The British Columbia government recently announced that the B.C. Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Tech Pilot, originally set to expire at the end of June 2021, has been made permanent and renamed to B.C. PNP Tech.

The province has had a dedicated tech talent stream of the PNP since 2017, but only as a pilot program until now.

“Today’s announcement of a permanent immigration stream for tech workers is very good news for B.C.’s high-growth innovation sector and we applaud the government for heeding the calls from our members to extend the program indefinitely. This program is an efficient and effective way to address the province’s skilled talent shortage and support homegrown companies as they scale-up globally. Our members now have the certainty of the need to make long-term business expansion plans and drive prosperity as we head into the great re-opening,” the Council of Canadian Innovators’ (CCI) B.C. practice lead, Tessa Seager, said in a news release after the announcement May 28.

Seeing that the pilot was expiring at the end of next month, and with an uncertain future, the B.C. members of CCI sent a letter to B.C. Minister Josie Osborne last week calling for the PNP tech talent stream to be made permanent.

The ease, timeliness, structure of the program, as well as the affordability and the comprehensiveness of the BC PNP Tech Pilot have all combined to benefit technology companies since 2017, CCI noted in the letter.

“It is clear that B.C.’s technology sector, and by extension, the province’s prosperity, will suffer if the PNP Tech Pilot expires next month,” CCI had said.

BC PNP Tech offers people in 29 tech occupations a prioritized pathway to permanent residency, while ensuring the province’s technology sector can attract and retain the talent it needs to sustain and grow the sector further. The program has supported over 6,000 tech workers to be nominated for permanent residence since its launch in May 2017.

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