British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) released statistical data on their nominee program for 2020. The report revealed the province’s focus on bringing highly skilled candidates to more rural areas in the province. The report also showed a growing number of nominations issued to candidates eligible through the BC PNP Tech program.
How does BCPNP work?
British Columbia’s Skills Immigration nominee program consists of five main categories – Skilled Workers, Healthcare Professionals, International Post-Graduate, and Entry-Level and Semi-Skilled. All but the Entry-Level and Semi-Skilled stream have an Express Entry option to benefit from expedited Permanent Residence application processing. These candidates must be eligible for one of the federal Express Entry programs.
BCPNP invites eligible candidates to submit an Expression of Interest to the Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS). SIRS provides candidates with a score based on factors relating to the job offer as well as the applicant’s language, education, and experience. BCPNP invites candidates with the most competitive scores in regular draws.
What did BCPNP’s 2020 report reveal?
B.C.’s 2020 nominee program revealed a higher-than-average median wage among B.C.’s nominees. This reflects the province’s focus on selecting highly skilled workers with specialized knowledge.
The report also showed that just 21% of Skills Immigration Nominees intended to live outside of Metro Vancouver. British Columbia assigns additional points for candidates that intend to reside in more rural areas. Moving forward, they will continue to focus on increasing the proportion of nominees that choose to move outside of Metropolitan Vancouver area.
BCPNP also revealed through their statistical report the top five individual source countries for Skills Immigration nominations for 2020 – India, China, Brazil, United Kingdom, Iran.
BC PNP Tech
British Columbia extended the BC PNP Tech Pilot indefinitely this May 2021, renaming the program “BC PNP Tech”. BC PNP Tech provides an advantage to candidates with a job offer in one of the province’s 29 tech occupations. BCPNP offers weekly tech-specific draws, usually with a lower points requirement than general Skills Immigration draws. British Columbia also processes subsequent applications more quickly than non-Tech Skills Immigration candidates.
BCPNP continues to use the tech program to fill labour gaps; the province has issued over 300 more nominations in 2020 than in 2019, totaling 1,855 BC PNP tech candidates invited. B.C.’s 2020 nominee report revealed that tech occupations were six of the top ten occupations selected and made up nearly 30% of all Skills Immigration nominees.
Skills Immigration nominations saw more than 25% issued to candidates in the natural and applied sciences. B.C. attributes this increase to the higher volume of nominations issued under the BC PNP Tech program.
Effects of COVID-19 on B.C. immigration in 2020
BCPNP had paused issuing invitations to 31 tourism, hospitality, retail, and personal services occupations from March 2020 to February 2021. As a result, this year saw a significant decrease in sales and service occupations due to temporary restrictions placed on these this industry to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
For four months during the summer of 2020, BCPNP allowed candidates to place their applications on hold temporarily if their employment had been affected by the pandemic. This resulted in less decisions being made in 2020 and fewer nominations being issued for the year.