British Columbia Technical Pilot Program provides employers with a chance to hire and retain skilled workers technically from overseas. It is a part of the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program.
The demand for technical workers in British Columbia is rising faster than its supply. To fulfill the existing gap, the government of BC decided to extend the Tech Pilot Program until June 2020.
The British Columbia technology sector is a fast-growing sector.
The Canadian Ministry of Jobs, Trade, and technology aims to establish the province as an emerging technological hub in the country.
The policies they are designing, promote the growth of new tech companies. Visa programs such as the BC tech Pilot Program are attempts at removing barriers to entry in the field.
Some of the features of the Program Include:
- Service: A specially dedicated team provides tailored information and navigation assistance to tech employers about immigration programs and processes.
- Timeliness: The BC PNP issues weekly invitations to apply to qualified, skilled tech workers. This minimizes the waiting period for both employers and prospective employees.
- Prioritization: Tech applications have priority status during processing to meet the sector’s fast-paced demands.
- Engagement: Continuous support to tech sector employers via engagement activities and participation in key industry events.
The BC PNP issues weekly invitations to qualified applicants. To be eligible, a candidate must have:
- A job offer
- The full-time job offer must be for at least one full year
- The offer must be from one of the 29 eligible occupations
- Once a candidate determines their category, they may register online for free.
- They then receive a registration score. Registration is free.
- Depending upon processing capacity, a tech draw may or may not be conducted every week through this draw high scoring candidates receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA).
- Invited candidates have to submit a completed online application within 30 calendar days from the date of invitation. The government application fee is $700.
- The BC PNP process tech applications on priority.
- Once approved, the applicant receives a nomination that can then be used to apply for permanent residence.
- Nominated individuals who meet their nomination conditions receive a work permit support letter.
- The letter allows them to obtain or renew their current work permit. So it also enables candidates to work throughout the process.
The BC Tech Association and the Vancouver Economic Commission, in a labor market research, identified access to talent as the biggest issue in the technology sector. The lack of access is the most significant barrier to economic growth in the region.
Initially,32 in-demand tech occupations were identified for the BC PNP Tech Pilot Program. The eligibility criteria for Tech Pilot was based on these 32 tech occupations.
After its first operational year, the conditions and in-demand occupations list was revised based on actual demand in the sector. A revised Occupation in-demand list now features 29 occupations.
The revision allows British Columbia to focus its resources on the occupations that are high in demand within the tech sector. It will enable the province to maintain the speed of processing and high level of service to tech employers.
The full list of In-Demand Occupations is mentioned below:
- Telecommunication carriers managers
- Computer and information systems managers
- Managers – publishing, motion pictures, broadcasting and performing arts
- Civil engineers
- Mechanical engineers
- Electrical and electronics engineers
- Chemical engineers
- Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
- Information systems analysts and consultants
- Database analysts and data administrators
- Software engineers and designers
- Computer programmers and interactive media developers
- Web designers and developers
- Biological technologists and technicians
- Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
- Electronic service technicians (household and business equipment)
- Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics
- Computer network technicians
- User support technicians
- Information systems testing technicians
- Authors and writers
- Translators, terminologists, and interpreters
- Broadcast technicians
- Audio and video recording technicians
- motion pictures, broadcasting and the performing arts technical and managerial staff
- Supporting staff in motion pictures, broadcasting, photography, and the performing arts
- Graphic designers and illustrators
- Technical sales specialists – wholesale trade
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