October 12, 2016 – More than 800 new immigrants have been issued with Invitations to Apply under the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program – the most the province has registered in one draw in 2016.
The size of the new round of invitations is a clear indication the province is looking for new immigrants to plug gaps in its labour force.
By comparison the last three rounds saw 637, 477 and 586 invitations issued.
International graduates were again the most prolific invited group, with 355 out of the 805 invitations going to former students of Canadian universities under both the Express Entry and Skills Immigration categories.
British Columbia PNP: Invitations Issued
|Category||Minimum score||Number of|
|Express Entry Skilled Worker||80||175|
|Express Entry International Graduate||80||150|
|Skills Immigration: Skilled Worker||80||147|
|Skills Immigration: International Graduate||80||205|
|Skills Immigration: Entry Level and Semi-Skilled||50||128|
Skilled workers across both categories were not far behind, with 322 invitations issued. The remaining 128 invitations came in the Entry Level and Semi-Skilled stream.
As it comes to the end of 2016, the Provincial Nominee Programs will be looking to fulfill their federal government caps if they have not already done so.
Federal Immigration Minister John McCallum is yet to set the levels for 2017. An announcement is expected in November setting immigration levels for the next three years.
B.C.’s 2016 plan is to accept a majority of candidates from the Skilled Worker stream (35 to 45 per cent). A sizeable proportion of immigrants will come through Express Entry (25 per cent), while between 15 and 20 per cent will be International Graduates.
The province’s government plans to make immigrants in the Entry Level and Semi-Skilled category between 10 and 15 per cent of its intake, with the Entrepreneur stream taking between 2 and 5 per cent.
The province issues minimum scores that will guarantee a candidate an invite in the next round of invitations. However, the published scores are subject to change.
Scores Needed for Guaranteed Invitation
|Skills Immigration – Skilled Worker||135|
|Skills Immigration – International Graduate||105|
|Skills Immigration – Entry Level and Semi-Skilled||95|
|Express Entry BC – Skilled Worker||135|
|Express Entry BC – International Graduate||105|
B.C. Premier Christy Clark has led calls for the federal government to increase PNP caps, saying the current limits acted as a constraint to the growth of Western Canada.
The provincial premiers also released a joint statement in July, asking for the same immigration powers as Quebec.
“Canada’s Premiers call on the federal government to establish an equivalent agreement to the Canada-Quebec Accord with all provinces and territories,” read a statement from the Council of the Federation talks in Whitehorse, Yukon.
Quebec sets its own immigration quotas, currently at 50,000, but set to increase in the coming years.
B.C. businesses also recently called for increased skilled worker immigration as a way of boosting both the province’s economy and Canada’s economic performance as a whole.
The Business Council of British Columbia wants to see the following changes:
- Give more points under the Canadian Experience Class to international student graduates .
- Raise caps on Provincial Nominee Programs, from 47,800 to 80,000 by 2020.
- Introduce a skills visa aimed at technology talent.
Several of these areas are expected to be covered when the federal government announces changes to the immigration system during the fall.
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