British Columbia Now Conducting Tech-Only Immigration Draws

In a move that coincides with a recent trend among other Canadian provinces’ steps to prioritize potential immigrants in the Information Technology (IT) sector, British Columbia (BC) recently began conducting tech-only immigration draws through the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP).

The BC PNP is one of Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). Through these programs, provinces can nominate newcomers who can settle into the local labour market.

The BC PNP has conducted six tech-only draws since May, specifically on May 17 and 31, June 14 and 21, and July 5 and 12. Moreover, the BC PNP has altered the in which it announces draw results; for example, the June 14 and 21 tech-only draws are grouped together as a subset of the overall draw that took place on June 7. It should be noted that BC continues to invite workers and graduates in non-tech occupations.

Media reports earlier this year suggested that BC’s tech sector, which was already growing apace, has begun to grow even faster due to a surge of international talent leaving tech hubs in the United States, such as Silicon Valley. This phenomenon has been attributed to, at least in part, the ascent to office of President Trump, whose “America First” policies on immigration and the economy have lead to unease within the tech sector.

Canada, and BC in particular, stands to benefit from the variance in policies between the US and Canada. In addition to having built up a reputation for innovation and tech talent, BC’s mild climate and proximity to US markets are also factors that attract companies and workers alike.

The latest BC PNP figures

At this time, BC has not itemized the number of Invitations to Apply (ITA) issued to candidates who have registered in BC’s unique Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS) for the most recent draws. CICNews contacted the BC PNP to learn more about these figures and the tech occupations that may have been included, but no further details have been provided at this time.

Within the BC PNP Categories are established for skilled workers, international graduates, and entry level and semi-skilled workers. A portion of ITAs are issued under the BC Express Entry stream, with the remaining invitations issued under the ‘base’ Skills Immigration (SI) stream, not aligned with the federal Express Entry system.


Guaranteed Invitations

Candidates who achieve or exceed the following registration scores will receive an ITA in the next draw for his or her chosen category.

Stream & Category Minimum score
EEBC – Skilled Worker 135
EEBC – International Graduate 105
SI – Skilled Worker 135
SI – International Graduate 105
SI – Entry Level and Semi-Skilled 95

SIRS Calculator

By answering a few simple questions on the SIRS Calculator, users are able to determine what their score might be if they were to register under the SIRS.

Other provinces prioritizing tech workers

BC in not the only province that has made moves to increase the number of IT/tech workers immigrating. Over the past year, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick have each, in their own way, prioritized these workers for provincial nomination. Earlier this month, CICNews published a detailed report on how the Express Entry system is helping to address Canada’s need for IT workers.

In addition, the federal government recently launched the Global Talent Stream. Through this initiative, employers in the IT/tech sector are able to bring in skilled foreign talent in certain occupations with a two-week work permit processing standard.

Source: CIC News 

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