Provincial Nominee Program changes prioritizing health care aides lauded by BCCPA

“These important changes to the Provincial Nominee Program will help to meet the growing needs of the care economy” — Terry Lake, CEO

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs today announced substantial changes to the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) Skills Immigration stream to help address labour shortages in the care economy. Effectively immediately, the program will begin prioritizing health care assistant (HCA) applications. Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) will also benefit from these changes.

The BC PNP is an immigration program jointly administered by the Province and Canada under the Canada-British Columbia Immigration Agreement (CBCIA). Through the BC PNP, B.C. nominates applicants who help address the province’s unique labour market needs and contribute to economic development. B.C. is allocated a set number of nominations each year.

B.C. has a critical need for more health care aides and ECEs. Under the BC PNP, these occupations are prioritized, increasing support for the care economy. HCAs will be given priority access to apply, which provides a better chance for assessment under the program’s eligibility criteria. For a full list of priority occupations, click here.

Priority access is achieved through direct-to-apply categories, or targeted draws for qualified workers with a job offer as an HCA. As registrants / applicants and employers must continue to meet all relevant program criteria, please carefully review the BC PNP Skills Immigration Program Guide for specific details.

BCCPA has been advocating behind the scenes with both provincial and federal officials on changes that will streamline and expedite immigration pathways and improve credential recognition processes. CEO Terry Lake was invited to provide a quote on the Ministry’s news release, which is located here. We would like to express our sincere thanks to Minister Nathan Cullen, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors and Long-Term Care Mable Elmore, as well as officials in the Ministries of Municipal Affairs and Health. We would also like to acknowledge Hon. Josie Osborne – who led Municipal Affairs until last month – for her work in supporting changes to the PNP.

Quick Facts: 

  • B.C. PNP offers a pathway to permanent residence for economic immigrants – workers and entrepreneurs who contribute to the labour market in the province. The program constitutes about one-third of all B.C. economic immigrants.
  • The priority access care economy occupations currently make up about 3%, or less than 200 nominees annually. With more than 6,700 nominations available, there is room to increase the number of nominees in this category, driven largely by employer demand.
  • More than 85% of B.C. PNP nominees stay in B.C. after gaining permanent residency.
  • In 2021, B.C. had an allocation of 6,750 nominations, and is expected to reach, or exceed that level in 2022.