About immigrating to B.C.

Last updated: August 1, 2023

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Immigration fraud and scams

Immigration fraud is a serious crime and can take many forms. The information in this section is for everyone, not just BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) applicants. If you suspect or know about immigration fraud and scams happening, please read the following information.
Topics in this section:

How to report fraud and scams

The following information outlines how to report immigration fraud and scams.  

Cases not directly related to the BC PNP should be sent to the appropriate agency for investigation as indicated below. 

Email, telephone, internet scams

Email, telephone and internet scammers can be very convincing. They will use all kinds of tactics to try and defraud you of your personal information or money. In many cases, scammers will send emails that appear legitimate and official, even using government logos. They will also make phone calls seem like they are coming from government agencies.

Be careful if someone is asking you for money or banking information. If you are unsure whether an email, a telephone call, or a website is a scam, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre will help you make that determination.  

Canadian federal and provincial governments do not have special agreements with private companies to get jobs or visas on your behalf.

Only the Canadian federal government can approve and issue documents that confirm immigration status in Canada.

Please report email, telephone, and internet scams, as well as financial losses (suspected or confirmed) due to fraud, to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre: Examples of email, telephone, and internet scams include:
  • emails asking you to confirm receipt by “responding immediately” and by responding, they will then send you a second email promising more information and lots of benefits
  • emails telling you that you were selected or chosen through an “electronic ballot system” for resettlement in Canada
  • emails, phone calls or websites that ask you to send personal information, money or prepaid gift card numbers, or scans of your photos and passports
  • emails, phone calls or websites giving you a “guaranteed” visa or nomination
For more information on fraud scams:   

Immigration fraud in Canada

If you have information about immigration fraud in Canada, and this fraud is not directly related to the BC PNP, please report this information to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA): Examples of immigration fraud in Canada include:
  • people who have overstayed their status in Canada
  • people who are working or studying in Canada without authorization
  • people wanted on an immigration warrant
  • people who have entered Canada based on misrepresentation, or who have made a false declaration or document fraud

Canadian citizenship fraud

If you have information about Canadian citizenship fraud, please report this information to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC): Examples of Canadian citizenship fraud include:
  • people who pretended to live in Canada to become a citizen
  • people who hid information about their Canadian citizenship case

BC PNP Fraud

If you have information about fraud directly related to BC PNP applications or processes, please email the BC PNP Please provide as many identifying details as possible so we can take the correct action. This may include the following information about people or businesses: 
  • names
  • addresses
  • birth dates
  • case reference numbers
All the information you provide is handled in compliance with applicable legislation, including FOIPPA and PIPA. We may share fraud tips with other agencies as part of legal investigation or enforcement action. The information we share with other agencies may include your name and contact information. If you do not want your name and contact information to be shared, you can send us the information anonymously.

Examples of fraud directly related to the BC PNP include:
  • fake job offers created by immigration representatives, employers, or applicants
  • fake or fraudulent documents submitted with a BC PNP application
  • applicants who lie about (misrepresent) their work experience
  • lying about investment amounts for Entrepreneur Immigration applications

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) fraud

If you have information about LMIA fraud, you can contact the National Investigative Services, Integrity Services Branch of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) through Service Canada:

How to file a complaint

Complaints regarding an employer 

If you want to file a complaint against an employer in B.C., you can contact the Employment Standards Branch (ESB):

Complaints regarding an immigration consultant

If you want to file a complaint against an immigration consultant, you can contact the The College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants​ (CICC):             

Complaints regarding an immigration lawyer or notary

If you want to file a complaint against an immigration lawyer or notary, you can contact the law society in their province or territory:  If any of these complaints or reports are also directly related to a BC PNP application, please also email this information to us at PNP.fraud.tips@gov.bc.ca.

BC PNP penalty for misrepresentation

Anyone who is connected to a BC PNP application who lies, embellishes, exaggerates, or intentionally leaves out information is participating in misrepresentation and committing fraud. This includes applicants, employers, consultants, and/or lawyers. 

As an applicant, you are responsible for all the information in your BC PNP application. Even if your immigration representative completes it for you, you are responsible for the information. 

Examples of fraud include:
  • taking part in a fake job offer scheme
  • lying about your work history
  • submitting fake or altered documents
Under our legislation, the BC PNP may refuse to accept applications for a period of up to 2 years from an applicant and/or an employer who has participated in misrepresentation or fraud relating to their BC PNP application.

Provincial Immigration Programs Act (PIPA):

Provincial Immigration Programs Regulation (PIPR):

Deciding to use the services of an immigration representative

You do not need a representative to apply for immigration. If you choose to have a representative, please read the Using a Representative section for more information. Representatives can be paid or unpaid.

In British Columbia, it is illegal to buy jobs. It is illegal for anyone to ask you for money in exchange for a job.
No one can 'guarantee' you a job, a provincial nomination, or immigration to Canada.

BC PNP fees

If you are being charged a significant amount for the services of an immigration representative, you may wish to take note of the following BC PNP fees: 
  • Registration for Skills Immigration streams:  No fee
  • Application for Skills Immigration streams:  $1,475
  • Registration for Entrepreneur Immigration streams:  $300 CAD
  • Application for Entrepreneur Immigration streams:  $3,500 CAD
For more information on fees, please visit our BC PNP Fees section.

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Using a representative

The BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) is designed so you can submit a registration or application on your own. However, you may choose to use a representative, such as an immigration consultant or lawyer, to provide advice or help with the process.
We assess all applications equally. Using a representative will not give you special attention or faster processing, and does not guarantee a better outcome.

