Skills Immigration 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 the Skills Immigration stream?

  • The Skills Immigration (SI) stream of the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) is a way for people with the skills, experience and qualifications needed by B.C. employers to apply for permanent residence in Canada.
  • You can apply under one of five SI categories.
  • Learn more about Skills Immigration.

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 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (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.

What occupations are eligible?

Do I need a valid job offer to be eligible for BC PNP’s Skills Immigration stream? 

  • Yes, unless you are applying to the 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.

How do I get a work permit for B.C.?

Can you review my details and tell if I am eligible for nomination before I apply?

  • No. The BC PNP cannot pre-assess your qualifications.
  • You must demonstrate that you meet the requirements of the program.

Can you tell me which category I should apply under?

  • No. The BC PNP cannot provide this guidance.
  • You must select the category that best matches your experience and skills. In most categories you must have a job offer from a B.C. employer to apply.

Where can I find a job in Canada?

Do I need a third-party representative to apply?

  • No. You do not have to use a third-party representative.
  • Applications prepared with the help of an authorized representative are assessed using the same criteria and do not receive special attention.
  • To learn more, please read Using a Representative.

What if my employer does not want to support my BC PNP application?

  • Your employer must provide you with a full-time, indeterminate job offer (permanent or with no set end date), submit an application form and supporting documentation, and meet eligibility criteria.
  • For more information, please visit the Employer Requirements page.

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 in B.C. your job is located, 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 Skilled Worker, Entry Level and Semi-Skilled or International Graduate category.
  • You don’t have to register if you are applying under the HealthCare Professional or International Post-Graduate category. Instead, you can 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 include:
    • The National Occupation Classification skill level of your B.C. job offer should align with B.C. labour market needs. This lets us prioritize high-demand occupations.
    • The annual wage you are offered indicates labour market demand and economic impact. The right wage also helps you settle successfully in B.C.
    • The B.C. location of your job offer recognizes the challenges regional communities face in attracting and retaining workers.
  • Factors that influence your ability to settle in B.C. include:
    • Directly related work experience means you are likely to be able to transfer your skills to the B.C. workforce. It also indicates how successful you are likely to be 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 the BC PNP Skills Immigration stream 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 registered.

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

  • Language tests may not be needed for your chosen category. However, completing an eligible language proficiency test may improve your registration score.
  • Learn more about language tests.

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?

  • No. 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 while I wait to see if I will be invited to apply?

  • 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.
  • 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 Skills Immigration stream of the BC PNP.

How does the Skills Immigration stream work?

If the BC PNP nominates me for permanent residence, am I entitled to work in B.C.?

  • No. This does NOT provide you with the legal status to work in B.C.
  • 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.
  • Learn more about work permits.
  • Learn more about work permit support letter requests after nomination

After Nomination

Does being nominated mean I have been approved for permanent resident status?

  • No. This does NOT mean you have been granted permanent resident status in Canada.
  • Learn more about the nomination process.

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 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.

What if my employer doesn’t meet the terms and conditions of my employment contract or offer?

  • All employers must demonstrate good workplace and business practices. This includes compliance with employment, immigration, and health and safety laws and regulations.
  • If you are concerned about your rights and responsibilities as a foreign worker, please read about employment standards for foreign workers.

Information for employers

What if I want to hire a foreign worker for only a temporary period of time?

  • The BC PNP is intended for employers who wish to hire and retain employees for indeterminate employment (permanent or with no set end date) in B.C.
  • If you want to hire a temporary employee, please explore the other options available to you through IRCC. 

What are my obligations as an employer?

Why does the BC PNP assess an employer’s history and operations?

  • Employers must show they have the financial ability to offer indeterminate and full-time employment to applicants.
  • Learn about employer requirements.