B.C. introduces program to bring in skilled workers faster

posted on January 7, 2015

By Tara Carman, Vancouver Sun | Link to Article

By Tara Carman, Vancouver Sun | Link to Article

B.C. introduced a new skilled worker immigration stream this week that the provincial jobs minister says will allow employers to bring in people with needed skills faster. It will be almost inaccessible to anyone without a full-time, permanent job offer in the province and the economic means to support themselves.

To apply through the new stream, called Express Entry British Columbia, applicants must first apply through the federal Express Entry system, where they complete an assessment to find out if they are eligible for one of the federal economic immigration streams. If they are, they create a profile that indicates their interest in settling in B.C.

They must then apply to become a provincial nominee through Express Entry B.C. in one of four categories:

• Skilled Worker: Includes certain occupations in management, professions and trades. Most eligible occupations require a university or a trade school diploma.

• Health Care Professional: Includes doctors, specialists, registered nurses, nurse practitioners and other health professionals such as some lab technicians, pharmacists and physiotherapists.

• International Graduate: Includes those with a degree, diploma or certificate from a recognized post-secondary institution in Canada. Diplomas and certificates are only accepted from public post-secondary institutions.

• International Post Graduate: Includes those with a master’s or doctoral degree in the natural, applied or health sciences received within the past two years from an eligible program at a post-secondary institution in B.C.

For all but the latter category, a full-time job offer of indeterminate length at a wage that will allow the applicant to establish economically in B.C. is also required.

Express Entry B.C. only applies to skilled workers, generally considered those with a university or trade school diploma and several years of work experience in their field. It does not apply to those who enter the province to do low-skilled work in occupations such as food services, agriculture or caregiving. Such workers typically enter Canada on short-term work permits, international exchange programs or though the temporary foreign worker program.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada, which has sole authority to confer permanent resident status, has committed to processing Express Entry applications within six months.

CIC increased B.C.’s quota of provincial nominee slots to 5,500 this year, up from 4,150 last year. This brings B.C. roughly on par with the Prairie provinces, who had in previous years been granted more provincial nominee spaces by Ottawa.

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