British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) has announced a Tech Pilot that is designed to support employers to attract and retain tech talent in British Columbia (BC) through an accelerated immigration pathway.
Within the candidates considered under the BC PNP Tech Pilot, announced on August 28, are international students who have completed their education in BC or Canada and have the required skills for BC’s technology sector.
The BC PNP Tech Pilot features:
- Dedicated concierge service that will give tech employers access to relevant immigration information.
- Weekly invitations for tech registrants to apply, and for tech employers to have timely access to qualified individuals in 32 in-demand tech occupations.
- Priority processing with a dedicated BC PNP Tech Team, including next business day assignment of tech applications in the 32 in-demand occupations.
- Focused outreach and engagement with BC PNP sessions and events tailored for the tech sector, including one-on-one employer support.
What this means for international students and graduates
For international students who have completed their education and acquired skills in one of the 32 eligible occupations, the BC PNP will provide support to facilitate employment after graduation. Even though applicants need a full-time, indeterminate job offer from an eligible BC employer, the job offer does not necessarily need to be supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
One of priorities of the Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology in BC has been to establish BC as a preferred location for new and emerging technologies. With the BC PNP Tech Pilot, the province aims to develop and attract the highest quality talent. The pilot is geared towards introducing students to the technology sector earlier and adjust training and education in post-secondary institutions to create work experience opportunities.
Through the 2016 BC TECH Strategy, the government of BC has put forth a plan to invest in and grow the technology sector by increasing the talent pool and the size of technology companies. The BC PNP Tech Pilot will help increase the number of tech workers residing in BC, which in turn will stimulate BC’s technology sector.
The BC PNP Tech Pilot has been introduced to resolve some of the key issues highlighted in the 2016 TechTalent BC report. The report was a collaborative process between the government of BC, academia, and industry professionals to address the province’s BC TECH Strategy and tailor labour market information, strategies, and tools to address priorities for the technology sector.
Some of the recommendations from the report were to produce additional graduates each year in tech-relevant programs, as well as focus on local talent as a key source to fill jobs in the technology sector.
Between 2010 and 2015, the number of international students studying in BC increased by 44 percent. In 2017, approximately 20 percent of the student population at the University of British Columbia alone came from abroad. As more international students choose BC as a study destination, immigration initiatives like the BC PNP Tech Pilot can streamline immigration processing and help retain Canadian-educated skilled workers and graduates in the province.
BC PNP Tech Pilot process
- Free registration by applicant and supporting BC employer.
- Weekly “tech-only” invitations to apply to registrants working in one of the 32 in-demand occupations. Once registered, applicant will receive a registration score.
- If an applicant is identified to be among the highest scoring, he or she will be invited to apply and will have 30 days from receiving an invitation to apply (ITA) to submit a complete online application.
- Applications will be processed on a priority basis and once approved will receive a nomination that can be used to apply for permanent residence with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
- Individuals who have been nominated and who meet the conditions of their nomination will receive a work permit support letter that allows them to obtain or renew their current work permit allowing them to work throughout the permanent residency process.
Eligible occupations for the BC PNP Tech Pilot
|Telecommunication carriers managers||0131|
|Managers – publishing, motion pictures, broadcasting and performing arts||0512|
|Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations||1123|
|Electrical and electronics engineers||2133|
|Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)||2147|
|Information systems analysts and consultants||2171|
|Database analysts and data administrators||2172|
|Software engineers and designers||2173|
|Computer programmers and interactive media developers||2174|
|Web designers and developers||2175|
|Biological technologists and technicians||2221|
|Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians||2241|
|Electronic service technicians (household and business equipment)||2242|
|Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics||2243|
|Computer network technicians||2281|
|User support technicians||2282|
|Information systems testing technicians||2283|
|Business development officers and marketing researchers and consultants||4163|
|Authors and writers||5121|
|Translators, terminologists and interpreters||5125|
|Audio and video recording technicians||5225|
|Other technical and co-ordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting and the performing arts||5226|
|Support occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting, photography and the performing arts||5227|
|Graphic designers and illustrators||5241|
|Technical sales specialists – wholesale trade||6221|
If you are an international student or recent graduate in British Columbia who would like to find out if you are eligible to immigrate to Canada permanently, fill out a free online assessment form.
If you want to discover your options for studying in Canada, complete the free CanadaVisa Study Pathway Assessment Form today.
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