Paid representatives

Paid representatives must be: or
  • lawyers who are members in good standing of the Law Society of BC or another Canadian Law Society, the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, or the Chambre des notaires du Quebec
Before you hire a representative, confirm that they are in good standing with their professional organization. 

Unpaid representatives

You may use the services of an unpaid representative to act on your behalf. Unpaid representatives may include immigration consultants or lawyers (see above), family members, friends and members of a non-governmental or religious organization.
Unpaid representatives do not charge fees or receive any other compensation or benefit for providing immigration advice or related services.

Disclosing your representative

If you decide to use a representative to help you, you must disclose that in your application. Failure to do this may lead to the application being refused.

Use of a representative forms

If you are using a representative or if you change your representative, you must submit the following form: If you are invited to apply and your employer is using a representative, your employer must complete a separate form, even if they are appointing the same representative.  

Declaration and consent

By completing the BC PNP’s use of a representative form, you and your employer (where applicable) have authorized the individual named on the form to represent you and act on your behalf with the BC PNP. This may include representation throughout the registration, application and assessment processes, and communication with program staff as required. This includes disclosure of personal or confidential information to your representative.
The legal declaration in the online registration or application is your legal signature. If your representative enters the registration or application on your behalf, you should review the information provided as you will be legally responsible for the accuracy of the form contents.
BCPNP Online uses your personal email as the unique personal identifier for your profile. The email and contact information provided in your profile will be associated with the application in the system, and will be used by BC PNP staff for communication of final decisions.
At its discretion, the BC PNP may contact you or your employer directly to request additional evidence or information to verify information in your registration or application, and to determine if you meet or continue to meet all program requirements. 

Be aware of dishonest representatives

Some licensed or unlicensed consultants are dishonest. Unlicensed consultants are sometimes called 'ghost consultants'. A dishonest consultant may ask you to keep your relationship with them secret from the BC PNP or the Canadian government. A dishonest consultant may provide you with fake documents, information, or jobs in exchange for money. These tactics may result in your application being refused. 
If you choose to use the help of a representative, you must tell us in your application. You must tell us even if the representative is unpaid. If you do not disclose this relationship, it may lead to your application being refused.
As well as providing your representative’s contact details, you must provide your personal email address so you can also receive all correspondence from us. If you do not provide your personal email address, you may not receive critical correspondence from the BC PNP.

More information

Full information regarding representatives and recruiters can be found in the program guide.
We encourage you to protect yourself from immigration fraud. Learn more about protecting yourself from fraud.

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Language tests

Find out when and how to get a language test as part of your registration or application to the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP). Completing an eligible test may improve your registration score and strengthen your application. 

How to take a language test

Please visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website for complete and up-to-date information on language tests, including types of tests and designated agencies.

If you disagree with your language test results, please contact the agency that issued your results to discuss your concerns.

When you need a language test

You must take a language test through a designated agency to apply to: The BC PNP may request proof of English language proficiency at any time during the assessment of an application.
Language test results are valid for two years. 

For SI streams and their EEBC options, the language test must be valid throughout your BC PNP application process. It must still be valid when you apply to IRCC for permanent residence. IRCC will decline EEBC applications with expired language test results.

For the EI – Regional Pilot, you must submit a valid language test when you register. Communities may also require valid language test results as part of their process.  

For EI – Base, your language test must be valid when it is submitted. You may choose to submit your language test at the registration, application, or final report for nomination stage. 

Getting a new language test

If you have not received an invitation to apply, and you would like your registration score to reflect your new language test results, you may withdraw your existing registration and submit a new registration with your updated language test results.

Registration fees will not be refunded for EI registrants who withdraw.

You do not have to report new test results if the old results remain valid.

Get started

Visit our Documents page to find more language test information in:
  • the BC PNP Skills Immigration Program Guide
  • the BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration – Base Program Guide
  • the BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Program Guide
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Educational credential assessments

An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is an independent assessment of your foreign degree, diploma, certificate or other credential. It is used to verify that your qualification is valid and equivalent to Canadian credentials.
The BC PNP may require an ECA to verify your foreign education credentials. An ECA may also be required for your IRCC application.

How to get an ECA

The BC PNP and IRCC only accept ECAs from a designated agency. Please visit the IRCC website for complete and up-to-date ECA requirements and designated agencies.

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Other immigration options and information

If the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) is not the right program for you and your family, you may be able to come to Canada through another program. 
Check out your options: 
  • Canadian Experience Class. This program allows those with work experience in Canada to become permanent residents.
  • Family Sponsorship. This option is a way for citizens and permanent residents over the age of 18 to sponsor their relatives to come to Canada.
  • Live-in Caregiver Program. Through this program, qualified individuals can come to Canada to care for children, elderly persons or persons with disabilities in private homes.
  • Federal Skilled Workers Program. This program offers permanent residence to skilled professionals who can contribute to Canada’s economy.
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program. This program offers permanent residence for qualified skilled trades workers who can contribute to the Canada’s economy.
  • The Self-Employed Persons Program. This program is for people who will become self-employed in Canada.
  • Start-up Visa Program. Entrepreneurs with the skills and ideas to build an innovative business in Canada may be eligible for this program.
  • Temporary Foreign Worker Program. This program allows foreign workers to come to Canada to fill short-term labour and skill shortages.
Find out if you're eligible to apply to come to Canada or extend your stay. Use Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s online eligibility tool. Answer a few questions to find out what immigration programs you can apply for.
You do not need to hire an immigration consultant or lawyer to help you immigrate. For more information, please see the Using a representative section.
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