BC PNP COVID Summary

July 8th, 2020 – Update on BC PNP for Candidates

In response to updates to the Employment Standards Act, the BC PNP has increased the layoff time allowed to 24 weeks, or August 30, whichever comes first.

Instead of a maximum of 16 weeks as before, you can put your application on hold or be off work for up to 6 months instead of 4 months without having to withdraw your application or registration.

Kindly note that if you voluntarily leave your job, or were terminated with cause, your previous work will not count towards the 9-month requirement

May 12th, 2020 – Update on BC PNP Guidelines due to COVID-19

The BC PNP has provided an update on their Employment Status guidelines due to the COVID-19 situation.

In short, you must meet the program requirements at the time of registration, and when you apply.

Registration and Applications:

If you have a Material Change in Employment before registration or application, you should wait to complete your registration or application.

Material changes in employment status may include:

  • Lay-offs
  • Terminations without cause
  • Recall to the same position/same employer
  • New job offer with a new employer
  • Reduced hours of work to less than full-time (less than 30 hours per week)
  • Reduction in salary that would result in failing to meet minimum/prevailing wage for the occupation
  • Reduction in income that would result in failing to meet the minimum income threshold

If you have applied and experience a Material Change in Employment, you may request that your application be put on hold for up to 16 weeks from the date the change occurred. You must also inform the BC PNP immediately.

Invitations:

If you experience a Material Change in Employment before or at the time of receiving an invitation to apply or when submitting your application, you should not apply. You may request that your application be put on hold for 16 weeks from the date of the change, as long as your employment is with the same employer and in the same position.

If you experience the change after you receive an Invitation, you may still submit your application, but you should request a hold on the application until you are working again, provided it is within the 16-week time-frame.

Nominees:

You and your employer must inform the BC PNP of any changes to your employment. You may accept financial support from the government during this time, but you still must maintain the conditions of your nomination.

Entry-level applicants (ELSS):

Registration – As long as your layoff does not exceed 16 weeks, you can count the work completed before and after this layoff as continuous.

Invitation – If you are laid-off at the time you receive an invitation, you should decline.

Application – If you are laid-off during the processing time, before your application was finalized, you can request that your application be put on hold for up to 16 weeks. If you are laid off for more than 16 weeks, you should withdraw your application.

If you voluntarily leave your job, or were terminated with cause, your previous work will not count towards the 9-month requirement.

International Graduates:

If you experience a Material Change in Employment during your registration or invitation, you may resubmit your registration when you meet requirements again, provided that your original registration was within the 3-year timeline since graduation to apply.

Find more information about COVID-19 BC PNP Updates here

Addendum to the program guide: Changes due to Covid-19

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March 30th, 2020

INVITATIONS TO APPLY

The COVID-19 has had an impact on the provincial economy, and many businesses through the province have reduced services, laid off staff, and in some cases have closed.

In consideration of the above, the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) has excluded the following occupations from the current draw, as they have been affected more significantly than others:

  • Entry-Level and Semi-Skilled (ELSS) category
  • Other tourism, hospitality and retail-related occupations as well as other select occupations where they have more recently approved a high volume of applicants which include:

0621 – Retail and wholesale trade managers
0631 – Restaurant and food service managers
0632 – Accommodation service managers
0651 – Managers in customer and personal services, n.e.c.
1123 – Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations
1221 – Administrative officers
1241 – Administrative assistants
3236 – Massage therapists
6211 – Retail sales supervisors
6311 – Food service supervisors
6313 – Accommodation, travel, tourism and related services supervisors
6321 – Chefs
6322 – Cooks
6341 – Hairstylists and barbers

For details on scores on each category, please visit  Invitations to Apply 


March 27th, 2020

OPERATIONS UPDATE

The BC PNP has released a list of frequently asked questions in order to address the most common questions applicants and nominees might have due to the impacts of COVID-19. We prepared a summary for you with the most important information:

  1. You can still submit a registration using the BC PNP Online System. Before you submit your registration, make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements for the category applying to.
  2. The invitations to apply mechanic (how and when) is subject to change.
  3. The BC PNP will continue to receive and process applications from those who have been invited to apply.
  4. They are within their standard processing times, and they have not been impacted by COVID-19.
  5. In-person interviews for entrepreneur applicants have been cancelled. They will re-schedule these interviews when they are able to.
  6. Some registrants or applicants are having trouble getting information to BC PNP staff.  This can include delays with submitting documents, applying, responding to Procedural Fairness letters, and other program deadlines. These delays may affect the ability to finalize the assessment.
  7. They encourage applicants to email them explaining the specific circumstances as needed, they will take this into consideration when assessing the applications.

