Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants

Last reviewed: April 2, 2024

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British Columbia has a growing economy and job market—employers and communities are looking for workers in many different areas.

Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants helps professionals use their skills, training, and foreign qualifications for work in B.C. It can help you get jobs that match your experience and background.

The Career Paths program offers:
  • financial help to pay for professional re-credentialling (training) or licenses
  • job-related language training
  • assessment (checking) of credentials and experience
  • career planning and coaching
  • communication with regulatory authorities
  • referrals to employers and mentors
  • Canadian work experience opportunities – for example, through work-study programs or related jobs in your industry
  • if your occupation is not practised in B.C. or your qualifications are not recognized in B.C., Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants can help you find other options
Visit the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC (AMSSA) website to see videos that explain the Career Paths program. 

Are you eligible?

You may be eligible for Career Paths if you:

  • Became a permanent resident of Canada within the last ten years
  • Are a protected person/refugee
  • Have been selected for permanent residence
  • Have 1 year of work experience in your home country (Stream 1 and 2)
  • Have 2 years of work experience in your home country, or 1 year of pre-arrival work experience in your home country if you are 30 years old or younger (Stream 3)
  • Have an intermediate to advanced level of English language proficiency
  • Are unemployed or working in a job that does not use your skills and training from your home country

The program has three streams:

  • Stream 1: Priority occupations. These are specific jobs that are classified using the NOC system. They are in demand in B.C. and difficult to fill. 
  • Stream 2: Regulated occupations. These include skilled jobs where you may need to be recertified to work in B.C. The recertification process is done by a regulatory body. 
  • Stream 3: Unregulated occupations. These include skilled jobs where you may not need to be certified.

Stream 1: B.C. priority occupations

Stream 1 could help you find work in a high-demand job. Under this stream you could get up to 24 months of help toward your work goal. Support may include:
  • Career counselling specific to your job
  • Help getting recertification education (where relevant)
  • English language training specific to your job
  • Other help that B.C. employers know will help you succeed
Find the jobs that are in high demand in B.C. under stream 1 below, including service providers and their contact information. The occupations below are found in the NOC 2016 version.


Service providers delivering the Career Paths Program: Stream 1

Occupational group Occupation Service provider
Construction & engineering
NOC 0711 Construction managers
NOC 2131 Civil engineers
NOC 2133 Electrical & electronics engineers
NOC 2132 Mechanical engineers
2151 Architects 
Immigrant Services Society
of BC (ISSofBC)

NOC 2171 Information systems analysts and consultants
NOC 2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers
NOC 2281 Computer network technicians
NOC 2173 Software engineers and designers
NOC 2175 Web designers and developers
Immigrant Services Society
of BC (ISSofBC)

NOC 1111 Financial auditors & accountants
NOC 1311 Accounting technicians and bookkeepers
NOC 1123 Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations
NOC 1122 Professional occupations in business management consulting
Multilingual Orientation
Service Association for
Immigrant Communities 

604-438-8214 ext. 111
Health A NOC 3012 Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses
NOC 3233 Licenced practical nurses
NOC 3216 Medical sonographers
NOC 3112 General practitioners and family physicians
NOC 3413 Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates
NOC 3111 Specialist physicians
Douglas College

Health B NOC 3142 Physiotherapists
NOC 3143 Occupational therapists
NOC 3212 Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists’ assistants
NOC 3114 Veterinarians
NOC 3132 Dieticians and nutritionists
Back in Motion
Education and social services NOC 4212 Social and community service workers
NOC 4011 University professors and lecturers
NOC 4021 College and other vocational instructors
NOC 4214 Early childhood educators and assistants
Douglas College

NOC 0621 Retail and wholesale trade managers
NOC 0631 Restaurant and food service managers
NOC 0601 Corporate sales managers
NOC 0121 Insurance, real estate and financial brokerage managers

Stream 2: regulated jobs

More than 280 jobs in B.C. are regulated. To work in a regulated job, you need to be certified. Stream 2 could help you find work in a regulated job that does not fall under Stream 1.

Each regulated job has different standards. A regulatory authority sets these standards. It also assesses qualifications from other countries.

In this stream you may receive up to 22 months of help to reach your work goal. This could include:
  • Career counselling specific to your job
  • Financial help to upgrade your skills, including language training
  • Help with getting ready for exams
  • Other support that will help you succeed in B.C.
If you don’t have a lot of work experience in Canada, career counsellors can help you find a practicum or a temporary job in your industry. While you work, you can get your Canadian credentials.

Stream 3: unregulated jobs

Stream 3 may help you to find a job in any unregulated occupation in B.C. Under stream 3 you may get up to 12 months of help reaching your work goal. Support could include:
  • Career counselling specific to your job
  • Financial support for upgrading (including language training)
  • Other support that will help you succeed in B.C.

Find services under stream 2 and 3 in each region of the province, including service providers, their contact information, and the cities they serve.

Service providers delivering the Career Paths Program: Streams 2 and 3

Region Service provider   Contact 
New Westminster
Cariboo North
Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia (ISSofBC) 236-985-7359
South Delta
Langley plus
Back in Motion 604-575-3800
TriCities plus Douglas College 604-588-7772
Thompson Okanagan
Kelowna Community Resources Society 250-763-8008
North and West Vancouver
Fraser Valley Archway Community Services 604-866-0257 
Vancouver Island South Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) 250-388-4728 ext. 2140
Vancouver Island North Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society
250-753-6911 ext. 114
250-753-6911 ext. 102

The Career Paths program is funded by the Province of British Columbia and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

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