British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)

British Columbia’s PNP expedites Canadian immigration for skilled workers and entrepreneur applicants who want to settle with their families in B.C. The average processing time for Canadian Permanent Resident applications through BC PNP is normally 8 to 10 months.

The BC government in conjunction with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) are responsible for administrating the program. BC PNP selects foreign applicants whom it believes can establish themselves economically in the province and can benefit its economy. Once the province of British Columbia nominates an applicant for immigration, the nominee certificate is then forwarded to CIC.

The BC PNP is divided into two main categories:


BC nominate people who have met the terms of a Performance Agreement or made a $125,000 refundable deposit according to the Fast Track Option.

Entrepreneurs who plan to invest in a business in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia must have a net worth of C$800,000 million, and make a minimum investment of C$400,000 Canadian into that business.

Entrepreneurs who intend to invest in a business outside the Lower Mainland of British Columbia must have a net worth of C$400,000 Canadian and invest C$200,000 into that business.

The “Projects” program allows local or foreign companies to bring in key staff who are vital to a successful business in BC. The business must be assessed by BC PNP as one that will bring substantial benefits to the economy of British Columbia. The company must invest a minimum of C$500,000 million and create at least five (3) new jobs. “Projects” is intended only for companies that are expanding or making a new investment.

The PNP gives special priority to business proposals that:

  • expand business with the Asia Pacific region
  • use wood infected by the Mountain Pine Beetle
  • diversify the economies of communities affected by Mountain Pine Beetle damage
  • create business partnerships with the province’s First Nations (aboriginal people)
  • develop the province’s emerging technology industries: alternative energy, clean technologies, information technology, new media, and life sciences

Applications will not be considered for the following types of businesses:

  • bed and breakfasts, hobby farms and home-based businesses
  • pay day loan, cheque cashing, money changing and cash machine businesses
  • pawnbrokers
  • coin operated laundries
  • automated car wash operations
  • sale of used goods (excluding collectibles, or where the business provides value-added services such as repairs, refurbishing, or recycling)
  • real estate development/brokerage, insurance brokerage or business brokerage
  • businesses involved in the production, distribution or sale of pornographic or sexually explicit products or services, or in the provision of sexually oriented services
  • any other type of business that by association would tend to bring the program or the Government of British Columbia into disrepute
  • convenience stores
  • video and DVD rental stores
  • gasoline service stations
  • personal dry cleaning services
  • franchise operations, unless pre-authorized by the BC PNP

Investment in an Existing Business

No more than two-thirds of the applicable minimum personal investment can apply to the purchase of shares in a company. Further, you must acquire ownership and control at least one-third of the business. The minimal personal investment can be applied to the following types of business costs:

  • machinery, equipment, furniture and fixtures
  • leasehold improvements
  • inventory
  • patents and licenses
  • franchise purchase fees
  • allowable real estate and franchises
  • initial promotion and marketing
  • other start-up expenses, such as incorporation and permit fees, legal and other professional fees


There are three categories of workers under the BC program: Skilled workers, Designated Health Professionals and International Graduates. This category allows employers to keep or recruit skilled and qualified foreign workers who can fill skilled labour shortages and whose employment would economically benefit British Columbia.

The foreign worker must have a job offer from a BC employer before applying to the program. The application to the BC PNP is a joint application from both the foreign nominee and the employer. There are various sub-categories:

Skilled Workers Essential points:

