Changes to the Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NS PNP)

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Nova Scotia Introduced New Immigration Stream

Note: As of April 28, 2014, The Government of Nova Scotia announced that the Reginal Labour Market Demand Stream is now closed for this year. Applications that are not received in the office and/or postmarked by April 28, 2014 will not be accepted. The stream will re-open on January1, 2015. 

A new immigration stream under Nova Scotia Nominee Program was launched on March 6, 2014. As a replacement of The Community Identified Stream, the new Regional Labour Market Demand stream is designed for foreign skilled workers who meet the local labour market needs, are intend to work full-time and permanently, and establish themselves in Nova Scotia. There is a 150 application cap under this Stream in the year of 2014.

There is no local job offer requirements under the Regional Labour Market Demand Stream. However, applicants do need to show their intention to work in an occupation that is demanded in Nova Scotia.

You may qualify for this stream if you have a continuous 2 years of full-time work experience in the past five years  in one of the following eligible occupations:

  • Managers in Health Care
  • Retail and wholesale trade managers
  • Restaurant and Food Service Managers
  • Financial Auditors and Accountants
  • Other Financial Officers
  • A Civil Engineers
  • Mechanical Engineers
  • Electrical and Electronics 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
  • Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technologists and Technicians
  • Information systems testing technicians
  • Specialist Physicians
  • General Practitioners and Family Physicians
  • Dentists
  • Pharmacists
  • Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses
  • Medical Laboratory Technologists
  • Respiratory Therapists, Clinical Perfusionists and Cardiopulmonary Technologists
  • Medical Radiation Technologists
  • Medical Sonographers
  • Licensed Practical Nurses
  • Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment includes massage therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Early Childhood Educators and Assistants
  • Retail Trade Supervisors
  • Chefs
  • Cooks
  • Contractors and supervisors, machining, metal forming, shaping and erecting trades and related occupations
  • Machinists and Machining and Tooling Inspectors
  • Industrial Electricians
  • Welders and related machine operators
  • Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics
  • Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers
  • Crane Operators
  • Supervisors, Other Mechanical and Metal Products Manufacturing

Other requirements including a CLB5 minimum language proficiency, the intention of live in Nova Scotia. Contact us for more information under this stream.

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Canada Immigration | BC PNP Income Thresholds Update

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BC PNP Income Thresholds Update

As a reflection of 2012 data published by Statistics Canada, the BC PNP office has recently updated income thresholds for provincial nominee applications in British Columbia. The BC PNP applications received on or before Oct 4, 2013 are going to be assessed per the antecedently published income threshold figures. Applications received after Oct 4, 2013 are going to be assessed per the present income threshold figures taken from Statistics Canada’s 2012 Low income Cut-Offs.

To view additional info regarding BCPNP, check out our  British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program page.

View Provincial Nominee Programs for alternative Provinces .

BC PNP Income Thresholds Update

Contact Us for additional information

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BCPNP International Post-Graduates Pilot Project becomes permanent

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BC PNP Program Updates:

BCPNP International Post-Graduates

BCPNP International Post-Graduates

The International Post-Graduates stream under British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program ( BCPNP ) Category has been a pilot project for 3 years. Introduced in 2010, the IPG pilot project is designed to attract international graduates with BC Masters or doctoral degrees in natural. applied or health sciences.

After an evaluation of the IPG pilot project, the PNP found positive labour market and other outcomes.  As of Friday August 2nd, this pilot project becomes a permanent category of the provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

Read More:  International graduates to support innovation in B.C.

Read More:  about BCPNP

Contact us for more information

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Retaining Skilled Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada

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Employers, have you surveyed your staff recently and found you have at least one or more skilled temporary foreign workers in your workplace? Close to 200,000 temporary foreign workers enter Canada every year. In 2010, 25% of those entered British Columbia. Often employers are only in tune with the status of their temporary foreign workers if a labour market opinion is required, or the employer supported their provincial nominee application. However, there are many temporary work permit programs available to foreigners without requiring a job offer from a Canadian company. These workers come to Canada, successfully find jobs on their own, or perhaps through contacts, and can very well be successfully retained if both employers and employees were aware of the options to extend their temporary work permit or apply for permanent residency.

