BC Provincial Nominee Program: Skills Immigration & Express Entry BC – Temporary Pause on New Application Intake. Effective September 1st, 2015, new applications will no longer be accepted for the majority of BC PNP Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC categories. BC PNP will only continue to accept applications under the Health Care Professional (Skilled Worker and Express Entry BC) and Northeast Pilot Project.
Some new changes were unveiled with regards to the BC PNP (Provincial Nominee Program) on July 2, 2015, aimed at “[shifting] the program’s focus to high-impact workers and entrepreneurs that bring the PNP into closer alignment with B.C’s labor market and economic development priorities” (http://www.welcomebc.ca/Immigrate/About-the-BC-PNP/About-the-BC-PNP/News-and-Announcements.aspx).
Perhaps the most welcome of these changes (at least at our office, given our dedication to limiting paper use!) was the change of the application process from paper submissions to online submission. All applications for Express Entry BC, Skills Immigration and Entrepreneur Immigration Streams must now be completed through the new online system, as well as paid electronically. With this new system now in place, the BC PNP office aims to “prioritize in-demand, skilled immigrant applications beginning in 2016, so that 95% of B.C.’s annual nominations will be for in-demand skilled workers” (ibid).
Other notable changes to the program include:
- A cap was placed on the Skills Immigration stream (which includes the sub-categories “Skilled Worker”, “International Post-Graduate”, “International Graduate” and “Entry Level and Semi-Skilled”). A cap, or limit, of 200 new applications was set for the remainder of 2015, and in fact this limit has already been reached. To have been able to qualify as one of these 200 applications, an applicant must have had an employment offer which will pay more than $22.00/hour (in Metro Vancouver).
This cap was set with the intention of allowing the BC PNP Office to work through the current Skills Immigration applications which are currently being processed, and also focus on applications being submitted through the new online system.
- A minimum language requirement of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 for new applications in the Skills Immigration Stream has been established for any job that is in the National Occupation Classification Code (NOC code) B. Applicants must also be able to prove they have at least 2 years of work experience related to their occupation in B.C.
- For 2016 Skills Immigration applications, the PNP will introduce a point based selection system. Currently no details have been released to further explain this system.
- The Entrepreneur Stream, which now encompasses the old “Business Skills” and “Regional Business” streams also has a new online Entrepreneur Registration system, aimed at simplifying the intake process, and speeding up processing times for applications. Registrations will cost $300, be valid for 6 months, and only 200 new registrations will be accepted per month. Registrations with the highest scores which are submitted through this System will be invited to complete an application for Entrepreneur Immigration, and those who are invited must meet a minimum net worth of $600 000, invest at least $200 000, and create at least one new job in the BC business they are investing in.
- The Entrepreneur Stream application fee will now cost $3,500.
- The “Fast Track” Option (which was suspended in October 2012) has been eliminated.
We are happy to announce that the BC PNP Express Entry, Health Care Professionals and Northeast Pilot Project streams have been unchanged (apart from the shift from paper to online applications!), and are all still accepting new applications!
Are you looking to find out more about the new changes and how they may affect you, or interested in getting help with your BC PNP application as an Express Entry Candidate, a Health Care Professional or as part of the Northeast Pilot Project? Contact us!