The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) has been active in recent weeks, inviting more than 1,000 international graduates of Canadian institutions to apply for provincial nomination since the beginning of 2017. In the latest draw, on March 22, 2017, 164 international graduates received an Invitation to Apply (ITA) to the BC PNP.
The BC PNP is almost unique in Canada in that it offers a route to Canadian permanent residence to graduates who have studied in any Canadian province or territory, including BC. Furthermore, skilled work experience is not among the eligibility criteria for international graduates.
So far in 2017, the BC PNP has conducted five draws to invite candidates in the sub-categories managed under the Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS), issuing a total of 2,074 ITAs. Approximately half of the total number of invitations issued so far this year went to candidates in the Skills Immigration — International Graduates and Express Entry — International Graduates categories. Individuals who receive an ITA are in a position to apply for a provincial nomination certificate, after which they may apply to the federal government for permanent resident status.
Both the Skills Immigration — International Graduates and Express Entry — International Graduates categories come under the scope of the SIRS, a dynamic intake management system that allows British Columbia to select candidates for provincial nomination. Individuals who are interested in immigrating to BC may register in SIRS and receive a score based on factors such as civil status, education history, work experience, language ability, and others. Top-ranking candidates in each category may receive an ITA in the periodic draws conducted by the BC PNP.
Individuals interested in immigrating to BC may find out their score within the SIRS with the exclusive CanadaVisa SIRS Calculator.
Express Entry BC
One of the sub-categories through which international graduates can receive an ITA is the Express Entry BC — International Graduate sub-category. As this sub-category is aligned with the federal Express Entry system, eligible individuals in the Express Entry pool who receive an ITA to the BC PNP, and subsequently a provincial nomination certificate, obtain 600 points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). This puts them in a position to receive an ITA from the federal government, after which they may apply for permanent resident status.
Note: It is important to note that the ITA issued by the BC PNP and the ITA issued by the federal government are different documents. Receiving an ITA from the BC PNP enables the holder to apply for a provincial nomination certificate from the province. Receiving an ITA from the federal government in a draw from the Express Entry pool enables the holder to apply for permanent residence.
Scenario: Vincent graduated in May 2015 from Douglas College in New Westminster, British Columbia. He obtained a Post-Graduation Work Permit shortly after graduation, and found a job in Kelowna at a construction firm. He has now been working with his employer for almost two years, and has entered the Express Entry pool as he is now eligible under the Canadian Experience Class. His employer has offered him a permanent full-time position. With a score of 117 under the SIRS, Vincent received an ITA for a provincial nomination certificate through the Express Entry BC — International Graduate sub-category. He will now submit an application for a provincial nomination certificate, and if he is successful he will obtain 600 points under the CRS, leading to an ITA for permanent residence at the federal level.
The Skills Immigration sub-category is a base category, meaning it is not aligned with the Express Entry system. Individuals who receive an ITA from the BC PNP, and subsequently a provincial nomination certificate from the province, may apply to the federal government for permanent resident status. However, these applications are processed outside the Express Entry system. Consequently, this may be a popular sub-category for international graduates who do not yet meet the requirements of one of the three immigration programs managed through the Express Entry System — the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Class, and the Federal Skilled Trades Class.
Scenario: Amira graduated in December 2016 from the University of Waterloo. Her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and her co-op work experience in a software development start-up meant she was a strong candidate for a job as a Software Developer in Vancouver. Having graduated so recently, Amira does not have one year of full-time work experience in Canada. Therefore, she would not be eligible for the BC PNP Express Entry sub-category as a year of skilled work experience is required in order to enter the Express Entry pool.
However, with her full-time job offer and her other credentials, her SIRS score of 95 was sufficient to obtain an ITA for a provincial nomination certificate in the latest draw.
British Columbia Quick Facts
Largest city: Vancouver
Languages: English is spoken by the vast majority of B.C. residents, with Chinese languages also being spoken by many, particularly in the Greater Vancouver area.
Climate: Coastal areas of B.C. are among the mildest in Canada, with rainy winters and warm, but rarely hot, summers. The Lower Mainland experiences hotter and drier conditions, though winters in elevated areas can be cold and snowy. Northern and central inland areas are generally colder.
Learn more about studying in British Columbia.
Individuals who are interested in studying in Canada, as well as current international students, can complete the CanadaVisa Study Pathway Form to discover their options for studying in Canada, and immigrating after graduation.
International students and post-graduate workers in Canada can join the CanadaVisa Study Hub to access a range of tools and resources to assist in studying, working, and settling in Canada permanently. Members also get access to the CanadaVisa Scholarship Contest, for a chance to win $500.
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