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Ashton’s second Continuing Professional Development Seminar of 2015 took place on Saturday, July 11th at the Best Western Chateau Plus Granville hotel in Vancouver. Ashton was pleased to welcome Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant Ron McKay, who presented to in-class attendees and live-online viewers on the topic of British Columbia’s Provincial Nominee Program.
Ashton is committed to providing CPD programs on topics that are relevant to immigration professionals, and Saturday’s event was especially timely, given the fact that BC’s PNP program had re-opened just nine days prior after the expiration of a 90-day moratorium on applications to the program.
Mr. McKay began his session with a brief history of the Provincial Nominee Program in Canada, explaining that it began as a way for provinces to play a role in the immigration selection process and was designed to provide significant benefit to the provinces by allowing them to select immigrants who are able to economically establish they will be able to succeed in Canada. Mr. McKay explained that the federal government allocates the number of nominations (principal applicants, excluding dependent family) available to the BC PNP each calendar year. For 2015, British Columbia’s quota is 5,500 nominations.
Although Provincial Nominee Programs are meant to play a smaller role in Canadian immigration than federal immigration selection programs, the number of BC PNP applications received is higher than the annual number of nominations allocated to the province for 2015 by almost 95%. Following changes to the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program in April and June of 2014, the BC PNP experienced a significant increase in the number of Skills Immigration applications received and longer overall processing times.
*Estimated processing times are based on 80% of cases and are subject to change according to program capacity and application volume
Mr. McKay covered a variety of changes to the BC PNP program in detail including:
Mr. McKay provided a detailed look at how to go about creating and completing an online application for the BC PNP program. Mr. McKay noted that to be eligible for the BC PNP’s Express Entry British Columbia and Skills Immigration Streams, applicants must demonstrate that they are able to support themselves (and their dependents) according to their:
Other applicant-specific forms (Job Offer Form, Generic Application Form for Canada (IMM 0008), Additional Dependents/Declaration (IMM 0008 DEP) and Use of a Representative) were also discussed.
Before opening the floor to questions, Mr. McKay concluded by reiterating that although it is not possible for every applicant to gain permanent entry to Canada, lengthy processing times can deter quality applicants from applying to the BC PNP, and posed a discussion question to the audience for suggestions on how the PNP can be redesigned to increase operational efficiency, maintain program integrity and improve outcomes. What are your thoughts on the topic? Let us know in the comments below!