BC Tech Immigration Support Programs

The BC Tech Association (BC Tech) has been selected as BC’s Designated Referral Partner to the Ministry of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and will work in coordination with BC Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training (JTST), to support the roll-out of the Global Skills Strategy by referring BC-based technology companies that meet the criteria and qualifications listed below. Additionally, BC Tech is supporting the Province and the Provincial Nominee Program, as it relates to the Canadian Global Skills Strategy. This is an exciting, complimentary program to this initiative.



2017 BC Tech Immigration Support Programs

The Federal Global Skills Strategy is designed to attract and expedite entry of global, highly skilled and qualified talent to support Canadian companies to grow and scale. The goal is to spur innovation and growth of our economy by creating more jobs and opportunities for skills and training investments for Canadians. 
 
It is designed to expedite entry for tech workers by establishing a two-week standard to approve certain LMIAs and work permits and 30-day work permit-exemptions for short-term entrance of temporary expertise, with high-touch concierge services.  Not included in this timeframe is the referral processing time.

ESDC’s Global Talent Stream

What: As part of this strategy, ESDC has launched a 24-month Global Talent (GT) Stream pilot starting June 12, 2017 under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.  Referred companies will be linked with a dedicated “Account Manager” at ESDC who will provide services such as working jointly with the company throughout the new, shortened LMIA process, including the new Labour Market Benefit Plan, and coordinating with IRCC for the work permit stage.


 
Who: Companies can qualify under two categories
  • Category A: Innovative Canadian companies that need highly specialized global talent in order to scale-up and grow and have been referred by BC Tech.
  • Category B: Companies do not need to be referred by BC Tech to access this category. Companies looking to fill a role from Global Talent Occupations List.


National Occupations Classification (NOC) Code Occupation
0213 Computer and information systems managers
2147 Computer Engineers (except software engineers and designers)
2171 Information systems analyst and consultants
2172 Database analysts and data administrators
2173 Software engineers and designers
2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers
2175 Web designer and Developer
2241 Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
2283 Information systems testing technicians
2174 Digital Media and Design (positions requiring a minimum of five years' industry experience and specific skills only)

ESDCs Criteria

Criteria for being referred by BC Tech. You will be assessed on:


Is your company innovative and does it need global talent so it can scale and grow?

Genuine company operating in Canada, as indicated by:

  • Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business registered number; AND/OR
  • Business with BC incorporation or extra-provincial registration.
A focus on innovation, as indicated by:
  • Commercialization of Intellectual Property (patents, trademarks, etc.);
  • Research & Development (R&D) capacity; AND/OR
  • Innovative business models, including innovative marketing strategies.
Firm is seeking to scale up, as indicated by:
  • Established market fit (e.g. has product or service tested on the market);
  • Achievable Business Plan with Human Resources Strategy;
  • A plan to sell internationally or international sales;
  • Competitive technical/business intelligence capacity
  • Achievable Financial Plan with investors or funding (Boot-Strapped or Venture Capital);
  • Verified/audited financial statements in good standing; AND/OR
  • A strong management team with a professional board and C-suite in place or in development.  
A willingness to grow, as indicated by:
  • Annual revenues of more than $3 million or an average annualized growth greater than 10% per annum (in revenue or in number of employees), over a three year period or a significant investment (i.e. $5M or more).

Factors that you need to consider for highly specialized global talent

A company must have identified a specific foreign worker when applying for an LMIA to facilitate ESDC’s specialized talent assessment: 

Highly specialized talent as indicated by:

  • Advanced knowledge of the industry;
  • Advanced degree in an area of specialization of interest to the employer; AND/OR
  • Minimum of five years of experience in the field of specialized experience; AND
  • A highly paid position with a minimum salary of, for example $80,000 or more:
  • a)The regional median wage for the occupation reported on the Job Bank;
    b)The wage is within the wage range that the employer is paying their current employees hired for the same job and work location, and with the same skills and years of experience; or
    c)the wage floor for the occupation if it is found on the Global Talent Occupations List.
    ESDC may exercise discretion to accept a lower wage due to regional and industry wage variations.

Company readiness to hire specialized foreign workers, such as:
  • Existence of a project or plans expected to materialize or that have materialized;
  • Immediate need for highly-skilled talent as identified by the company; AND/OR
  • Employment is expected within six months according to the description of the project(s) or plan(s).

IRCC’s Dedicated Service Channel

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) Dedicated Service Channel is available only to those companies making significant investments.  A significant investment is a new endeavour in an existing firm’s operations, or the entrance of a firm that is beginning operations in Canada that will result in a substantial improvement to the Canadian, provincial/territorial, regional or local labour market or economy, without displacing jobs for Canadians.
 

What: As part of this strategy, IRCC will provide personalized client service delivery to help companies across a spectrum of immigration needs and timelines. Companies referred will be linked with a dedicated “account manager” at IRCC who will provide services such as information on available immigration program options: explanation of processes...serving as a point of contact to ensure smooth processing and communication.
 
Who: Designed for academic research chairs and for companies making large, job-creating investments in Canada either by setting up operations for the first time in Canada or significantly expanding here.
 
 

IRCC Criteria

High Potential/High Growth


A start-up company for which the recruitment of highly-skilled foreign talent is anticipated to positively impact the company’s growth; OR

A company with proven market acceptance and the capacity for accelerated growth that will have a significant impact on the Canadian economy.


