding when proof of settlement funds are required under Express Entry.
  • Requirements for settlement funds differ across federal economic immigration programs.
  • All Express Entry British Columbia applicants are required to meet the BC PNP minimum income requirements.
  • In some circumstances, Express Entry BC applicants will have to meet the BC PNP's income requirements as well as the Express Entry requirement for proof of settlement funds.
  • More information regarding settlement funds can be found on IRCC's website.
  1. What are the processing times under Express Entry BC?
  • Estimated BC PNP processing times for Express Entry BC are posted on the processing times page of the website.
  • IRCC has indicated that 80% of applications for permanent residence under Express Entry will be processed within 6 months or less from the date IRCC receives a complete application for permanent residence.
  • This processing time applies only to the IRCC process and does not include the time it takes for the BC PNP to reach a decision on an application for nomination and does not include the time to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA).
  • For permanent residence application processing times, please visit IRCC’s website.
  1. How can I check the status of my Express Entry BC registration/application with the BC PNP?
  • You can access your BCPNP Online profile to view the status of your registration and/or application.
  • Please refer to the BC PNP processing times for estimates.

Language Requirements

  1. Do I have to take a language test if I want to submit a registration and/or application to one of the EEBC categories?
  1. I disagree with my language test results. How can I appeal the results?
  • The BC PNP does not issue language test results and cannot respond to questions about your individual results.
  • Please contact the designated agency that issued the language test results to discuss any questions or concerns regarding your language test results.
  1. How long are language test results valid?
  • Language test results are valid for two years from the date of issuance, and they must be valid throughout your EEBC application process, including:
    • when you create an Express Entry profile
    • when you submit a registration and/or application to the BC PNP Express Entry BC stream
    • when your complete federal application for permanent residence (APR) under IRCC's Express Entry is submitted
  • If you get a new language test after you have applied to the BC PNP, you must provide the BC PNP with a photocopy of your new language test results and you must update your Express Entry profile.
  • If you apply for permanent residence with language test results that have expired, your application will be refused by IRCC.
  • Please visit the IRCC website for complete and up-to-date information on language tests.

Educational Credential Assessments

  1. Do I need to obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)?
  • You will receive bonus points if you complete an education credential assessment through the identified qualified suppliers.
  • An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is required as part of your BC PNP application under the Express Entry BC stream if you included the results of your ECA in your Express Entry profile under IRCC’s Express Entry system.
  • 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.
  • ECAs are valid for five years from the day on which it was issued and must have been issued on or after April 17, 2013.
  • ECAs must also be valid at the time of application for permanent residence to IRCC.
  • Please visit the IRCC website for complete and up-to-date information on ECAs, including ECA requirements and agencies designated to provide ECAs.
  1. How do I obtain an Educational Credential Assessment?
  • Please visit the IRCC website for complete and up-to-date information on ECAs, including who needs an ECA and agencies designated to provide ECAs.
  1. Do I need to send an original copy of my Educational Credential Assessment to the BC PNP?
  • Nominee applicants with foreign educational credentials, who have included the results of their ECA in their Express Entry profile, must provide a clear photocopy of their ECA if they are invited to apply.
  • Note that the BC PNP may request an original copy of the ECA.
  • You will submit your original ECA to IRCC if your application is approved for nomination under the BC PNP and you are invited to apply for permanent residence by IRCC.
  • If you get a new ECA after you have applied to the BC PNP, you must provide the BC PNP with a photocopy of your new ECA and you must update your Express Entry profile.
  • Please visit the IRCC website for complete and up-to-date information on ECAs.
  1. I disagree with my Educational Credential Assessment Report. I want to appeal the decision.
  • Please contact the designated agency that issued your ECA to discuss any questions or concerns regarding your report.
  • Please visit the IRCC website for complete and up-to-date information on ECAs, including who requires an ECA and agencies designated to provide ECAs.

