British Columbia has announced a significant application fee increase for its most popular provincial immigration stream.
Applicants to the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program’s Skills Immigration stream must pay 64 percent more as of August 6, with the fee increasing from $700 to $1,150.
In a further increase, the fee for a Skills Immigration application review request has increased 150 percent from $200 to $500.
“The fee increases will allow the BC PNP to continue to efficiently serve applicants and provide assistance until they receive their permanent residence,” a BC PNP statement said.
“The increased fees will also allow continued program improvements including maintaining or reducing processing times, improving program efficiency, enhancing program integrity and expanding outreach to applicants.”
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The BC PNP is operated at no cost to taxpayers. It is funded by users of the program, which the program calls a ‘cost-recovery model’.
In announcing the increase, the BC PNP pointed out the new fees are comparable to the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), which charges $2,000 for an application in the Greater Toronto Area and $1,500 in the rest of the province.
Since 2009, B.C.’s annual PNP allocation from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has more than doubled from 3,000 nominations to 6,750 in 2019. There are currently more than 9,500 nominees in B.C. waiting to become permanent residents.
The Skills Immigration (SI) category targets skilled and semi-skilled workers in high-demand occupations in BC and is further divided into five components:
The BC PNP issues periodic Invitations to Apply (ITA) for nomination to highest-ranked candidates in three of the program’s streams: skilled workers, international graduates and entry-level and semi-skilled workers.
Unless otherwise noted in the specific requirements of each category, the following conditions are required for all candidates under Skills Immigration:
- A full-time, indeterminate job offer from a BC employer in a skilled occupation (NOC skill type 0 and skill level A or B), accepted by the prospective candidate.
- The candidate must have the qualifications and experience required to perform the job offered.
- Only legally acquired work experience will be considered.
- The wage offered must be comparable to what is being paid in BC for the occupation.
- Where the job offered is classified under skill level B, C or D, the candidate must demonstrate language proficiency CLB/NCLC 4 in English and French in all four language abilities.
- Where the job offered is classified under skill type 0 or skill level A, valid test results are not required at the time of registration unless points are claimed for language; however, BCPNP may request test results at any time during the application process.
- Meet the minimum income requirements according to the residence located in BC and the number of dependants.
- Not have more than 10% equity in the BC company offering employment, in the five years preceding the application and throughout the application process.
- BCPNP must determine there is a positive employment demand and/or outlook for the particular occupation.
- Demonstrate the ability and intention to settle in BC
- Submit a complete application and pay the $1,150 application fee.