Innovative Companies


Genuine company operating in Canada, as indicated by:

  • Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business registered number; AND/OR
  • Business with BC incorporation or extra-provincial registration.
A focus on innovation, as indicated by:
  • Commercialization of Intellectual Property (patents, trademarks, etc.);
  • Research & Development (R&D) capacity; AND/OR
  • Innovative business models, including innovative marketing strategies.
Firm is seeking to scale up, as indicated by:
  • Established market fit (e.g. has product or service tested on the market);
  • Achievable Business Plan with Human Resources Strategy;
  • A plan to sell internationally or international sales;
  • Competitive technical/business intelligence capacity
  • Achievable Financial Plan with investors or funding (Boot-Strapped or Venture Capital);
  • Verified/audited financial statements in good standing; AND/OR
  • A strong management team with a professional board and C-suite in place or in development.  
A willingness to grow, as indicated by:
  • Annual revenues of more than $3 million or an average annualized growth greater than 10% per annum (in revenue or in number of employees), over a three year period or a significant investment (i.e. $5M or more).
If a company referred by BC Tech is an Innovative Company as defined above, in accordance with the relevant criteria, IRCC will also link the company to Employment and Social Development Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program to offer Global Talent Stream information.

BC Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Tech Pilot

This is not part of the BC Tech Referral Partnership, but it’s important it include information relevant to the PNP Program.

In support of BC tech employers and as part of the #BCTECH Strategy, the Provincial government has also launched a BC Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Tech Pilot and pledged to increase its spaces from 900 to 1800 this year, to ensure the tech sector can retain the talent it needs.

  
While there is no specific referral process to be included in the Tech Pilot, if a candidate enters the process with a specific NOC, they will automatically be flagged for priority processing.  Tech employers will be able to email a specific employer inbox for guidance, but as is the case with the ESDC/IRCC, it is not necessary for companies to flag specific applications.

What: The BC PNP will work with employers to address their talent needs by providing a fast-track, permanent immigration pathway for in-demand foreign workers and international students.” This includes weekly invitations to apply, dedicated concierge service and priority processing.
 
Who: Companies who have qualified foreign workers looking to become permanent residents




Criteria for the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Tech Pilot

Here is the process:

  • Applicants need to have an indeterminate full-time job offer from an eligible B.C. employer 
  • The 2016 TechTalent BC Report identifies 32 in-demand occupations and qualified individuals in those 32 occupations will be invited to apply on a weekly basis. These occupations are identified by their National Occupational Classification:


National Occupations Classification (NOC) Code Occupation
0113 Purchasing managers
0131 Telecommunication carriers managers
0213 Computer and information systems managers
0512 Managers - publishing, motion pictures, broadcasting and performing arts
1123 Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations
2131 Civil engineers
2132  Mechanical engineers
2133 Electrical and electronics engineers
2134 Chemical engineers
2147 Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
2171  Information systems analysts & consultants 
2172 Database analysts and data administrators
2173 Software engineers and designers
2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers
2175 Web designers and developers
2221 Biological technologists and technicians
2241 Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
2242 Electronic service technicians (household and business equipment)
2243 Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics
2281 Computer network technicians
2282 User support technicians
2283 Information systems testing technicians
4163 Business development officers and marketing researchers and consultants
5121 Authors and writers
5122 Editors
5125 Translators, terminologists and interpreters
5224 Broadcast technicians
5225 Audio and video recording technicians
5226 Other technical and coordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting and the performing arts
5227 Support occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting, photography and the performing arts
5241 Graphic designers and illustrators
6221 Technical sales specialists - wholesale trade

  • You need to determine if your NOC is one of the 32 listed as eligible. Then select which category would be the best fit for your application. You need to have a permanent full-time job offer from a valid B.C. employer  More information regarding the eligible NOCs and full category requirements can be found in the BC PNP Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC Program Guide (as of June 12, 2017, the Program Guide has not been updated).  Once you have determined your category, register online with the BC PNP and you will receive a registration score. 
  • Subject to processing capacity, BCPNP will conduct regular draws to invite the highest-scoring registrants to apply; tech-specific draws will occur on a weekly basis. 
  • If you are invited to apply, you have up to 30 calendar days from the date of invitation to submit a complete online application. The application requires a $700 processing fee at the time of online submission. 
  • BC PNP will assess tech specific applications as priority If approved, you will receive a nomination that you can use to apply for permanent residence with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada under the expedited Provincial Nominee Class. 
  •  Individuals who have been nominated and who meet the conditions of their nomination will receive a work permit support letter that allows them to obtain or renew their current work permit allowing them to work throughout the permanent residency process.

What is BC Tech's Role as a Designated Immigration Partner

BC Tech has been selected to be BC’s Designated Referral Partner to the Canadian government. 
 
Starting in July, BC Tech will make referrals of companies to ESDC’s Global Talent Stream (under category A), IRCC’s Dedicated Service Channel and JTST’s PNP Program. 
 
We will help ESDC and IRCC identify Canadian and foreign companies that qualify under the listed program criteria -- ultimately they must be innovative, high growth companies making large, job creating investments in Canada. 
 
This will be a flexible and iterative process with the government -- we are starting small, to ensure it is successfully implemented. 
 
Next steps:
  • Review the minimum eligibility criteria for all Programs
  • If you meet this criteria, fill out and submit a fully completed Expression of Interest Form
  • The BC Tech Member Experience Team will do a preliminary review of this info to ensure you meet the minimum criteria, which will include a call/meeting, after which we will contact the relevant departments. 
  • Participate in the info sessions we will be announcing in the coming weeks
 Please note: Our referral does not guarantee that you will be selected by ESDC, IRCC or BCPNP Programs.  We cannot guarantee all companies will be referred.

Expression of Interest Form

If your company meets the above criteria for the ESDC, IRCC or BCPNP Programs please fill out our Expression of Interest Form. 



For questions or comments, please email talent@wearebctech.com.