British Columbia launched its express entry immigration system aimed at fast tracking the process of bringing in foreign employees with needed skills.
To be eligible applicants need to be a skilled worker with a university degree or diploma as well as have substantial work experience. With the exception of the international post graduates, a sponsor employer offering a permanent full-time job offer is required.
In order to apply an applicant must first submit an application through the federal Express Entry program and indicate an intention to settle in British Columbia.
The British Columbia Express Entry option to British Columbia offers the following four categories through which potential applicants can enter Canada:
- International post graduates: Under this category, applications can be made by candidates holding a doctorate or Master’s degree awarded in the two years prior to the date of application. The degree must be in natural, applied or health sciences from an eligible program at designated post-secondary institutions in B.C.
- International graduates: This category allows applications from those who hold a diploma, degree, or certificate from a recognized post-secondary Canadian institution. The requisite diplomas or certificates must be from public post-secondary institutions only.
- Skilled workers: Those qualified under specific occupations in trade, management and other professions. The applicant must also hold a university degree or professional diploma.
- Health care professionals: Under this stream, registered nurses, doctors, specialists, nurse practitioners, and other health professionals including pharmacists, physiotherapists and lab technicians can apply.
Except for the international post graduates, all other streams require candidates to also have a full-time permanent job offer and adequate salary that will ensure the economic self-sufficiency of the candidate in the province.
Only skilled workers holding a high standard qualification in terms of a university degree or trade school diploma combined with significant work experience will be considered under British Columbia’s Express Entry program. The program is not for foreign workers looking to enter Canada under the low-skilled stream or under a temporary work arrangement.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has increased the quota for B.C.’s provincial nominee allocation from 4,150 to 5,500 this year, thus bringing the province on par with the western provinces, which have generally received a higher number of provincial nominee allocations during the past few years.
Successful applicants approved under express entry will receive Canadian permanent residence. CIC has promised to process all express entry applications within a time period of six months.