THE redesigned Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is accepting applications again effective July 2, 2015.
The PNP has reopened after a 90-day pause that allowed the PNP to be redesigned so the Province could maximize the impact of its allocation of 5,500 nominees from the federal government for 2015. The redesign shifts the program’s focus to high-impact workers and entrepreneurs that bring the PNP into closer alignment with B.C.’s labour market and economic development priorities.
Progress has been made during the 90-day pause in number of key areas, including:
- Introduction of an online application process with an electronic-payment system to make it easier and faster for applicants.
- Initiated development of a new intake system that will 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.
- Streamlined two categories – Business Skills and Regional Business – into one Entrepreneur Immigration stream to improve efficiency and outcomes.
- Introduced an online Entrepreneur Registration to simplify the intake process and ensure timely processing for high-impact applications.
- The Fast Track Option, which has been suspended since October 2012, has been terminated.
The PNP will continue to accept applications under the Express Entry BC, Health Care Professional and Northeast Pilot Project categories.
The PNP will continue to process applications already in the Skills Immigration inventory. To be fair and transparent to those people already in the inventory the PNP will limit the number of new Skills Immigration applications to 200 for the rest of 2015. This limit is in place as B.C. continues to advocate for an increase to the number of PNP nominations it receives annually from the federal government.
New Entrepreneur Immigration applications will be invited from the highest-scoring registrations submitted through the new online Entrepreneur Registration process.
For more information on who can apply and other changes to program criteria, please go to: www.welcomebc.ca/pnp
* The PNP is the Province’s only direct economic immigration tool for bringing in new British Columbians.
* B.C.’s quota of PNP nominations is set by the federal government. For 2015, that allocation is 5,500.
* B.C. continues to advocate for an increased PNP allocation from the federal government.
* Since the 2001 inception of the program, more than 26,000 workers and entrepreneurs have been attracted to the province through the PNP.
* B.C. was an early adopter of the federal Express Entry priority system and the first province to introduce a new PNP stream to align with the federal Express Entry priority system.
* Since January the PNP has issued more nominations than any other province under Express Entry BC.
* To date, the PNP has nominated more than 60% of the province’s 2015 quota from the federal government and the province expects to achieve 100 per cent of its quota again in 2015.
* In 2014, 80% of B.C.’s total immigrants came to B.C. through federal immigration streams.
* Only 20% of B.C.’s total immigrants came through the PNP in 2014.
Forces driving changes to the PNP include:
* Economic growth and demographics as in 2016, B.C. hits a tipping point – fewer young people will enter the workforce than older people leaving it – B.C. needs workers.
* Recent changes to the federal government’s immigration programs, including the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the Immigrant Investor Program have increased the number of applications to the B.C. PNP.
Backgrounder: The Provincial Nominee Program Redesign
Skills Immigration stream
The aim of the Skills Immigration stream is to attract skilled workers for in-demand jobs.
To ensure fairness and transparency for those who have already applied to the program, the PNP will continue to focus on assessing applications from the existing Skills Immigration inventory for the remainder of 2015.
For 2015, new intake will be limited to a total of 200 applications with the following restrictions:
* In Metro Vancouver, new applications are restricted to employment offers above the B.C. median wage of $22.00 per hour.
* For regions outside of Metro Vancouver, new applications will be accepted for all Skills Immigration categories including entry level and semi-skilled occupations.
As well, the PNP is introducing minimum language requirements of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 for new applications in National Occupation Classification (NOC) B occupations. Applicants will also be required to demonstrate at least two years of work experience related to their occupation in B.C.
For 2016 Skills Immigration application intake, the PNP will introduce a points-based selection system to prioritize high-impact applicants and ensure occupations and skills are aligned with B.C.’s labour market needs.
Express Entry, Health Care Professionals, Northeast Pilot streams
No changes have been made to these categories and all remain open to new applications.
Entrepreneur Immigration stream
The Business Skills and Regional Business categories have been streamlined into one under the updated Entrepreneur Immigration stream. This category targets investment-ready entrepreneurs who support innovation and create jobs.
This stream will introduce an Entrepreneur Immigrant Registration and a registration fee of $300. Registrations will be valid for six months and the PNP will limit the number of new registrations to 200 each month. Periodically, based on program capacity, the highest-scoring registrants will be invited to apply. There will also be an increase in the Entrepreneur application fee from $3,000 to $3,500.
Those registrants invited to apply will be required to meet a minimum net worth threshold of $600,000 and must complete a third party review of their net worth by a qualified accounting firm.
There is no change to the minimum requirements to invest of at least $200,000 in eligible expenses and create at least one new job in the B.C. business.
For complete information on the PNP requirements and application process, see: www.welcomebc.ca/pnp