On November 1, 2017 the British Columbia Provincial Nomination Program (the “BC PNP”) clarified and/or modified several aspects of its programs.
The more significant revisions that applicants and practitioners should be aware of are:
- The International Graduates and International Post-Graduate programs have long excluded graduates from distance education programs from being eligible. As well, a person’s education has not been eligible for Skills Immigration Registration System (“SIRS”) ranking points if it was obtained through distance education. The BC PNP has now defined “distance education.” It means “a program of study in which the majority of credits earned by the student toward the completion of a program were earned by completing online courses.
- The BC PNP has removed the requirement that candidates meet the employment requirements for offered positions, as per the National Occupational Classification (“NOC”) website. However, the BC PNP may still refer to the NOC website to determine the minimum qualifications for an occupation.
- Previously, an applicant could not have an ownership/equity take of more than 10% in the B.C. company that is offering employment. The BC PNP has changed this requirement to state that an applicant and his/her pouse cannot have a combined ownership/equity stake of more than 10% in the B.C. company that is offering employment.
- The BC PNP has re-affirmed that it does not consider bonuses, commissions, profit-sharing distributions, tips/gratuities, overtime wages, housing allowances, room and board, or other similar payments to be part of a person’s wage.
- The BC PNP has completely changed the job requirements in the Express Entry International Graduate and International Graduate programs. First, it has removed the ability of such individuals to work in NOC C/D positions if they can show a structured plan in place for career advancement. Second, the BC PNP has clarified that supervisor or management positions will only be accepted if the applicant can demonstrate through their resume that they have obtained experience which qualifies them for the position. The BC PNP has also announced that those who are unable to demonstrate that they have obtained progressively increasing experience or responsibilities, or if their employer cannot demonstrate that the job offer is bona fide, then their application will be refused.
- The BC PNP has clarified that for the purposes of determining the number of full-time employees that an employer has an individual will generally only be considered an employee if they are on the employer’s payroll, and that T4s may be required.
- The BC PNP has affirmed that recruitment will only be waived for employees who are currently working for their employer if the employee has completed their studies.
- People who have been nominated must inform the BC PNP if there is (a) a change in employer, title, work location or job duties, (b) a decrease in wage, (c) loss of employment, (d) change in marital status or number of dependants, (e) change in immigration status, (f) refusal of work permit or (g) change to part-time employment.
The changes to the Entrepreneur Stream were less significant. The BC PNP has re-affirmed that an individual will only consider registrations to establish or purchase and improve a business that contributes to the economic growth of British Columbia. An applicant must demonstrate that they will own at least 33.3% of the business in British Columbia, and that if the proposed ownership is less then they will invest a minimum of $1 million in an equity purchase.