On June 26, 2018 the British Columbia Provincial Nomination Program (the “BC PNP”) clarified and/or modified several aspects of its programs.

Skilled Immigration

The more significant revisions that applicants and practitioners should be aware of are:

    • Previously, applicants to the BC PNP – Skilled Worker programs, and their spouses, could not have a combined ownership / equity stake of more than 10% in the British Columbia company that was offering them employment.  Now, they cannot have held more than 10% ownership in the five pear period preceding the application and throughout the BC PNP application process.
    • Applicants to the BC PNP Tech Pilot must now qualify under 1 out of 29 eligible occupations. The job offer must be at least one year in duration, and there must be at least 120 calendar days remaining on the job offer at the time of the application.
    • The BC PNP previously would not nominate individuals if they were not lawfully admitted in their country of current residence.  This requirement has been removed.
    •  Post nomination the BC PNP no longer wishes for employers to notify them of any promotions, and instead wants to be notified of demotions.
    • The BC PNP has changed the wording for bonus points from bonus points to additional points. This may eliminate the ability of individuals to get bonus points in a category that they got zero points in (except for the bonus points).

 

 » Read more about: Summary of June 26 Changes to BC PNP Guide  »

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On November 1, 2017 the British Columbia Provincial Nomination Program (the “BC PNP”) clarified and/or modified several aspects of its programs.

Skilled Immigration

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. 

 » Read more about: Summary of November 1 Changes to BC PNP Guide  »

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As of writing, there have now been two published judicial reviews of British Columbia Provincial Nomination Program (“BC PNP“) refusals.  In each case the judicial review was dismissed.

While both cases were very fact specific, some of the key passages were as follows.

Chaudan v. British Columbia (Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training), 2016 BCSC 2142

 

This case essentially stands for the proposition that officers can look beyond an offer of employment to determine whether a proposed job offer meets BC PNP program requirements. Justice Bowden wrote:

In determining whether an applicant met the criterion of PNP, if a decision maker relied only upon a future offer of employment, that might well be unreasonable. Not only would that ignore the factor of past employment over a nine month period but also an offer of employment in the future is not an assurance that the criterion will be met.

Raturi v. British Columbia, 2017 BCSC 9

 

In this case Madam Justice E.A. Arnold-Bailey provided a useful summary of existing jurisprudence on provincial nomination judicial reviews. She wrote:

Moving from more general statements of principle to specific cases more closely aligned to the present case, I note that among the cases referred to by the Respondent are Jiang and Baba. Both these cases deal with provincial nominee programs in other provinces, Manitoba and New Brunswick respectively. In neither case was the denied applicant successful.

Jiang was an appeal from an order of the application judge refusing to quash a decision of the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program for Business (the “Program”). The appellant,

 » Read more about: Judicial Reviews of BC PNP Decisions  »

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The first reported British Columbia Supreme Court decision involving the British Columbia Provincial Nomination Program has gone to the BC PNP.

 » Read more about: First Reported BC PNP Decision  »

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On September 1, 2016, the British Columbia Provincial Nomination Program (“BC PNP“) published changes to its program guide.

Here is a summary of the changes.

Topic

Original

Change

Representatives
If you are invited to apply and your employer is using a representative, your employer must also complete their own use of representative form, even if your employer is appointing the same representative.
If you are invited to apply and you are using a representative, your employer must also complete their own use of representative form, even if your employer is appointing the same representative.

Refunds
If invited to apply, you must submit the $550 application fee with your online application before your application will be processed. Incomplete applications will not be processed and fees may not be refunded.
If invited to apply, you must submit the $550 application fee with your online application before your application will be processed. Incomplete applications will not be approved, and application fees will only be refunded if you withdraw your application before the BC PNP begins to assess it. You may contact the BC PNP at PNPinfo@gov.bc.ca to withdraw your application and find out if you are eligible for a refund. Please provide your full name, your date of birth, and your BC PNP application file number in your email.

Minimum Incomes Threshold
2014 Data
2015 Data

All thresholds have an average increase of $100-600

Paid Co-Op Counting as Experience
No mention.
Experience obtained in paid co-op work terms is eligible if it meets the following criteria:

  • paid co-op work term must be full-time (minimum 30 hours per week)
  • paid co-op experience must be at a NOC skill level equal to or greater than the NOC code of the B.C.

 » Read more about: BC PNP September 1 Changes  »

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On January 27, 2016, the British Columbia Provincial Nomination Program (“BC PNP“) re-opened its Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC programs, and introduced the Skills Immigration Registration System.

The Skills Immigration Registration System is an expression of interest system to manage BC PNP Skills Immigration application intake.  It is similar to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (“IRCC”, previously “CIC”) Express Entry system, as only registrants who are invited by the BC PNP to submit full nomination applications can actually apply for nomination certificates.  Simply meeting program requirements does not guarantee an Invitation to Apply for nomination.

