Redesigned BC PNP accepting applications now

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Photo Courtesy: Goldstream Provincial Park in Victoria by @ldl_jr via Instagram
Photo Courtesy: Goldstream Provincial Park in Victoria by @ldl_jr via Instagram
Photo Courtesy: Goldstream Provincial Park in Victoria by @ldl_jr via Instagram

Victoria: 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:

  1. Introduction of an online application process with an electronic-payment system to make it easier and faster for applicants.
  2. 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.
  3. Streamlined two categories – Business Skills and Regional Business – into one Entrepreneur Immigration stream to improve efficiency and outcomes.
  4. Introduced an online Entrepreneur Registration to simplify the intake process and ensure timely processing for high-impact applications.
  5. 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.

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.

For more information on who can apply and other changes to program criteria, please go to: www.welcomebc.ca/pnp