Registration Process

  1. What is the Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS)?
  • SIRS is a new points-based intake management system that will allow B.C. to select the highest impact candidates, not just first in line, ensuring strong outcomes for the province.
  • The system functions as an Expression of Interest – an online registration allows candidates to express an interest to apply to the BC PNP.
  • The system is transparent, flexible and manages application intake more efficiently by aligning intake with processing capacity, avoiding intermittent program closures.
  • As it is a points-based system, you will receive a score based on the information you provide.
  • Your registration score will determine whether you will receive an invitation to apply under the BC PNP Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC streams.
  1. Why did B.C. introduce SIRS?
  • B.C. is expected to lead the country in economic growth in 2016 and will continue to rely on immigration to support job opportunities in our growing economy.
  • The BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) is the Province’s only direct economic immigration tool for bringing in new British Columbians to assist in filling the nearly one million job openings due to retirements and economic growth.
  • The BC PNP receives a limited allocation of nominations each year from the federal government. The BC PNP regularly receives more applications than it has nominations.
  • The new Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS) for the BC PNP will align applications with processing capacity and ensure the program meets British Columbia's labour market and economic development priorities.
  1. How does the registration process work?
  • If you are interested in the Skills Immigration or Express Entry BC streams, you will need to create an profile with BCPNP Online and complete the registration.
  • Once you complete your registration, you will receive your registration score immediately and will be entered into a selection pool for the category for which you have registered.
  • Your registration is valid only for the category that you have selected.
  • You will remain in the pool for a maximum of twelve months.
  • The registration is free of charge.
  • Note: Health Care Professional and International Post-Graduate categories are exempt from the registration process and can apply directly via BCPNP Online.
  1. What are the factors on which SIRS scoring is based?
  • Economic factors - Key economic factors that support attraction and integration of skilled workers for B.C. employers and labour market:
    • The skill level of the B.C. job offer (National Occupation Classification level of job) – critical factor for alignment of the BC PNP with labour market allowing B.C. to prioritize high-opportunity occupations.
    • Annual wage of the B.C. job offer – direct indicator of labour market demand, economic impact, and key factor in settlement success.
    • Region of employment - recognizes challenges faced in regional communities to attract and retain workers.
  • Human capital factors - recognizes 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 the B.C. job offer - demonstrates direct skills transfer to B.C. workforce and higher likelihood of successful labour market attachment.
    • Level of education - direct correlation between higher levels of education and stronger economic and settlement outcomes.
    • English language proficiency - recognizes the relationship between language ability and successful economic establishment and integration.
  1. How is my registration scored?
  1. What happens after I register?
  • Once you submit your registration, your registration will be assigned a score according to the scoring factors applicable at the time of registration.
  • You will receive your registration score and will be entered into a selection pool for the category in which you have registered.
  • You will receive a confirmation of registration email once you successfully submit your registration.
  • Your registration will remain in the selection pool for a maximum of twelve months from the date of submission.
  • Your registration score will be ranked along with other registrants in the category that you have chosen.
  • Periodically, the BC PNP will invite the highest-scoring registrants from each of the categories that are subject to the Skills Immigration Registration System to apply.
  • Start preparing the information you will need for your application in the event that you are invited to apply. 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.
  1. How do I receive an invitation to apply?
  • The BC PNP will regularly conduct draws to invite candidates from the selection pool for each category to apply.
  • The number and frequency of invitations to apply is based on annual nomination allocations and the BC PNP’s processing capacity to ensure timely processing of applications.
  • Registrants who are invited to apply will have up to 30 calendar days from the date of invitation to submit a complete application via BCPNP Online.
  1. I received an invitation to apply. what do I do?
  • If you are invited to apply, your registration will be removed from the selection pool.
  • You will have up to 30 calendar days from the date of invitation to submit a complete application via BCPNP Online.
  • Once you have submitted your complete application online and paid the $700 application fee, the BC PNP will assess your application according to program and category-specific criteria. If your application is approved, you will receive a nomination to apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent residence.
  • We may refuse your application if the information in your application is different from what you submitted in your registration.
  • 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.
  1. What if I am not invited to apply?
  • A registration in the Skills Immigration Registration System is not an application to the Skills Immigration stream and does not guarantee that you will be invited to apply.
  • Your registration is valid for twelve months from the date of submission.
  • If you have not been invited to apply within 12 months of registration, your registration will be automatically removed from the selection pool.
