The Immigration aunthorities of British Columbia is implementing a 90-day moratorium on new applications to most categories of the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) for Canadian immigration. New applications will be accepted from July 2015 with a more streamlined application process and updated program criteria.
BC PNP will continue to process those applications accepted till March 31, 2015 under its enhanced categories including Express Entry British Columbia stream and others, even during the temporary pause on new applications. The pause runs from April 1, 2015, to July 1, 2015. Program staff will not be responding to requests for status updates during this period.
This year, British Columbia will grant permanent resident status to up to 5,500 immigrants. The program offers an accelerated pathway to permanent residence for skilled workers and qualified entrepreneurs, as well as their dependent family members, who intend to settle in B.C.
The moratorium on new applications is expected to allow the province to deal with a backlog in applications. A year ago, BC could process a PNP application in 12 weeks; now the wait list is 13 months, and there are already more people in the queue than B.C. can admit this year. The provincial government has been warning that it faces a skills shortage in the coming years, with an anticipated construction boom in the north. Like a number of other provinces, it has been calling for more control over immigration policy in order to address such shortages.