The British Columbia (BC) government has agreed to make BC’s Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Tech Pilot a permanent feature of their nominee program after being called upon by members of the Council of Canadian Innovators (CCI).
Following the release of BC’s 2021 budget, which left out the BC Tech Pilot, CCI members (many of which are CEOs of Canadian tech companies) addressed a letter to BC’s minister of municipal affairs. The letter requested for the pilot to be made permanent ahead of its previously anticipated expiration this June 2021.
BC’s Tech Pilot has issued over 4,200 nominations to candidates working in qualifying tech occupations since the program started four years ago, enabling them to apply to the federal government for Canadian permanent residence status.
Big names in BC’s tech sector welcomed this announcement, as many companies in the province have come to rely on the pilot, its use steadily increasing even following the impact of COVID-19.
Today’s announcement of a permanent immigration stream for tech workers is very good news for B.C.’s high-growth innovation sector and we applaud the government for heeding the calls from our members to extend the program indefinitely– Tessa Seager, CCI’s director of government affairs for BC
What is BC PNP Tech?
To qualify for BC’s PNP Tech Pilot, now referred to as “BC PNP Tech”, candidates must meet the eligibility requirements of one of BC’s existing skilled worker categories and hold a job offer in a qualifying tech occupation. The benefit of the pilot is that it offers weekly tech-specific draws and priority processing for those who meet these requirements.
How Does This Help Global Talent Stream Work Permit Holders?
The indefinite extension of BC PNP Tech is also good news for IT workers in BC on a Global Talent Stream work permit. The Global Talent Stream is a federal program that helps to expedite the processing of qualifying work permits. This stream has allowed a substantial number of US H1B visa holders working in select tech occupations to easily transfer to their company’s Canadian branch. This permit allows holders to acquire Canadian work experience that can be counted towards one’s eligibility for federal or provincial economic immigration programs. BC PNP Tech provides a pathway for these IT workers in the province to transition quickly and more easily from temporary to permanent residence status in Canada.