Today Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour introduced legislation as a foundation for the Province’s role in selecting newcomers to B.C.
The Provincial Immigration Programs Act will help B.C. meet its economic development priorities by providing a legislative framework to select newcomers under the existing Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) as well as any future immigration agreements with the federal government.
Primary authority for immigration lies with the federal government and the Canada-B.C. Immigration Agreement sets out the terms for federal and provincial co-operation on immigration matters, including the Provincial Nominee Program. Recent changes to federal immigration programs have increased the number of applications to the PNP. Each year B.C. receives a limited allocation of PNP nominations from the federal government and needs to ensure it is making the best use of those nominations.
This new act will provide a transparent framework to strengthen the administration of immigration programs in B.C. The legislation has three main objectives. They are:
1. Increase transparency in the administration of immigration programs
- Set out statutory decision making authority for immigration programs by assigning that authority to a director of immigration programs.
- Implement a formal process and timelines for reviewing applications that are refused.
2. Protecting the integrity of immigration programs
- Improve collection, use and disclosure of applicant information with the federal government
- Identify and stop fraud by allowing the province to cancel applications where fraud is discovered and banning those found to be making fraudulent applications from applying to provincial programs for two years.
- Conduct inspections to monitor compliance with program requirements.
3. Fees and cost recovery
- Clearly outline the province’s authority to collect and set fee amounts for applying to immigration programs ensuring program costs are recovered and the taxpayer is respected.
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour -
“Our province’s diverse and growing economy means that many people want to come to B.C. to work, live and raise a family. We recognize that welcoming newcomers to B.C. will be an important part of supporting the significant economic opportunities in our province. We have redesigned our Provincial Nominee Program to make sure we are aligning our nominations for permanent residence with our labour market priorities. The new Provincial Immigration Programs Act is the next step in putting the province in a position to continue to attract high-demand, skilled workers and investment-ready entrepreneurs to grow our economy.”
- The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is the Province’s only direct economic immigration tool for bringing in new British Columbians.
- B.C.’s quota of PNP nominations is set by the federal government. For 2015, that allocation is 5,500.
- B.C. continues to work with the federal government to receive more PNP allocations.
- Since the 2001 inception of the program, more than 28,000 workers and entrepreneurs have been attracted to the province through the PNP.
- B.C. was an early adopter of the federal Express Entry priority system and the first province to introduce a new PNP stream to align with the federal Express Entry priority system.
- Since January, the PNP has issued more nominations than any other province under Express Entry BC.
- Every year the province has achieved 100% of its nomination quota and is on track to use the full allocation again in 2015.
- In 2014, 80% of B.C.’s total immigrants came to B.C. through federal immigration streams.
- Only 20% of B.C.’s total immigrants came through the PNP in 2014.
For more information on the B.C. PNP: www.welcomebc.ca/pnp