VICTORIA - Effective Nov. 15, 2012, the Fast Track nomination option in the business immigration stream of the B.C. Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is being suspended pending a review in order to ensure the program is working effectively to support job creation and economic development in B.C.
The PNP allows the Province to nominate a select number of candidates each year to apply for accelerated permanent residence through Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Since 2007, the B.C. PNP has nominated over 17,000 individuals, including approximately 16,600 skilled workers and 400 business immigrants. Nominees in the business stream have invested over $700 million and created more than 1,600 new jobs, half of which have been outside of Metro Vancouver.
Through the Fast Track option, business applicants who have obtained a PNP-supported work permit and have arrived in B.C. to set up their business can request immediate nomination for permanent residence if they post a $125,000 performance bond with the Province. The bond is returned without interest to Fast Track nominees when they fulfil their PNP performance agreement, but is forfeited to the Province if they fail to meet their performance obligations.
This differs from the regular nomination process, where there is no performance bond, but applicants are only nominated when they have established a business.
Since 2007, 26 Fast Track nominees have successfully completed their performance agreements, compared with 261 business applicants nominated through the regular nomination process. The review will examine whether the current Fast Track option supports the PNP's role in regional job creation and contributes to B.C.'s competitiveness in attracting more business immigrants.
Suspension of the Fast Track nomination option will not affect the assessment process for PNP business immigration applications. All applications will continue to be assessed, and approved applicants will be able to pursue nomination through the regular nomination process.
The Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour expects to complete its review of the Fast Track option within the next 60 days, and will then implement changes to ensure the ongoing effectiveness of the business stream of the B.C. PNP.
Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Pat Bell -
"First and foremost, we want to make sure that any program that brings people to British Columbia to create jobs and encourage economic investment is as effective as possible. The regular nomination process has proven to be successful, and we'd like to make sure that all aspects of the PNP are achieving those desired results. I'd like to emphasize that the temporary suspension of the Fast Track option will not affect anyone going through the regular nomination process, which has proven to be an effective tool for generating jobs and economic development."
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour