Obtaining a work permit through the BC Provincial Nominee Program

Last updated: November 30, 2018

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BC Provincial Nominee Program

The BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) is an immigration agreement between the province of BC and the federal government to nominate highly skilled applicants for permanent residency in Canada. Applications to the BC PNP require a joint application from both the employer and employee. The employee must intend to reside in BC and the employer must offer the employee a permanent full-time position.

The process has two steps:

  1. Application for nomination to the BC PNP (provincial)
  2. Application for permanent residency to Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (federal)

Once approved by BC PNP, the employee becomes eligible for a work permit that is specific to the employer.

The BC PNP is made up of several pathways, with all pathways sharing the same process and ability to apply for a work permit. The federal government’s processing of the permanent residency application may vary based on the BC PNP stream.

Relevant occupations:

Any skilled occupation in NOC levels 0, A or B, including:

  • Teachers
  • Speech language pathologists
  • Psychologists
  • Librarians


  • Offer from a BC employer for a continuous ongoing position
  • The employee must intend to become a permanent resident and live in BC
  • The employee must have at least two years of relevant work experience
  • The employee is being offered a role in a skilled occupation and meets the minimum education and experience requirements for the occupation, as set out in the NOC description

Application process:

1.   The employee registers with the BC PNP in the BC PNP online application system. The employee must indicate which pathway they are applying under. After submitting their registration, the employee becomes part of the applicant pool and receives a registration score. This score is based on economic factors as well as the employee’s work experience, education level and English language proficiency.

Employees who qualify for the Express Entry BC process may apply for BC PNP’s Express Entry BC stream after completing an Express Entry profile with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Express Entry system.

2.   Approximately every two to three weeks, BC PNP draws the applicants with the highest scores from the applicant pool and invites them to apply to the BC PNP.

3.   Applicants have 30 days to complete the BC PNP application and upload supporting documents. These documents include the following employer documents:

  • Job offer form
  • Employer recommendation letter: This letter should request nomination of the employee, describe how the employer found them and explain why they are a good fit for the role.

4.   After submitting the PNP application, it may take between two and eight weeks to process the application depending on the volume of applications.

5.   If the application is approved, the employee will receive a Confirmation of Nomination and Work Permit Support Letter.

6.   The employer must complete the LMIA-Exempt Offer of Employment form in the Employer Portal and pay the $230 employer compliance fee. This will generate an Offer of Employment number, which is required to apply for the work permit.

7.   The employee can submit the work permit application:

  • In person at a Canadian consulate
  • Online through a MyCIC account
  • In person at a Visa Application Centre
  • By mail directly to a consulate
  • At the place of entry (border or airport) if the employee has citizenship from a visa-exempt country:
    • Non-American citizens must have an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to apply upon entry
    • Employees requiring a medical exam must have taken the exam four weeks before applying at the place of entry

The application will include forms and supporting documents, including the e-Medical information sheet if applicable.

8.   If the employee submits the application at a Canadian consulate, online or by mail, they will be issued a work permit approval letter. The actual work permit document is issued upon entry to Canada. If the employee submits the work permit application at the place of entry, their application will be reviewed by the first available Immigration Officer. If the application is approved, the work permit is issued immediately upon approval.

9.   To apply for permanent residency, the employee must complete the permanent residence application. Permanent residence applications created through Express Entry are completed online with supporting documents uploaded to the system. Employees can also complete paper-based applications, which must be submitted to the Centralized Intake Office.

Processing times:

  • BC PNP applications are processed two to eight weeks after submission.
  • Work permit applications made at a Canadian consulate vary by location and volume.
  • Work permit applications made at the border/airport when entering Canada will be reviewed the same day.
  • Permanent residence applications made via the Express Entry system have a target processing time of six months.
  • Permanent residence applications submitted on paper have an estimated processing time of 16 months.


  • $700 BC PNP application fee
  • $230 employer compliance fee
  • $155 work permit fee
  • $550 permanent residence application fee
  • $490 right of permanent residence fee

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