Often it is the employee that comes to us seeking advice of how to stay. Our clients inform us their employer is keen to retain them, but are unaware of the employee’s options or believe immigration is too complicated of a process to go through (we hope by educating them and employers we meet that more employers will proactively seek advice as well). Yes, immigration policies and programs change frequently, and right now, it feels almost weekly. And processing times more often increase than decrease. However, Canada and especially the provinces are focusing heavily on the current and future labour shortage challenges and the need to improve efficiencies to the immigration process. Programs that are seeing improvements include those meant to help employers retain skilled employees. So, employers and employees, here are some options:

Extending a temporary foreign work permit

Obtain Accelerated Labour Market Opinion

In April 2012, Service Canada introduced the Accelerated Labour Market Opinion (LMO) program. If you are a company that has applied and received a positive LMO in the last two years, you may qualify to receive an LMO within 10 business days. For more information, visit our blog Accelerated Labour Market Opinion Announced

Service Canada Labour Market Opinion Variations

To meet immediate demand of labour shortages, there are several variations for applying for an LMO. For a list of these variations, visit HRSDC LMO Variations. One important variation to highlight is for international graduates on post-graduate work permits. With a valid job offer, the employer does not need to go through the regular recruitment efforts before applying for an LMO. More information for Post-graduates can be found here.

International Experience Canada Youth Workers

Approximately 30 countries participate in this international young workers program, allowing youth from 18 to 35 to gain work experience in another country for at least 1 year. Participating countries include Canada, Ireland, Australia, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Spain and Mexico. Under this program, there are three streams – youth mobility program; young professionals; and international coop program. A job offer is required under the young professionals program. Canada allows youth of some countries to apply for extensions of the youth mobility work permit or to re-apply under a different stream. Rules vary for each country, but this could be an option for employees wanting to work longer. To view the list of participating countries and the requirements, visit Participating Countries

Applying for Permanent Residency

When there is a permanent job offer, currently an employee’s best option for permanent residency is through a provincial nominee program. Every province has its own provincial nominee program. For British Columbia, there is the strategic occupations steam for workers. Under this stream, workers with a full-time, permanent job offer can apply as:

  • Skilled Workers
  • International Graduates (Pilot project for post-graduate students is available until March 2013, which does not require a job offer)
  • Healthcare workers
  • Semi-Skilled and Entry level workers

At the federal level, the skilled professionals stream allows applicants to apply for permanent residency with a valid permanent job offer approved by Service Canada. While this is another option to retain employees, there are several benefits to the provincial nominee program rather than going through the skilled professional stream. In most provinces, these include:

  • Exemption from needing a labour market opinion
  • Exemption from meeting the federal economic point system
  • For some streams, a language test is not required
  • Greater flexibility to occupation and wage requirements
  • Better access to program officers when there are questions or concerns related to an application
  • Faster processing times

These are not the only programs available, but we want to highlight that options do exist. For others, visit our Work in Canada or Immigrate to Canada Page. We stress the importance of employers and employees looking into these options in advance, at least 3 to 6 months prior to the employee’s temporary work permit expiring. When an employer identifies the temporary foreign worker is an employee to keep, it is a good time to start the conversation. It does happen, albeit rarely, that a worker comes to us one month prior to their work permit expiring and asks what can be done.  This is not an ideal scenario and best avoided by planning in advance.

We encourage employers and temporary foreign workers to contact us to discuss the immigration process for their employees in more detail.

 

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British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program Announcements

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In the last couple of months, the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program has implemented positive changes that facilitate the recruitment and settlement of immigrants to the province. These are:

  • Expansion to the Northeast Pilot Project list of entry level and semi-skilled occupations. This is a two year pilot project ending August 4th, 2014. In the northeast development region of BC, all temporary foreign workers in skill level occupations C & D are eligible to apply for permanent residency under the Provincial Nominee Entry Level and Semi-Skilled (ELSS) category if they have 9 months of full-time employment prior to the date of application; offer of permanent employment by the employer; minimum education and English language requirements; and, a family income that meets or exceeds the Provincial Nominee Income Threshold.
  • Steamlined Application Process for Business Immigration Stream. Application received after June 15, 2012, there will be no initial review and a partial refund of fees will no longer be available.
  • Entry level and Low-skilled Provincial Nominees will require basic language proficiency. As of July 1, 2012, in line with the federal government’s changes to eligibility criteria, entry level and low-skilled provincial nominees will be required to submit results from a language test that show they have basic proficiency in English or French. This new rule will not apply to Temporary Foreign Workers who arrived in Canada on or before July 1, 2012 and who have applied to the BC PNP no later than April 1, 2013.

