BC to prioritize PR of immigrants working or studying outside Metro Vancouver

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VICTORIA – To help business owners throughout B.C., the province will offer new incentives for skilled immigrants to settle in communities outside of the Metro Vancouver Regional District.

As of Nov. 16, 2022, candidates for the BC Provincial Nomination Program (BC PNP) skills immigration stream who are offered a qualifying job outside of Metro Vancouver, who have worked at least one year outside of Metro Vancouver, or who have recently graduated from a post-secondary institution outside of Metro Vancouver, will receive higher priority and greater access to the program.

Historically, immigrants are attracted to major urban centres. The changes to the program will create an immigration pathway for international workers and graduates who have the necessary qualifications to meet the province’s needs in high-priority sectors within regional areas.

The changes build on adjustments made to the BC PNP program in March 2022 to prioritize health-care workers and early childhood educators. The changes resulted in a 66% increase (180 people) in projected nominations for the health authority stream over past year; a 224% increase (140 people) in the number of candidates working in health care outside of the health authorities; and a 575% increase (277 people) in early childhood educator candidates.

As the only immigration program under provincial control, the BC PNP enables the Province to directly select qualified prospective immigrants and nominate them and their families for permanent residency.