B.C. Tech Pilot becomes permanent program

Tech Pilot program in B.C. will become permanent instead of expiring on June 30, 2021.

It’s no secret that British Columbia’s Tech Pilot program has been a success story. Since its launch in 2017, it has consistently been one of the more popular program for foreign workers and international students.

For the last four years, the program was renewed and extended on a yearly basis.

The extension from last year was due to expire at the end of this month. However, based on the program’s popularity and requests from employers and stakeholders in the tech world, the province decided to turn the pilot program into a permanent one!

An update was issued by the province on May 28, 2021, announcing that the Tech Pilot has been extended for an indefinite period of time and will officially be renamed to BC PNP Tech once the current pilot reaches its expiration date on June 30, 2021.

Why did the province do this? Even through the challenges and impact that COVID had on immigration, the Tech Pilot continued to retain its popularity and year after year has seen a steady increase in the number of nominations issued.

The Council of Canadian Innovators (CCI) in British Columbia also played an important role by sending a letter to Josie Osborne, the province’s minister of municipal affairs. The CCI outlined the benefits of the program, stating, “By making the PNP Tech Stream permanent, innovators will be able to better long-term plan and will have greater confidence to make business expansion plans, knowing that this critical service will be available when they need it.” and requested that it be made into a permanent one.

B.C. Tech Pilot

Launched in 2017, the Tech Pilot program was created to attract foreign talent in the province’s tech industry due to a shortage of talent and skills.

Specifically, the province was seeking talent in one of 29 eligible tech occupations to help grow the province’s booming technology sector and economic growth.

courtesy Ian Scheinder

Candidates who are interested and eligible for the program are required to create a profile online and register with Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS) in one of the province’s existing immigration streams. The applicant’s profile is evaluated and given a score to determine their suitability.

A valid job offer in one of the eligible occupations is also required.

Every week, the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) holds draws and selects the highest ranked candidates from the pool.

It will be interesting to see whether the permanency will have an effect on the number of invitations issued. This is a very exciting and interesting development and reaffirms Canada’s commitment to increasing the number of newcomers into the country over the next few years.

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