To stay informed about the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program, visit http://www.welcomebc.ca

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British Columbia releases Immigration Task Force Report

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In December 2011, the British Columbia (BC) Immigration Task Force was established to review the Canadian federal and provincial immigration programs. The goal of this review was to increase the number of skilled immigrants and investors to British Columbia. Yesterday, the BC immigration task force released their findings. These are:

  1. The impact of economic development and an aging population are different across regions and industries. Current immigration policies and programs do not effectively respond to these differences.
  2. Current immigration levels are not enough to satisfy British Columbia’s labour needs. The province would like to immediately increase economic immigration and work more strategically with industry partners to identify labour and skills needs.
  3. Employers lack the knowledge of immigration programs available to them to recruit and retain foreign workers. British Columbia intends to provide one-stop access to information; provide timely access to information and processing of applications; and work with lawyers, consultants and other stakeholders to improve the transfer of information to employers
  4. Temporary workers are suppose to fill the immediate need of labour shortages, but the processing times are too long and the programs do not respond to business needs. Changes need to happen to the Labour Market Opinion Process, as well as the province expects to build strategic partnership to aid in the recruitment of workers.
  5. Employers and industries support a demand-driven economic immigration system. This would mean increasing the cap of British Columbia’s Provincial Nominee Program and the occupations listed under the Federal Skilled Workers program.
  6. More focus on permanently retaining international students in British Columbia is needed. One suggestion is to revise international graduate programs, like Canadian Experience Class or Provincial Nominee programs, so that graduates can apply for permanent residency without a job offer.
  7. Foreign entrepreneurs are valuable to our economic growth, yet not enough is done to attract them to British Columbia and support their success in business. There should be more facilitation of business succession planning by marketing business opportunities to foreign entrepreneurs and creating a mentorship program once they are here.
  8. British Columbia’s share of capital from the Federal Immigrant Investor program is not proportional to the number of investors in the province. Suggestions include increasing the minimum investment amount under the Federal Immigrant Investor Program; revise the investment allocation formula; and put in place measures to optimize the economic know-how of business investors for Canada’s success.
  9. Immigrant Settlement and Integration programs are essential. British Columbia will continue to fund settlement and integration programs and engage other stakeholders to improve these programs and make them accessible to all communities in British Columbia.
  10. There is a need to improve the recognition of foreign skills and qualifications. The suggestion is to create a review panel to further investigate this issue and for the province to help employers understand and evaluate foreign qualifications.

These findings support British Columbia’s commitment to improving and expanding the Provincial Nominee Program so to increase the number of economic immigrants that settle in the province. It also highlights the need for more provincial jurisdiction over the immigration process, as the Federal government programs do not effectively respond to regional needs.

So what happens next? While the report identifies actions to improve the Canadian immigration system, it is now up to British Columbia to implement the suggestions and engage various communities and service providers to assist in successful recruitment, retention and settlement of immigrants in British Columbia. A big question is how will the province reach out to the thousands of employers facing labour shortages, yet do not have the time or know-how to access the immigrant talent pool? This is where strategic partnership is crucial. The province will indeed need to reach out and connect employer associations, human resources, business and immigration experts, and community settlement providers so that employers are better informed and supported in their recruitment and retention efforts of foreign talent.

To read the full report, go to: http://www.jti.gov.bc.ca/immigration_task_force/

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Salud! Connecting British Columbia’s Winery and Hospitality Industry with Foreign Entreprenueurs

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Bell Alliance Global Immigration Services Inc. (BA Global) and EVG Export Ventures Group Inc. (EVG) join forces to connect BC businesses and foreign investors under the BC Provincial Nominee Program

British Columbia (BC) Provincial Nominee Program has received well deserved attention for its innovative business investment and immigration opportunities targeting foreign entrepreneurs and investors wanting to live and work in BC. As the province’s aging workforce prepares for retirement and local entrepreneurs seek expertise and capital to grow successfully, EVG and BA Global will provide a much needed bridge to connect foreigners with these businesses by providing business brokerage services to BC businesses and immigration services and business planning to foreigners.

There has been significant economic gain from the BC PNP programs since its inception in 2001. The Strategic Occupation stream helps employers fill labour shortages by nominating skilled workers, international graduates and entry level, semi-skilled workers for permanent residency. The Business stream targets entrepreneurs and investors with the required skills and experience to manage a business in BC’s key industries. In the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation’s 2011 evaluation report, 203 entrepreneurs that were nominated through the BC PNP Business stream have invested over $423 million into BC’s economy and created over 1000 jobs between 2005 and 2010. Regions across BC have benefited, as over 50% of investments made and jobs created have been outside of the Lower Mainland area (Grant Thornton, 2011).