  • The job is permanent, full-time and in a skilled occupation (NOC: O, A, B).
  • The candidate is qualified for the job can become economically established in BC. The candidate needs 2 – 5 years of apprenticeship training, plus apprenticeship or trades certification, and several years of directly related work experience. If a trade has no compulsory certification requirements, the BC PNP may accept applications for workers who have a sufficient combination of education, training, and experience. At its discretion, the BC PNP may require nominee candidates to submit an independent assessment of their credentials performed by an approved organization to establish equivalency with British Columbia or Canadian standards.
  • The wage offered is competitive with BC wage rates for the occupation.
  • The nominee candidate’s field of employment offers good long-term prospects.
  • The employer must be financially sound, have a history of good practices, and normally must have been operating in BC for at least one year, and have at least five paid employees.
  • The employment of the foreign worker will be a significant economic benefit to BC
  • Hiring the foreign worker will not adversely affect a labour dispute.
  • There is a $550 processing fee (does not apply to some nurses).
  • Once an application for nomination is approved, the BC PNP will notify the nominee, the employer and the appropriate visa office of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). If required, BC PNP will send a letter to CIC supporting a Work Permit application by the nominee. This will allow the nominee to work legally for his or her employer in BC prior to finalizing the nominee’s application for permanent residence. Nominees are responsible for completing and submitting a complete permanent visa application to the appropriate visa office of CIC within 180 days of the date on the Nomination Certificate.

For more details, please see Requirements for Strategic Occupations

Designated Health Professionals Eligible are registered nurses, psychiatric nurses and physicians who are recruited by provincial and regional health authorities as administered through Health Match BC. Also qualified are midwives who meet PNP requirements. (All other applications to hire health professionals and other skilled health workers are considered in the skilled worker category.)

International Graduates You must hold an eligible degree (from a recognized post-secondary institution in BC before accepting an offer of employment) in:

  • natural sciences, applied sciences or engineering
  • health sciences
  • computer science, information systems or digital media
  • business or commerce
  • tourism, recreation and hospitality
  • transportation and logistics

Your diploma must be awarded in:

  • applied sciences or technologies, or engineering
  • health sciences or technologies
  • computer science or technology, information systems or digital media
  • business or commerce
  • tourism, recreation and hospitality
  • transportation and logistics

In either case, the applicant is expected to score an overall mark of at least 70% in their program and to provide a reference from a faculty member or senior administrator from their BC school. Lastly, the applicant must submit their application within one year of the date shown on their final official transcript.

Entry-Level and Semi-Skilled Pilot Project This two-year project applies to select occupations and eligible employers in the tourism/hospitality, food processing and long-haul trucking industries, all of which play a key role in B.C.’s export-oriented economy, but are experiencing acute labour shortages.

Tourism/Hospitality: Eligible occupations include Hotel Front Desk Clerks, Tour and Travel Guides, Outdoor Sport and Recreational Guides, Casino Occupations, Maitres d’hotel and Hosts/Hostesses, Bartenders, Food and Beverage Servers, Kitchen Helpers and Related Occupations, Food Counter Attendants, Kitchen Helpers and Related Occupations, Light Duty Hotel Cleaners , Specialized Cleaners, Janitors, Caretakers and Building Superintendents, Doorkeeper, Hotel Guest Services Attendant, Dry Cleaning and Laundry Occupations, Ironing, Pressing and Finishing Occupations, Attendant, Sauna Room (Hotels/Resorts only), Hotel Valet. (Note: Applications for managers, professionals, service supervisors and other skilled workers, such as chefs and cooks, are considered under the Skilled Worker category of the Provincial Nominee Program.)

Note: The applicant must have been employed in one of these jobs by the sponsoring company on a temporary Work Permit for at least nine (9) months immediately prior to applying to the PNP.

Truck driver applications under the Entry-Level and Semi-Skilled Pilot Project will be considered only for long-haul truck drivers. The applicant must have been employed by the sponsoring company on a temporary Work Permit for at least nine (9) months immediately prior to applying to the PNP. Also, the applicant must have at least two (2) years employment experience as a long-haul truck driver in the three (3) years prior to their application to the Provincial Nominee Program. Nominee applicants must hold a valid B.C. Class 1 driver’s license and, if required, air brake endorsement and other certification (e.g., for transporting dangerous goods).

Food Processing Eligible positions: Process Control and Machine Operators, Food and Beverage Processing, Industrial Butchers and Meat Cutters, Poultry Preparers and Related Workers, Fish Plant Workers, Testers and Graders, Food and Beverage Processing, Labourers in Food, Beverage and Tobacco Processing, Labourers in Fish Processing.

The applicant must’ve been employed in an eligible occupation by the sponsoring company on a temporary Work Permit for at least nine (9) months immediately prior to applying to the PNP.