Today, February 17th, officials from the BC PNP joined the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants (CAPIC) to provide an update on their programs and processes.
In 2020, the BC PNP nominated 6,250 applicants from their federally-allocated quota of 6,500 with an 85% approval rate. Processing times remain stable at approximately 3 months.
BC PNP representatives confirmed they have lifted the suspension of 31 NOC codes in tourism, hospitality, retail and personal services occupations. They reiterated that the BC PNP is an economic program meant to fill labour gaps and nominations must not impact employment or professional development opportunities for British Columbians. They will continue monitoring the economic situation to ensure these core principles continue to be met in light of the ongoing pandemic.
The BC PNP representatives also stated that they would be providing some flexibility around temporary work arrangements and work locations in B.C. and reminded applicants and nominees to inform the BC PNP of any material change to their employment (i.e. layoff, reduced hours, termination, etc.). Additional scrutiny is being paid to employer recruitment efforts to ensure that employers are filling positions from within the domestic B.C. labour market, even if the applicant is already working for the employer.
Additionally, the BC PNP admitted flaws in their registration system and confirmed that points allocated to candidates in error could lead to refusal of an application if their recalculated score falls below the minimum score needed for an invitation in the round the applicant was invited. For example, applicants who input work experience unrelated to the job offer from their B.C. employer will be erroneously awarded points and penalized when a BC PNP processing officer reviews the file. The system will also allow you to apply to a program with a job offer in the wrong skill level (i.e. it’s possible for one to register to apply and be invited to the Entry level and Semi-skilled worker program with a job offer in a skilled occupation). The BC PNP representative acknowledged this is particularly concerning for applicants who do not use a representative and are unaware of the flaws and consequences.
Finally, with the return of invitations to the Entry level and Semi-skilled (ELSS) worker program, BC PNP confirmed they would afford leniency to applicants who met the requirements (i.e. 9 months continuous, full-time work experience in an eligible ELSS occupation) at the time of registration but who were laid off for periods of time throughout the pandemic. These applicants must demonstrate that the job offer is still valid, they have been legally recalled to work and can demonstrate this at the time of application.
If you are considering applying to the BC PNP but unsure if you qualify or you received an invitation in the draw on February 16th and are unsure if you still qualify to apply, please contact us and our team will be pleased to assess your eligibility and support you to reach your goal of becoming a Canadian permanent resident!