The Provincial Immigration Programs Act, S.B.C. 2015, c. 37 (“PIPA“) and the Provincial Immigration Programs Regulation (“Regulation“) came into effect on February 1, 2017.

PIPA strengthens the administration of the Province’s immigration programs and designates decision-making authority for the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (“PNP“) to the director, provincial immigration programs.

The Regulation governs the delivery of the PNP, which is British Columbia’s only direct economic immigration tool. Specifically, the Regulation:

  1. grants authority to collect PNP fees,
  2. sets out the amount of PNP fees,
  3. allows for inspections to be conducted to monitor compliance with program requirements, and
  4. implements a process for reviewing refused applications. To read the provincial government’s overview of the changes to the PNP as a result of PIPA and its Regulation, click here.

Prior to PIPA, the PNP was not governed by a specific legislation; instead, it was a program policy of the provincial government, and the only publicly accessible information about the program (subject to occasional changes) was on the PNP website. The new PIPA and its Regulation brings greater certainty and transparency to the BC PNP process. The PNP has been, and continues to be, one of the better programs for the selection and nomination of foreign workers and international graduates with the skills, education and/or experience required for high-demand occupations and entrepreneurial ventures. The PNP is based on a point system, with the provincial government issuing Invitations To Apply for provincial nomination to the highest-ranking registrants following periodic draws from the pool of provincial candidates. At the time of writing, there have been three draws from the pool of candidates (February 3, 17 and 23, 2017).

To read the provincial government’s overview of the changes to the PNP as a result of PIPA and its Regulations, click here.