BC PNP | An Overview for Express Entry

BC PNP | An Overview for Express Entry

Samuel Francis Gills Published:
June 18, 2021

Through the British Columbia Provincial Nomination Program (BC PNP), tech workers bound for British Columbia (BC) can get priority processing for their immigration application.

The program offers an expedited Provincial Nomine Program (PNP) for tech talent, for those who want to immigrate to the province of British Columbia (BC). The BC PNP tech program is open to eligible people under the below streams:

  • Skills Immigration, and,

  • Express Entry BC

If one is already in the Express Entry pool, then the first step to get a nomination under the Express Entry BC stream is complete. To get a permanent residence under Express Entry BC, one has to be eligible for any of the following Express Entry managed programs. Each program has its own Minimum Eligibility Criteria (MEC).

And to receive a selection, the candidate must be able to prove experience in either one of the following:

  • Being a skilled worker (NOC levels 0, A & B)

  • Healthcare professional

  • International graduate

  • International post-graduate

One would require a qualified job offer (a job offer that has an adjoint LMIA approval from ESDC) to be eligible in most of the above categories except the international post-graduate category.

In the BC PNP tech particularly, one needs a full-time job under the 29 eligible occupations in the tech sector to be eligible to be selected. The duration of the job offer should be for at least one year (with 120 calendar days remaining on the contract). Invitation rounds are held every week for tech (technology or IT professionals) in BC. Whilst some draws are held specifically for tech programs, others [general draws] are held for an amalgamation of programs managed by BC immigration.

Once invited a candidate has 30 days to apply for a provincial nomination, after which a candidate has 6 months to apply for permanent residence. Meanwhile, a candidate is eligible to receive a work permit support letter from BC PNP, so that candidate can work legally in Canada while waiting for a decision. Having a provincial nomination as an Express Entry candidate, 600 points are automatically added to the overall score in the candidate’s EE profile. This gives the candidate a reasonable guarantee that the candidate will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) in the next Express Entry draw, which can easily secure Permanent Residence.


Who handles the latter (final) part of application processing?

The BC PNP cannot expedite the final application for permanent residence of a candidate as BC PNP has jurisdiction over its provincial immigration program only. The latter part – that is, final documents verification and approval – is handled by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) – the Federal immigration body of Canada. The BC PNP, however, does allow immigration candidates the option to continue working in the province throughout the application process. The tech program allows the candidate to skip the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) requirement, which can be a costly and lengthy process.


Is there a reason to worry if your work permit is due to expire?

The nominees are also offered a work permit support letter by BC PNP so that they can apply for a new work permit or renew their current status while waiting for their permanent residence application processing.


What are the key IT sectors?

Applications with job offers are prioritized by BC PNP in the 29 key technology occupations:

  • 0131 Telecommunication carriers managers

  • 0213 Computer and information systems managers

  • 0512 Managers – publishing, motion pictures, broadcasting and performing     arts

  • 2131 Civil engineers

  • 2132 Mechanical engineers

  • 2133 Electrical and electronics engineers

  • 2134 Chemical engineers

  • 2147 Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)

  • 2171 Information systems analysts and consultants

  • 2172 Database analysts and data administrators

  • 2173 Software engineers and designers

  • 2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers

  • 2175 Web designers and developers

  • 2221 Biological technologists and technicians

  • 2241 Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians

  • 2242 Electronic service technicians (household and business equipment)

  • 2243 Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics

  • 2281 Computer network technicians

  • 2282 User support technicians

  • 2283 Information systems testing technicians

  • 5121 Authors and writers

  • 5122 Editors

  • 5125 Translators, terminologists, and interpreters

  • 5224 Broadcast technicians

  • 5225 Audio and video recording technicians

  • 5226 Other technical and co-ordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting, and the performing arts

  • 5227 Support occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting, photography, and the performing arts

  • 5241 Graphic designers and illustrators

  • 6221 Technical sales specialists – wholesale trade

Once the complete application is submitted, the candidate’s immigration file is assigned to dedicated processing team within one business day. The processing time for 80 percent of the BC PNP applications is 2-3 months from receipt, but tech (IT) applications get processed in a shorter amount of time, says the BC government.


Check out Owlspriority Immigration’s Canada Settlement Resources to learn more about ways to find a new job in Canada, making your initial days in Canada stress-free and confident, etc.

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