Tech and IT workers may immigrate to BC and obtain Canadian permanent residence quickly through the BC PNP Tech program (formerly the BC Tech Pilot), which is part of the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP).

The BC PNP Tech Program was introduced in 2017 to assist BC employers in finding international tech talent to fill positions in in-demand occupations across the province. The BC PNP Tech program was initially launched as a pilot, called the BC PNP Tech Pilot, before being made a permanent fixture in BC immigration in 2021.

Workers in any of the listed eligible occupations may be eligible under the BC PNP Tech Pilot.

Eligible occupations for BC PNP Tech program

OccupationNOC code
Telecommunication carriers managers0131
Computer and information systems managers0213
Managers - publishing, motion pictures, broadcasting and performing arts0512
Civil engineers2131
Mechanical engineers2132
Electrical and electronics engineers2133
Chemical engineers2134
Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)2147
Information systems analysts and consultants2171
Database analysts and data administrators2172
Software engineers and designers2173
Computer programmers and interactive media developers2174
Web designers and developers2175
Biological technologists and technicians2221
Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians2241
Electronic service technicians (household and business equipment)2242
Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics2243
Computer network technicians2281
User support technicians2282
Information systems testing technicians2283
Authors and writers5121
Translators, terminologists and interpreters5125
Broadcast technicians5224
Audio and video recording technicians5225
Other technical and co-ordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting and the performing arts5226
Support occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting, photography and the performing arts5227
Graphic designers and illustrators5241
Technical sales specialists - wholesale trade6221

Why a BC PNP Tech program?

The initiative was first launched because demand for talent in BC’s tech sector is increasing faster than supply. By creating a unique pathway for skilled tech and IT workers, BC can satisfy the demand for tech talent.

The pilot functions in conjunction with the existing BC PNP categories. As such, eligible candidates must satisfy the criteria of one of BC’s Skills Immigration or Express Entry categories, which are managed under the Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS).

Under the SIRS, eligible candidates may register and receive a ranking score. Every week, subject to processing capacity, the BC PNP will conduct a tech draw to invite the highest-scoring tech sector registrants to apply for a provincial nomination certificate. Invited candidates have up to 30 calendar days from the date of invitation to submit a complete online application, which is processed on a priority basis. If approved for provincial nomination, an application for permanent residence may then be submitted to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Individuals who have been nominated and who meet the conditions of their nomination will receive a work permit support letter allowing them to obtain or renew their current work permit, ensuring that they may work throughout the permanent residence application process.

Job offers under the BC PNP Tech program must meet the following criteria:

  • the job offer must be for a single job in one of the 29 occupations listed above;
  • the job offer must be at least one year in duration (365 days); and
  • there must be at least 120 calendar days remaining on the job offer at the time of application.

Individuals whose occupation is not listed above may still be able to immigrate to Canada through the BC PNP under one of the many categories managed under that program. For an overview, see this page.