Skills Immigration  

If your employer has:

  • Reduced their business hours or,
  • Do not currently have the minimum number of employees on payroll or,
  • Your employer must temporarily close their business and you have been laid off

Please note the following recommendations:

New applicants:

  • Supporting employers must meet the eligibility criteria to support your BC PNP Application, you should delay your registration until your supporting employer can meet the employer criteria for the BC PNP.
  • Please note that before you register you should have gathered or have easy access to all required documentation. If this is not the case, the BC PNP suggest you wait to register as you will have 30 days to apply should you be invited.

Registered applicants waiting for an invitation to apply:

  • If you have registered, but you have not been invited to apply, and your current employment no longer meets the category’s eligibility criteria, you have the option of withdrawing your registration. You can resubmit a registration once you meet the eligibility criteria.

Applicants with an invitation to apply but that have not submitted the application:

  • If you have received an invitation to apply and your current employment does not meet the category’s eligibility criteria, you have the option of declining the invitation to apply. When the business re-opens and you are working again, you can re-register with updated information and wait for the next draw.

 Already submitted application:

  • If your supporting employer no longer meets the eligibility criteria to support your BC PNP application, you can:
  1. Email the BC PNP with any updates, and they will take this into consideration when assessing the application.
  2. You may withdraw the application. If processing the application has not started, you may be eligible for a refund.
  • If you are having trouble getting required documents, please email the BC PNP and inform them. They will take this into consideration when assessing your application.

If you are overseas:

  • If your work permit application is taking longer than expected, please note that the BC PNP will continue to support you until you receive a decision about your application for permanent residence. They expect that you will try to meet the conditions of nominations throughout the process.
  • You still must keep in contact with the BC PNP regarding important changes in your situation, including updates on travel restrictions that are restricting you from coming.

Provincial Nominees:

  • If you are going to return to your home country or have already returned you need to provide details of your circumstances to the BC PNP.
  • Please keep all your records about your dates of travel, your employment status in BC, etc.
  • If you are on a temporary work permit outside Canada and have not been able to return to Canada, you still need to report any important changes in your employment and personal situation.
  • Please note that you need to report any important changes in your employment and personal situation. This includes if your employer’s business closing, being laid off, any change in employment, or leaving Canada.
  • Depending on the specific case, you may need to submit a post-nomination request.

 

If your work permit is expiring soon, please note that:

Medical Coverage

  • In response to COVID-19, individuals who are currently in B.C., who were previously enrolled in MSP as a deemed resident, and their MSP has expired, may be provided temporary MSP coverage.
  • Individuals should contact Health Insurance BC to request this temporary coverage.
  • Health Insurance BC
    • Toll-free: 1 800 663-7100
    • Lower Mainland: 604 683-7151
    • Mailing Address:
      • Health Insurance BC
      • PO Box 9035 Stn Prov Gov
      • Victoria, BC V8W 9E3
  • This may include individuals who have applied for a new work or study permit, but it has yet to arrive. In these circumstances temporary coverage will be granted until July 31, 2020.
  • To learn more visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/health-drug-coverage/msp/bc-residents/msp-covid-19-response

Driver’s licence

How do I contact the BC PNP?

  • PNPInfo@gov.bc.ca for inquiries about the Skills Immigration stream, including the BC PNP Tech Pilot
  • PNPTechEmployers@gov.bc.ca for inquiries from tech employers
  • PNPPostNom@gov.bc.ca for inquiries from Skills Immigration nominees about work permit support letters, changes related to employment, etc.
  • If you are a nominee and have a BCPNP Online profile, you can submit your post-nomination request through BCPNP Online. Log in to your account and select the appropriate service (i.e. Work Permit Support Letter) from the drop-down list. Follow the instructions for uploading required documents and submit.
  • Imm@gov.bc.ca for inquiries about the Entrepreneur Immigration (EI) stream, including the EI – Regional Pilot and any post-nomination inquiries (i.e. Work Permit Support Letters)
  • Telephone: 604-775-2227 (Please note that this is a voicemail line)

Find more information about COVID-19 Special Measures here


Note to our clients and PM Community: Information regarding COVID-19 is rapidly evolving. We are working to bring you up-to-date articles and information and to keep our blog updated. If you are looking for immigration advice please, book a consultation with us directly at 778-650-9700 or send us an email to info@pmimmigration.com

If you are dealing with an issue in relation to COVID-19, or have additional questions related to Medical Service Plan, Travel or Employment Insurance (EI), please contact the corresponding authorities directly.