How to Get Your British Columbia PNP with the BC Tech Pilot
September 4, 2023
British Columbia has been climbing the ranks of popular immigration destinations in Canada. In particular, the province's extensive social, financial, and educational infrastructure has attracted many foreign individuals who work in the tech industry to its shores. This has added to the skilled labor tech expertise being funneled into the province, enabling the province's tech sector to flourish even further.
To meet the growing demand for immigration to Canada from eligible foreign tech workers, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), in partnership with the Canadian government, has dedicated resources that have made it simple to immigrate to British Columbia. This is mostly achieved through the BC Provincial Nominee Program’s (PNP) BC Tech Pilot.
Ready to make a move to Canada's Pacific Southwest? Learn more about the British Columbia Tech Pilot, British Columbia's primary immigration pathway for skilled tech worker immigration.
What is the British Columbia Tech Pilot
The British Columbia Tech Pilot is a program initiated by the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) to attract skilled tech workers to the province. It is designed to meet the growing demand for tech talent and support the province's thriving tech industry.
The Tech Pilot offers a fast-track, streamlined pathway for eligible tech workers to obtain permanent residency in British Columbia. This is highly beneficial to immigrant tech workers who want to expedite the process of immigrating to British Columbia.
Features of the British Columbia Tech Pilot
The BC Tech Pilot comes with several features that make it an attractive option for tech professionals looking to settle in British Columbia. These features include:
The BC Tech Pilot provides dedicated services to tech workers and employers. It has a dedicated attendant service that offers personalized support and guidance to applicants throughout the application process. This enables immigrant tech workers to receive the assistance they need to navigate the complexities of the immigration process smoothly.
One of the distinct features of the BC Tech Pilot is its commitment to processing applications on time. The program aims to provide quicker processing times than other immigration streams through a fast-track application. This enables immigrant tech workers to start their new lives and careers in British Columbia without unnecessary delays.
The BC Tech Pilot prioritizes immigrant tech worker applicants whose specific occupations are in demand in British Columbia. In-demand occupations in British Columbia are determined based on a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which evaluates the province's specific tech sector skilled labor needs.
By prioritizing in-demand occupations in the tech sector, the BC Tech Pilot ensures that workers with the most in-demand skills in British Columbia have a higher chance of being selected.
The BC Tech Pilot demonstrates a long-term commitment by the British Columbian government to support its tech industry's growth and development. The program has no time limits placed on the program and provides a stable pathway for tech workers to settle in British Columbia permanently.
The BC Tech Pilot's commitment shows tech professionals that their expertise and skills are valued and recognized in the province.
How to Apply to The BC Tech Pilot in 7 Steps
The BC Tech Pilot follows a step-by-step process for tech workers to apply and obtain permanent residency in British Columbia. Here are the seven steps involved:
Step 1: Find Your National Occupational Classification (NOC) Code
The first step in applying to the BC Tech Pilot involves finding your National Occupational Classification (NOC) code and Teaching, Education, Experience and Responsibility (TEER) level. The NOC code is a five-digit number that classifies occupations in Canada. It’s used to determine your eligibility for various immigration programs and assess your job skill level.
Step 2: Check Your Eligibility
After finding your NOC code, you need to check your eligibility for the BC Tech Pilot. Eligibility requirements for the BC Tech pilot include:
- Having a valid job offer from an eligible employer in British Columbia
- Meeting the minimum language requirements of level 4 Canadian Language Benchmark Test (CLB)
- Having the necessary education documents e.g. minimum of a 3-year BSc degree or diploma in the IT industry
- Job offer must be for one of the 29 eligible occupations in the BC Tech Pilot
- Meeting the minimum work experience requirements of at least one year in your chosen tech occupation
Step 3: Get a Job Offer
Once you’re sure you're eligible to apply, you must secure a job offer from an eligible employer in British Columbia. The job offer must be for a full-time position and meet the requirements set by the BC PNP. Please note that the BC Tech Pilot only accepts job offers in the designated in-demand tech occupations.