The challenge BC businesses face, especially those in rural areas, is finding people to buy or invest into their company. The difficulty is even greater for foreigners abroad, who often have little knowledge of the opportunities available. Richard Bell, BA Global’s director and founder of Bell Alliance Lawyers & Notaries Public, echoes this challenge. “I have practiced real estate and corporate law for several years. The number of business owners seeking advice on their exit strategy, while not shutting their business down, has grown significantly in the last few years.”

To read more, please see our press release: Salud! Connection BC’s Winery and Hospitality Industry with Foreign Entrepreneurs

For our press release in Chinese: EVG BA Global Press Release – Chinese

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Opportunities for Foreign Talent in Vancouver’s Green Economy

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Blog by: Heather Bell

In the past half-century, Vancouver has moved from a resource to knowledge-based economy that is highly entrepreneurial and ‘green’ focused. In 2007, it was designated one of the ‘Smart21’ cities by the Intelligent Community Forum in New York for its growing innovative and expanding high technology industry (WelcomeBC, 2011). The city also ranked in the top six of best entrepreneur cities among developed countries by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor in 2008 (Invest in Canada, 2011).

Entrepreneurship is largely evident in the clean technology sector. This is a young, fast growing knowledge-based sector where 68% of the clean technology companies are small to medium sized and established in the past 10 years. This field alone was forecasted to grow to 8,400 employees in 2011, up 16.5% from 2010 (Simpson, 2011).

The growth of Vancouver’s clean technology sector is well aligned with Vancouver’s goal of becoming the greenest city in the world by 2020. The city’s focus is to develop and expand eight different sectors, ranging from green buildings products, waste management and recycling, environmental consulting, sustainability sectors to education. Currently there are 12,000 jobs within these sectors and the government intends to double this by 2020 (City of Vancouver, 2011). Undoubtedly many of these new jobs will require workers from high-skilled areas such as science, technology and engineering.

BC has adopted provincial immigration programs that aim to address the growing labour concerns in these fields. “We are not graduating enough science-oriented individuals at the moment and we’ve got a great demand, and this is where the [Provincial Nominee Program] actually comes in really handy,” said Vancouver Board of Trade CEO, Iain Black (Carmen, 2011).

There are two programs that bring workers with natural and applied sciences backgrounds to BC under the Provincial Nominee Program. The first is similar to the federal skilled worker program, where foreign nationals must have a BC employer offering them a valid job within one of the skilled categories on the National Occupation List. The second program is a three-year pilot for international graduates of a masters or doctorate degree in the natural, applied or health sciences. These graduates are not required to have a job offer to obtain permanent residency. This pilot was implemented in 2010 specifically to address the province’s skilled labour shortage in these industries (WelcomeBC, 2011).

There are also temporary work permit options for skilled foreign nationals. All international students graduating from a recognized Canadian post-secondary institute are eligible for a postgraduate work permit valid up to three years. Employers can also sponsor a skilled foreign worker for a temporary work permit. The employer must apply for a positive labour market opinion (LMO) from Human Resource and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) and prove that they have been unsuccessful in finding a Canadian or permanent resident already in Canada for the job. While these are temporary options, they can lead to permanent residency (CIC, 2011).

While recruiting international graduates and skilled workers can offer one solution to the province’s labour shortage concerns, it’s important that these programs are accessible to employers and provide a reasonable turnaround time in terms of application processing.  Given that majority of businesses in BC are micro to small businesses, their limited knowledge or access to recruitment options, as well as their lack of time and resources, must be taken into consideration when the provincial government develops these programs.  Educating employers about these programs is key, as well as making information and applications easily accessible to the small business owner.

 

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BC’s New Task force to Assess and Simplify immigration process

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BC’s Premier Christy Clark has announced the creation of an Immigration Task Force to assess the current immigration programs and determine ways to simplify the process for foreign nationals wanting to immigrate to BC. This is promising news for the BC Provincial Nominee Program. Already the Provincial

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Provincial Nominee Expansion: Good news for BC

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CIC announced an expansion to the Provincial Nominee Programs. This is good news for both provinces and immigrants. It will give BC a stronger voice to what skilled workers and business immigrants it would like to see move to the province, and provide more opportunities for applications to be fast tracked. Currently permanent residents to BC make up 11% of the number entering Canada annually. For more details, visit: BC to get bigger voice in intake of immigrants, Vancouver Sun

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