New Registration System for British Columbia's Provincial Nominee Program

British Columbia (BC) has launched a new registration system through British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP). The Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS), an innovative new points system for immigration to Canada, will be used to prioritize and fast-track immigrants.

The SIRS operates on an Expression of Interest (EOI) and an Invitation to Apply (ITA) model. Individuals who are awarded a certain number of points are guaranteed an ITA effective immediately.

The SIRS is aligned with BC’s labor market and development priorities in applying for jobs and employment and prioritizes candidates who have obtained a job offer from a B.C. employer. It factors in previous work experience in Canada, skill level, wage rate and location of the job offer.

Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labor, Shirley Bond points out the need for the new system stating there is high demand for skilled workers and investment-ready entrepreneurs to BC to grow the diverse economy. In order to do this, the immigration programs must be timely and efficient to bring the right people into BC to keep their businesses growing. Skilled immigrants applying to the BC PNP also need a transparent system that’s easy to understand and gets them working in B.C. as soon as possible.

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BC’s SIRS system gives candidates a registration score that determines whether they are invited to apply. This follows the other EOI systems across the Canadian immigration landscape. A candidate submits a registration through SIRS and receives a registration score which will be entered into a selection pool for the category in which he or she has registered. Candidates may register under one category only. The registration, which is free of charge, will remain in the selection pool for a maximum of 12 months from the date of submission. Periodically, the BC PNP will invite the highest-scoring registrants from each category to apply for provincial nomination.

SIRS prioritizes and assesses the following categories: Skilled worker, International Graduate, Entry Level and Semi-Skilled and Northeast Pilot Project. Candidates that has a graduate degree from a B.C. university in the natural, applied or health sciences are also included.

200 points are available, 120 are for economic factors and 80 are for core human capital factors. The SIRS points system, however, awards bonus points (within the total of 200) for a range of factors relating to a candidate’s job offer, education history, and previous work experience.

Individuals who achieve or exceed the following registration scores for their chosen category will be guaranteed an ITA in the next draw following their registration. For Skilled Worker -135, International Graduate-105 both applicable for Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC and Entry Level and Semi-Skilled – 95, Northeast Pilot Project – 95 for Skills Immigration Program.

Attorney David Cohen says that, “This new system from British Columbia, however, presents potential candidates with a target to aim for. Moreover, these targets for specific categories are very much reachable. British Columbia is projected to have the highest job and population growth of any Canadian province over the coming years, with around one million new openings expected before 2022. The government of British Columbia has taken the correct measures to ensure that the province is using its PNP in a dynamic and responsive way. One example of this is by opening registration under the SIRS to individuals who obtain job offers in semi-skilled positions, as well as those who have job offers in skilled positions.”