The BC PNP determined that an application intake management system would be necessary in 2016 as the BC PNP had to frequently suspend intake to its programs in 2015.  On March 31, 2015, the BC PNP announced a 90-day pause on intake to its Skills Immigration programs. On July 2, 2015, the BC PNP re-opened its Skills Immigration program to limited intake, and the programs were full within 36 hours.  On September 1, 2015, the BC PNP suspended intake to its Express Entry BC programs, and, with the limited exception of a 50 spot opening in November, the BC PNP has not accepted applications to its programs since.

While the Skills Immigration Registration System is designed to prevent similar program closures in 2016, it does mean that many individuals who qualify for BC PNP Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC programs will be unable to apply this year.

The Skills Immigration Registration System is open, and is now accepting registrants. Potential applicants must qualify for a BC PNP Skills Immigration program, or an Express Entry BC program, at both the time of registration and application.

Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC

The BC PNP Skills Immigration stream contains the following programs:

  • Skilled Workers
  • Health Care Professionals
  • International Graduates
  • International Post-Graduates
  • Entry Level and Semi-Skilled
  • North East Pilot Project

While the detailed requirements of each program are beyond the scope of this newsletter,

 » Read more about: The BC PNP Skills Immigration Programs in 2016  »

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With four months remaining in the year, both British Columbia’s and Alberta’s provincial nomination programs have announced that they are full.

 

BCPNPfull

AINP processing and inventory   Alberta Canada   Alberta  Canada

The ability of both provinces to meet the demands of their employers to retain foreign national employees on a permanent basis is clearly being cut off at the knees by federal quotas that appear to bare no resemblance to what is needed.

 » Read more about: Western Canada PNP’s Reach Intake Threshold  »

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On July 2, 2015, the British Columbia Provincial Nomination Program (“BC PNP“) re-launched with new program requirements and processes.  The BC PNP remains divided into the Skills Immigration stream and the Entrepreneur Immigration stream.

The most significant changes to the BC PNP include:

  • Introducing an online application process with an electronic payment system;
  • Streamlining the Business Skills and Regional Business programs into one Entrepreneur Immigration stream based on an expression of interest model similar to Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (“CIC”) Express Entry program;
  • Capping the intake in the Skills Immigration program to 200 new applications in 2015 (Express Entry BC, the Health Care Professionals Stream, and the North East Pilot Project are excluded from this cap);  and
  • Requiring in the Skilled Immigration Stream that applicants with job offers in National Occupational Classification (“NOC”) B positions pass an English language test.

Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC

The Skills Immigration is divided into the following substreams:

  • Skilled Worker
  • Health Care Professionals
  • International Graduates
  • International Post-Graduates
  • Entry Level and Semi-Skilled
  • North East Pilot Project

As well, the Express Entry BC stream is divided into the following substreams:

  • Skilled Worker
  • Health Care Professional
  • International Graduate
  • International Post-Graduate

Most of the requirements to the Skills Immigration streams and sub-streams remain largely unchanged. However, in addition to requiring that applicants apply online, the following are new program requirements:

  • In the Skilled Worker substream the BC PNP has clarified that “several years of directly related work experience” means two or more years;
  • The “Market Rate” for a position is based on an applicant’s employment and educational experience.  

 » Read more about: The BC PNP Has Re-Opened with all New Programs  »

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On February 17, 2015, the Province of British Columbia published the results of the following FOI request:

Specific fields of data, tabulated by year for the past four years, within the Performance Agreements for Business Immigration including: the number of agreements signed, investment amount committed and number of jobs committed as well as the agreements fulfilled, the actual investment amounts and actual number of jobs. Timeframe is 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2014.

The FOI results are embedded below.  There are many things that one can conclude from the data.  What is clear is that except for 2012, the “performance agreement success rate” is around 50%.

 » Read more about: Evaluating the BC PNP Business Program  »

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After the work experience requirement for the Canadian Experience Class went from two-years to one, many people have been asking whether they should apply for the BC PNP – Strategic Occupations – Skilled Workers program or the Canadian Experience Class.

The following table shows some of the issues that applicants should be aware with each application.  It was part of a larger table comparing the BC PNP to many federal economic immigration programs which I wrote in a paper for the 2013 Canadian Bar Association – British Columbia Branch Annual Immigration Conference.

Issue

BC PNP – Skilled Workers

CEC

Is a job offer required as part of the application?
Yes, and the employer must have at least 3-5 employees depending on its location.
No. In fact, there is no requirement that the applicant be employed during the processing of the application.

If a job offer is required, can the applicant change employers?
Not until after nomination, and the BC PNP may withdraw nomination if the new position does not meet program requirements.
N/A

If a job offer is required, does the employer have to do recruitment?
Yes, although if the employee is a TFW the original recruitment is sufficient.
N/A

How much work experience is required?
Several years of directly related work experience.

 
1 year of work experience in a NOC 0/A/B occupation in Canada in the 3 years preceding the application. 

Does self-employment count to experience?
Yes.
No.

Can currently self-employed people apply?
No, an applicant cannot own more than 10% of the employer.
Yes.  However, they must have one year experience as an employee.

Processing times
8-12 weeks at BC PNP, and then varies at CIC
11 months

Is language testing required?
No.

 
Yes.

 » Read more about: Should I Do BC PNP or CEC?  »

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