Support and retain your workers

Last reviewed: March 12, 2024

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Support your workers

Supporting internationally trained workers will be the start of a positive and productive employer-employee relationship. You can help workers: You can also help temporary workers to become permanent residents, using the immigration programs below.

Immigration programs

BC Provincial Nominee Program

The BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) is a pathway that makes it possible for employers to support workers for permanent residence.

The BC PNP offers two ways for workers to become a permanent resident in B.C. There are different categories workers can apply under, depending on their National Occupational Classification skill level, job, or international student status.
Is the BC PNP the right choice for my business?
The BC PNP may be a good choice if you have already tried to hire - but are unable to find - a Canadian worker to fill a permanent position. It can also be a good choice if you already have international workers who would like to become permanent residents.
Is my business eligible?
To be eligible, you must support an employee’s application, meet the eligibility criteria, and fulfill certain responsibilities during the application process.
Get more information
To view the employer requirements, please visit the BC PNP Employer Requirements page.

For complete, up-to-date program information and requirements, please review the BC PNP Skills Immigration Program Guide.

About federal immigration programs

Several federal programs help foreign workers to gain permanent residence or immigrate to Canada. In the Express Entry system, Canada chooses skilled immigrants to receive invitations to apply (ITA) for permanent residence based on their ability to settle in Canada and take part in our economy.
The Express Entry system manages applications for permanent residence under most of these federal economic immigration programs. When you want to hire workers who are not Canadian residents, you may be able to help them enter Canada by making job offers ahead of time. A job offer that is supported by a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which is a determination that there are no qualified Canadians to fill a job opening, will receive extra points.
Employers can use their existing recruiting and hiring practices to find a candidate. Employers can reach newcomers already in Canada, including refugees, through Canada’s Job Bank, as well as private sector job boards and, in some cases, through Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).
The Employer Liaison Network (ELN) helps employers to use the Express Entry system efficiently.
The Temporary Foreign Worker Program allows employers to hire foreign workers to fill temporary labour and skill shortages. It is not part of the Express Entry system, but it can be a step toward permanent residence in Canada.

Immigration supports in B.C.

What does the Immigration Programs Branch do?
The Immigration Programs Branch (IPB) administers the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP).

We provide immigration expertise to:
  • B.C. companies that need to access global talent
  • international companies that currently operate in B.C.
  • international companies that will be establishing operations in B.C.

We are also a referral partner for the Global Skills Strategy (GSS).

Who can we help?

  • international companies looking to transfer key personnel or employees with specialized knowledge to the province for a temporary period in order to continue the growth of their business
  • B.C. companies unable to find skilled talent locally that are looking to recruit highly skilled employees from abroad to temporarily and/or permanently fill positions requiring skills that are in short supply in Canada
How can we help?
  • customized help with navigating the different immigration options to meet the specific needs of a company
  • immigration information on both permanent and temporary immigration options such as the BC PNP, Express Entry, and the intra company transfer process
  • referral services under the Global Skills Strategy (GSS) for the dedicated service channel (DSC) and Global Talent Stream (GTS)
  • concierge services for B.C. tech companies supporting an application to the BC PNP 
What is the Global Skills Strategy?
The Global Skills Strategy (GSS) is a federal government initiative designed to attract and expedite the entry of global, highly skilled and qualified talent to support Canadian companies to grow and scale up.

The objective of the GSS is to help companies with significant investments in Canada bring in the highly skilled talent they need to succeed. This is done through dedicated and expedited service delivery offered by Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Employment & Social Development Canada (ESDC) with the help of designated referral partners. 

The GSS has 4 pillars:
  • dedicated service channel (IRCC – referral based)
  • short-term work permit exemptions (IRCC – not referral based)
  • expedited work permit processing (2 weeks) (IRCC – not referral based)
  • Global Talent Stream under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (ESDC – partially referral based)
Who can use IRCC’s dedicated service channel?
Companies making significant investments (monetary and/or job-creating) that will result in substantial improvements to the Canadian labour market or economy can be referred to IRCC’s dedicated service channel. For more information on the dedicated service channel, please visit IRCC’s webpage.

Who can use ESDC’s Global Talent Stream?
The Global Talent Stream (GTS) is a program under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program that aims to facilitate the immigration process of highly skilled and in-demand talent. For more information on the Global Talent Stream, please visit ESDC’s webpage
What is the Province’s role as a designated referral partner for GSS?
The Province has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to be a designated referral partner for the Province of B.C. The Immigration Programs Branch considers requests for referrals from companies who meet federal criteria for IRCC’s dedicated service channel and ESDC’s Global Talent Stream (under category A) and who will provide significant economic benefit for the province.