Author: Al Parsai, LL.M, RCIC-IRB
Last Updated On: November 27, 2023

Understanding the BC PNP Skilled Worker Stream: A Guide

BC Skilled Worker Stream

David, a 40-year-old chef from Belize, recently moved to British Columbia. He was thrilled with a job offer from a BC restaurant. This was a big step for him. It allowed him to showcase his culinary skills in a new place. David has extensive experience and loves cooking. He saw this job as a chance to shine in Canada’s dynamic food scene. David was eager to start. He began the process to secure his position. He looks forward to adding his flavours to Canada’s diverse culture.

BC Skills Immigration

British Columbia offers five different immigration options under the overarching title of BC Skills Immigration, namely:

  • Skilled Worker Stream
  • Health Authority Stream
  • International Graduate Stream
  • International Post-Graduate Stream
  • Entry Level and Semi-Skilled (ELSS) Stream

The current article explores the Skilled Worker Stream option.

BC PNP vs. BC Express Entry: Understanding the Process

I briefly define the process before explaining the BC PNP Skilled Worker Stream. When immigrating to British Columbia via provincial opportunities, you usually have two options. Of course, both options facilitate permanent residency in Canada. However, you need to know the differences. Of course, not all streams have both options. Luckily, the Skilled Worker Stream comes with both options.

Option #1: BC PNP Process (BC-PNP)

  1. Initiation: Begins with the applicant applying directly to the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP). Consequently, you do not necessarily qualify for Express Entry. Of course, this approach is helpful for those who do not have enough work experience, etc., for Express Entry yet meet the requirements for BC PNP.
  2. Nomination: If successful, the applicant receives a provincial nomination.
  3. IRCC Application: The nominee then applies to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) stream.
  4. Permanent Residency: The final stage involves IRCC processing the application, leading to permanent residency.

Option #2: BC Express Entry Process (EEBC)

  1. Federal Express Entry Pool: Candidates first enter the federal Express Entry pool.
  2. BC PNP Application: While in the pool, they can apply for the BC PNP’s Express Entry BC (EEBC) option if they meet specific criteria.
  3. Provincial Nomination and CRS Boost: If nominated, they receive additional Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points and continue under the Express Entry system.
  4. Fast-Tracked PR Application: Their application for permanent residency is expedited, benefiting from the faster processing of the Express Entry system.

Generally speaking, the second option is a quicker option for permanent residency.

Basic Requirements for the Skilled Worker Stream: BC PNP vs. EEBC

If you do not meet the basic requirements for this program, you may not even apply. However, there are other matters that you need to keep in mind. For now, let’s focus on the basic requirement.

General requirements

Regardless of your qualifying option, you must meet these general requirements.

  • Intention to Live in British Columbia: Applicants must intend to live, work, and economically establish in B.C. Consequently, you must present evidence to verify this matter.
  • Economic Benefit to British Columbia: Employment must contribute to jobs for Canadians, skill transfer, new product development, or building the workforce for significant projects. Of course, this criterion heavily affects how BC authorities invite candidates to apply.
  • Immigration Status in Canada: Applicants in Canada must have valid immigration status. Ineligible if without status, working without authorization, have unresolved refugee claims, or under a removal order.
  • Language Proficiency: CLB 4 required for NOC TEER 2, 3, 4, or 5 jobs. It is not mandatory for NOC TEER 0 or 1 unless claiming points for language. However, for EEBC, you must meet Express Entry minimum language proficiency requirements.
  • Minimum Income: Must meet minimum family income requirements based on annual wage in B.C., area of residence, and number of dependents.
  • Eligible Employment Situations: Employment must be for an organization in B.C. Moreover, the applicant may not have a significant ownership stake in the company.
  • Opportunities for British Columbians: Employment must not adversely affect local labour or training opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents in B.C.

BC PNP Skilled Worker Stream Requirements:

  • General Requirements: Must meet the general requirements listed above.
  • Job Offer: Need a job offer in a skilled occupation (NOC TEER 0, 1, 2, or 3) from an eligible employer.
  • Work Experience: At least two years of full-time (or equivalent) work experience in a skilled occupation.
  • Employer Requirements: The employer must meet specific requirements outlined in the program guide.

EEBC Option Additional Requirements:

  • Express Entry Profile: Must have a valid IRCC Express Entry Profile Number and a Job Seeker Validation Code, indicating eligibility for federal economic immigration programs under Express Entry.
  • Job Offer and Experience: The same requirements for job offer and work experience as the BC PNP Skilled Worker Stream apply.

Who is an Eligible Employer for BC PNP?

To be eligible as an employer under the BC PNP, businesses in British Columbia must meet certain requirements and responsibilities:

  • Establishment in B.C.: The business must be established in British Columbia.
  • Labour Market Requirements: They must meet domestic labour market recruitment requirements.
  • Employment Offer: The business should offer full-time, permanent employment to the nominee.
  • Wages: The offered wage must align with industry standards.
  • Job Offer Letter: A signed job offer must be provided.
  • Employer Declaration Form: The employer must complete and sign this form.
  • Supporting Documents: The business should submit documents about its operations.
  • Legal Compliance: Employers must adhere to all relevant laws and regulations.

Additionally, employers are responsible for notifying the BC PNP about any changes in the employee’s status and supporting their BC PNP application with necessary documentation.

Generally speaking, employers do not need to register with BC for PNP job offers. However, it’s important to note that employer registration may become necessary if they simultaneously apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for work permits or other immigration programs. This requirement applies even if they are hiring through the BC PNP, ensuring compliance with broader immigration and employment standards.

BC Skilled Worker Stream Scoring Criteria

When you enter the pool of BC PNP, you compete with other candidates. Of course, one main approach for BC is to invite those who show higher scores. Therefore, receiving good scores is beneficial. Here is a quick list of scores.

Human Capital Factors (Total: 120 Points)

1. Directly Related Work Experience (Max: 40 Points)

  • Points based on years of full-time and part-time work experience directly related to the job offer in BC.
  • Includes work experience within Canada or abroad.
  • Work experience must be classified under the same NOC code as the BC job offer.
  • Paid co-op work terms are eligible if they meet certain criteria.
  • Additional points for at least one year of directly related experience in Canada (Max: 10 Points).
  • Additional points for working full-time in BC for the employer identified in the BC PNP registration (Max: 10 Points).

2. Highest Level of Education (Max: 40 Points)

  • Points are based on the highest level of education indicated in the registration.
  • Additional points for completing education in BC or Canada (Max: 8 Points for BC, 6 Points for Canada outside of BC).
  • Additional points for eligible professional designations in BC (Max: 5 Points).

3. Language Proficiency in English or French (Max: 40 Points)

  • Points are based on the lowest Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score obtained in listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
  • Additional points for proficiency in both English and French (Max: 10 Points).

Economic Factors (Total: 80 Points)

1. Hourly Wage of the BC Job Offer (Max: 55 Points)

  • Points are based on the hourly wage outlined in the job offer.
  • Range from 55 points for $70.00 and above per hour to 0 points for less than $16.00 per hour.

2. Area of Employment within BC (Max: 25 Points)

  • Points based on the main work location in BC.
  • Additional points for regional experience or regional alumni (Max: 10 Points).
  • Different points for work locations in Metro Vancouver Regional District (0 Points), Squamish, Abbotsford, Agassiz, Mission, and Chilliwack (5 Points), and areas of BC not included in the first two (15 Points).

Total Points Available: 200

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    Al Parsai, LL.M, RCIC-IRB

    Al Parsai is a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University (Osgood Hall Law School). A respected member of CICC, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.