British Columbia says it will have a new scoring system for its Skills Immigration stream when it reopens in November.

The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) stream shut down on October 12 and will reopen on November 16 as it implements Canada’s new National Occupational Classification system.

All applications left in the BC PNP pool as of October 12 have been removed. Candidates will need to reapply when the system is back up and running.

“The BC PNP will … have a new scoring system after November 16,” the province said. 

“More details about the scoring and other changes will be available in November when a new BC PNP Skills Immigration Program guide will be posted.”

Meanwhile, the BC PNP Health Authority, International Post-Graduate and Entrepreneur Immigration categories remain open and candidates can continue to submit applications.

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NOC Changes

Under the changes that will take effect in November, the NOC will move from a four-digit number to categorize each occupation to a five-digit code.

Within the new five-digit code, the Canadian government is breaking down the level of skill of each occupation, until mid-November still called the Skill Levels, into six categories from the current four to better reflect the level of training, education, experience and responsibilities, hench TEER, of each job.

These TEER categories in the re-jigged NOC will replace the current Skill Levels.

Skill Type/Level TEER Category
Skill Type 0 TEER 0
Skill level A TEER 1
Skill level B TEER 2 and TEER 3

IRCC Undertakes NOC Overhaul Every Decade

A nationally-recognized and standardized system used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to evaluate the work experience of applicants for immigration, the choice of the right NOC code is one of the most important parts of an application for immigration.

With the overhaul to the NOC, all applications submitted once the new system comes into place will require the applicant to put in the proper – and new – five-digit NOC code.

“Every 10 years, the (NOC) undergoes a major structural revision whereby the existing occupational groups are reviewed alongside input collected from many relevant stakeholders through a consultation process,” stated Statistics Canada on its website.

“The release of the NOC 2021 will be the product of this 10-year cycle and will reflect changes in the economy and the nature of work. Input from the public, and particularly stakeholders, has been a key part of the revision process.”

Every province and territory in Canada use the NOC to identify jobs that need to be filled by immigration programs.

In March last year, for example, New Brunswick temporarily reduced the work experience requirement for its truck driver stream, targeting candidates under what is now NOC 7511.

Earlier that year, British Columbia immigration lifted its exclusion of 31 NOC codes as it conducted two draws, issuing invitations to 494 candidates, after roughly a year of limiting the immigration of people to do those jobs.

Existing Requirements For BC Skills Immigration Stream

  • 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 dependents.
  • 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.

Skills Immigration Application process

Step 1. Registration

The BC PNP operates a Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS) for its immigration program. It is a dynamic intake management system that allows BC to prioritize high-impact candidates.

Interested candidates must register a free expression of interest via BC PNP Online system.

Two streams do not need registration, interested candidates may apply for nomination directly to BCPNP Online: Healthcare Professionals and International Post Graduates.

Step 2. Invitation to apply

SIRS operates under a points-based system that gives candidates a registration score that determines whether they may be invited to apply. The score is based on a number of factors — such as level of education, years of direct work experience and a BC employment offer — that reflect an individual’s ability to succeed in the labour market and contribute to the provincial economy.

The highest-scoring profiles receive an invitation to apply (ITA) for a provincial nomination.

Step 3. Application

After receiving an ITA, the candidate must submit a complete application through the BCPNP Online within 30 days and pay the $700 application fee.

Step 4. Nomination

Approved candidates receive a nomination certificate enabling them to apply for permanent residence to the federal government.

In order to work in BC while a PR application is in progress, an interested candidate may request a support letter from BC PNP

Step 5. IRCC application

Following health, criminality and security checks, the approved candidates receive a permanent resident visa.

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