  • You may wish to improve your score and register again. For example, you may try to improve your language score or obtain a higher level of education.
  • You may create and submit a new registration using your existing BCPNP Online client profile.
  1. How often will draws be conducted?
  • The BC PNP will conduct draws based on annual allocation and processing capacity.
  • Information about invitations to apply including date of draws, number of invitations issued and minimum scores will be posted on the BC PNP website.
  1. How long is my registration valid for?
  • Your registration is valid for twelve months from the date of submission.
  • This date will be in the confirmation email you receive once you have successfully submitted your registration.
  • If you do not receive an invitation to apply before your registration expires, it will no longer be valid.
  • You may then create and submit a new registration using your existing BCPNP Online client profile.
  1. Do I need to do a language test before using SIRS?
  • While language test results may not be mandatory for the category under which you are registering, completing an eligible language proficiency test may impact your registration score.
  • You must submit valid language tests if you would like to claim points for your language level in your registration.
  • Refer to the BC PNP Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC Program Guide for more information.
  1. How can I find out my registration score?
  • Once you submit your registration, you will be assigned a score according to the scoring factors applicable at the time of registration. You will be entered into a selection pool for the category in which you have registered.
  • You will receive a confirmation of registration email once you successfully submit your registration.
  • You can check the most up-to-date information regarding the status of your profile at any time by logging into your profile in BCPNP Online.
  1. What are guaranteed invitations?
  • If you achieve or exceed the registration scores in the BC PNP Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC Program Guide, you will receive an invitation to apply in the next draw for your category.
  • Invitations to apply may be issued for scores lower than these minimums. The minimum scores and dates for each draw will be posted 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.
  1. I already have an application with the BC PNP. Can I submit a registration?
  • Existing applicants can submit a registration, but registering will not speed up processing times.
  • Should existing applicants receive an invitation to apply, they will be required to withdraw their previous application.
  • The BC PNP is committed to processing existing applications as expeditiously as possible.
  • Registrants must be invited to apply before submitting an application.
  • A registration in the Skills Immigration Registration System is not an application to the Skills Immigration or Express Entry BC streams and does not guarantee that you will be invited to apply.
  • The BC PNP will only invite the highest-scoring registrants from the selection pool.
  • The BC PNP will regularly conduct draws to invite candidates from the selection pool for each category to apply.
  • The number and frequency of invitations to apply is based on annual nomination allocations and the BC PNP’s capacity to ensure timely processing of applications. 
  1. I received an invitation to apply but didn’t submit my application within the 30 days. Can I still apply?
  • Registrants who are invited to apply will have up to 30 calendar days from the date of invitation to submit a complete application via the BCPNP Online system. 
  • If you are invited to apply, your registration will be removed from the selection pool.
  • If you are issued an invitation to apply but do not submit a complete application within 30 days, your registration will be removed from the selection pool and your registration and invitation will be cancelled.
  • Your profile will remain.
  • You may submit a new registration at any time using your existing profile. 
  1. When will you be doing the next draw?
  • Information about invitations to apply including dates issued, the number of invitations issued, and minimum ranking scores will be posted on the BC PNP website
  1. I submitted my registration. How do I change my information?
  • Once you submit your registration, it is locked.
  • If you need to make changes to the information that you have entered in your registration, you will need to withdraw your registration (using the ‘withdraw’ button on your profile dashboard) and submit a new registration with the updated information.
  • This will be done using your existing profile.
  • It is important to make sure your registration information is up to date, as differences between the information in your registration and your application may lead to refusal of your BC PNP application.
  • You can check the most up-to-date information regarding the status of your registration at any time by logging in to BCPNP Online and viewing  your profile dashboard. 
  1. Can I change my representative?
  • You may only have one representative for your profile at any given time.
  • If you are using a representative or if you change your representative, you must you must update the information in the My Representative tab by submitting the following disclosure consent form(s):
     Use of a representative form - applicant 
  • If you are invited to apply and your employer is using a representative, your employer must also complete their own use of a representative form. Your employer must complete this disclosure consent form even if they are appointing the same representative.  
     Use of a representative form - employer
  1. I submitted a registration to the BC PNP. Can I get a work permit support letter?
  • The BC PNP may only accept requests for work permit support letters 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 the six-month period after you have been nominated
    • you continue to meet the conditions of nomination
    • your current work permit expires within 120 days
  • The BC PNP cannot apply for a work permit on your behalf.
  • You must apply to IRCC for your own work permit and include the BC PNP work permit support letter with your work permit application.