The following table outlines the BC Tech Pilots’ prioritized tech occupations:
|B.C. Tech Pilot Qualifying Occupations|
|10030||Telecommunication carriers managers|
|20012||Computer and information systems managers|
|21100||Physicists and astronomers|
|21210||Mathematicians, statisticians, and actuaries|
|21221||Business systems specialists|
|21222||Information systems specialists|
|21223||Database analysts and data administrators|
|21230||Computer systems developers and programmers|
|21231||Software engineers and designers|
|21232||Software developers and programmers|
|21234||Web developers and programmers|
|21310||Electrical and electronics engineers|
|21311||Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)|
|21399||Other professional engineers|
|22110||Biological technologists and technicians|
|22220||Computer network and web technicians|
|22221||User support technicians|
|22222||Information systems testing technicians|
|22310||Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians|
|22312||Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics|
|50011||Managers - publishing, motion pictures, broadcasting, and performing arts|
|51111||Authors and writers (except technical)|
|51120||Producers, directors, choreographers, and related occupations|
|52119||Other technical and co-ordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting, and the performing arts|
|52113||Audio and video recording technicians|
|52120||Graphic designers and illustrators|
|53111||Motion pictures, broadcasting, photography, and performing arts assistants and operators|
Step 4: Create a Profile and Register on the BC PNP Online Portal
After securing a job offer, you need to create a profile and register on the BC PNP online portal. The online portal is where you submit your application and supporting documents. You must provide accurate and up-to-date information in your profile to ensure a smooth application process.
Step 5: Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA)
Once you have registered on the BC PNP online portal, the BC provincial authorities will assess your application. You will receive an Invitation to apply (ITA) for the BC Tech Pilot if you meet the eligibility requirements. Included in your ITA will be an outline of the next steps you need to follow in your application.
Step 6: Get a Provincial Nomination
If your application is successful, you will receive a provincial nomination from the BC PNP. The provincial nomination is a crucial step towards permanent residency in British Columbia. It shows the province has recognized your skills and potential to contribute to its tech industry. Should your application not be successful, your profile information will be retained by the province for the next nomination draw.
Step 7: Gather the Required Documents and Apply
The final step in the application process is to gather all the required documents and submit your application. The BC PNP provides a checklist of documents to include with your application. Review the checklist carefully and ensure you have all the necessary documents before submitting your application.
What British Columbia Has To Offer Tech Workers
Canada has a lot to offer workers in the tech industry and British Columbia is one of the leading provinces for Canada’s expanding tech industry. The province offers the following benefits to tech workers:
High Demand for Tech Workers
British Columbia has a high demand for tech workers across various industries. The province is home to a vibrant tech sector constantly growing and evolving. Tech professionals in British Columbia have access to a wide range of job opportunities and can contribute to cutting-edge projects and innovations.
Vancouver, British Columbia’s largest city, is central to its expanding tech industry. Some of the leading tech companies that have their headquarters in the city include:
Tech workers in British Columbia enjoy competitive salaries that reflect the high demand for their skills. The BC tech industry’s attractive compensation packages and benefits make it an enticing destination for tech professionals looking to advance their careers and improve their earning potential. According to Canada’s Job Bank, The average annual salary for tech workers in the occupations outlined below is:
|Tech Occupations||Average Annual Salary in British Columbia (CAD)|
|Information Systems Manager||142,038|
|Computer systems analyst||108,361.5|
|User Support Technician||85,410|
Quality of Life
British Columbia offers an exceptional quality of life for tech workers. Tech professionals in British Columbia can enjoy a balanced lifestyle thanks to BC’s abundant lucrative job opportunities, stunning natural landscapes, access to outdoor activities, vibrant cities, and diverse cultural scenes. On top of this, Canada’s subsided, universally accessible healthcare and education system takes a lot of the financial pressure off life in BC.The quality of life in the province is also enhanced by the relatively low cost of living in Canada compared to other developed nations like the United States (US). Learn more about the low cost of living in Canada vs US.
Supportive Ecosystem of Tech Workers
Tech workers in British Columbia benefit from being part of a supportive ecosystem of like-minded professionals. The province has numerous tech hubs, incubators, and accelerators that foster collaboration and innovation. Tech professionals have access to:
- Networking events
- Mentorship programs
- Membership in professional regulatory organizations
- Upskilling resources that can help them thrive in their careers
Now that you have obtained a working knowledge of the BC Tech pilot and how to apply for it, you can begin your journey to becoming a beneficiary of working as a tech worker in Canada! Best of luck on your immigration efforts.
How Can I Get Assistance With the BC Tech Pilot Application Process?
If you need assistance with the BC Tech Pilot application process, we recommend consulting with a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) or immigration lawyer. These professionals can provide valuable advice and support to help you navigate the application process and increase your chances of success.
How Many CRS Points Do You Need For The BC Tech Pilot?
The number of Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points you need to be eligible for the BC Tech pilot is a minimum of 88 points. The higher your CRS score, the better your chances of receiving a provincial nomination from the BC PNP.
Receiving a provincial nomination adds points under the Express Entry system, which can significantly increase your CRS score and improve your chances of being invited to apply for permanent residency. Learn more about increasing your CRS score.