Application Process

  1. How does the Express Entry BC stream work?
  • You must meet the criteria for one of the categories under the Express Entry BC stream: EEBC-Skilled Worker, EEBC-Health Care Professional, EEBC-International Graduate or EEBC-International Post-Graduate.
  • You must also meet the minimum criteria for one of the following federal economic immigration programs:
  • Please note - This includes proof of meeting the applicable minimum English or French language proficiency level and completing an independent evaluation of your education assessed against Canadian standards.
  • First, you must go to IRCC’s Express Entry  system, complete the self-assessment and if eligible, create an online profile. You must also indicate that you intend to reside in B.C.
  • You will be required to enter information regarding your education, language and work experience as part of your Express Entry profile.
  • If you meet the criteria for one the federal economic immigration programs subject to IRCC’s Express Entry system, you will receive an Express Entry Profile Number and a Job Seeker Validation Code. This is a specific number assigned only to you.
  • Then, complete the BC PNP Online registration or application (depending on the program category), and enter your Express Entry information into the relevant section, including the Express Entry Profile Number and a Job Seeker Validation Code, as well as the applicable federal economic immigration program(s) for which you are eligible. 
  • Once complete, submit your registration or application and any other required documents. For more information about the BC PNP process, visit the Express Entry BC Process page.
  1. I submitted an application under the new Express Entry BC stream and my application was refused. Can my Express Entry BC application be considered under the regular Skills Immigration stream instead?
  • No. Applicants under the Express Entry BC stream who are refused by IRCC must submit a new registration and/or application under the Skills Immigration stream, including a new $700 application fee.
  • Individuals may submit a new registration and/or application to the BC PNP at any time; however, we recommend that applicants do so only after all the reasons for a previous refusal have been resolved.
  • Individuals must ensure that they meet the eligibility requirements for the BC PNP program category for which they intend to register/apply.
  1. I was nominated under the Skills Immigration stream. Can I apply for permanent residence through IRCC's Express Entry system?
  • No. If your nomination was approved under the Skills Immigration stream, it cannot be used in IRCC’s Express Entry system or to apply online for permanent residence through the Express Entry system. The BC PNP will not convert a Skills Immigration nomination to an Express Entry BC nomination.
  • If your BC PNP application has been approved under the Skills Immigration stream, you are responsible for submitting a complete application for permanent residence to the IRCC visa office. As outlined in your nomination package, this must be submitted prior to the expiry date on your nomination certificate.
  • The BC PNP will only provide nomination extensions in cases where a nominee can demonstrate that an application for permanent residency was submitted to IRCC prior to the nomination expiry date listed on the Confirmation of Nomination, and a decision has not yet been rendered by IRCC.

Role of Employers

  1. Is the role of the employer in a BC PNP application different under Express Entry British Columbia stream?
  • No. The role of the employer remains the same as it does under the Skills Immigration stream. For more information, please visit the Employer Requirements page.