Latest BC draw invites 383 workers, graduates and entrepreneurs

Latest BC draw invites 383 workers, graduates and entrepreneurs

Latest BC draw invites 383 workers, graduates and entrepreneurs

Latest BC draw invites 383 workers, graduates and entrepreneurs

The Government of British Columbia continues to invite workers, international graduates, and entrepreneurs at low points thresholds in the most recent draws conducted on November 22 and November 29.

A total of 383 candidates received an invitation to apply for a provincial nomination through the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP). Among the 383 invited are candidates invited through the BC PNP Tech Pilot. BC PNP announced that despite their commitment to weekly invitations for the 32 tech occupations as part of the tech pilot, they will not be issuing invitations for the week of December 25.

A portion of the candidates in the most recent draws were invited an Express Entry-aligned sub-category. Those candidates are now in a position to apply for and receive an ‘enhanced’ provincial nomination. A successful nomination results in applicants receiving 600 additional points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and an Invitation To Apply (ITA) at a subsequent draw from the federal Express Entry pool. An invitation to apply for the BC PNP is not the same as the ITA issued at the federal Express Entry level.

The remaining skilled worker, graduate, and entrepreneur invitees will have their applications for permanent residence processed outside Express Entry after they receive a nomination from BC. Individuals interested in immigrating to Canada, and who meet the eligibility criteria for certain categories of the BC PNP, are required to enter into the SIRS pool.

Many of the BC PNP categories are managed under BC’s Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS). For eligible candidates to apply through the SIRS, they are required to first register an account, after which they are assigned a score based on their economic and human capital credentials. Those with the highest scores are then invited to apply when the government of BC conducts one of its periodic draws. It is important to note that all BC PNP categories managed under the SIRS require candidates to have a job offer from an employer in BC.

Date Category Minimum Score Required Number of ITAs Issued
November 22, 2017 (Includes tech-only draw on November 29, 2017) EEBC – Skilled Worker 73 383
EEBC – International Graduate 67
SI – Skilled Worker 73
SI – International Graduate 67
SI – Entry Level and Semi-Skilled 40
November 29, 2017 Entrepreneur Immigration 115 11

Express Entry BC – Skilled Worker

The Express Entry BC – Skilled Worker category is for international skilled workers who have post-secondary education or training and employment experience in a professional, management, technical, trade or other skilled occupation. Candidates must be eligible to enter the federal Express Entry pool. A successful application under this category results in the candidate receiving 600 points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and a subsequent ITA at the federal level.

Express Entry BC – International Graduate

International graduates who have graduated from a Canadian university or college within the past two years may be eligible to apply under the Express Entry BC – International Graduate category. Interestingly, this category is open to eligible graduates who graduated from a university or college in any location in Canada; it is not restricted to graduates from BC universities and colleges. This category is also aligned with the federal Express Entry system.

Skills Immigration – Skilled Worker

This base category is open to workers with post-secondary education or training and employment experience in a skilled occupation. A job offer is required.

Skills Immigration – International Graduate

This category is for international students who have graduated from a Canadian university or college within two years of applying to the BC PNP. While applicants do not necessarily need prior work experience, applicants are required to obtain a job offer from a B.C. employer.

Skills Immigration – Entry Level and Semi-Skilled

This category is open to candidates who may not be eligible for other Canadian immigration programs, as it allows certain non-skilled workers to apply for permanent residence. Candidates must work in an eligible occupation within the tourism/hospitality, long-haul trucking, or food processing industries, or in a NOC skill level C or D occupation in the Northeast Development Region of the province.

Entrepreneur Immigration

This stream provides a pathway to Canadian permanent residence for experienced business people who can establish themselves in B.C. and invest in and operate a commercially viable business that can provide significant benefits to the provincial economy. Successful applicants will obtain a work permit and, if the business operation in British Columbia fulfills the requirements of the stream on an ongoing basis, they will be able to apply for permanent residence in Canada through the BC PNP.

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November unemployment rate lowest in nearly a decade

November unemployment rate lowest in nearly a decade: Statistics Canada

November unemployment rate lowest in nearly a decade

November unemployment rate lowest in nearly a decade

Canada’s unemployment rate dropped to its lowest point in nearly a decade in November, Statistics Canada’s new Labour Force Survey reports.

Canada’s unemployment rate in November was 5.9 percent. The last time it was that low was in February 2008.

The numbers show employment increased for the second month in a row in November, with the addition of 80,000 new jobs across Canada. The vast majority of those new jobs were full-time.

Looking back over the previous 12 months, Canada gained 390,000 full-time jobs, an increase of 2.1 percent.

The demographic groups that benefited most from the employment increase were men in the 25 to 54 core-aged group, youths aged 15 to 24 and women aged 55 and older.

Statistics Canada reports that Ontario has seen a downward trend in its unemployment rate since the start of 2016, with year-over-year employment gains totalling 181,000, or 2.6 per cent, all of it full-time work.

British Columbia placed second in November, gaining 18,000 jobs, most of them full-time. At 4.8 percent, B.C.’s unemployment rate was the lowest in Canada for November.

Quebec added 16,000 jobs in November, growing its employment rate for the second consecutive month. Most of those jobs were created in manufacturing and construction. The unemployment rate in Quebec for November stood at 5.4 percent, lowest recorded since January 1976.

Most job gains in wholesale, retail

Of the 80,000 jobs created in November, 39,000 were created in the wholesale and retail sector, which has seen a 3 per cent increase in employment over the previous 12 months.

Manufacturing jobs were also on the rise, with 30,000 created in November. Statistics Canada says this trend has been consistent over 2017.

The educational services sector gained 21,000 jobs in November, along with 16,000 construction jobs.

The November Labour Force Survey follows on the heels on the latest data from Canada’s 2016 census, which showed that immigrants constituted nearly 25 per cent of the Canadian workforce in 2016. Looked at regionally, the census data showed that immigrants constituted half of all workers in Toronto, Ontario — Canada’s largest city — and 43.2 per cent of workers in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2016.

To find out if you are eligible to immigrate to Canada permanently, Contact Us Global Gateways.

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Pilot program aims to draw newcomers to Atlantic Canada

Immigration pilot program aims to draw newcomers to Atlantic Canada

Immigration pilot program aims to draw newcomers to Atlantic Canada

Immigration pilot program aims to draw newcomers to Atlantic Canada

When Frank Zhou finished his degree in math at Simon Fraser University, the international student from China was looking for a fast track for immigration to Canada and ended up in Prince Edward Island.

“Most immigrants only know of MTV,” said the 35-year-old, referring to Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, the magnets for newcomers. “Canada’s East Coast is off their radar.”

Zhou had arrived in Canada from Beijing, population 21.5 million, and never thought he would stay long in P.E.I., a province with 152,000 residents.

However, there he found a lifestyle and business opportunities that other newcomers overlooked, and Charlottetown has been his home since 2004.

Now, P.E.I. and the other three Atlantic provinces — Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador — are hoping more prospective immigrants will discover what Zhou did and settle on the East Coast, with the help of a new pilot program that offers a speedy immigration pathway and custom-made settlement plan.

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot is the latest attempt by the four provinces, with a combined population of 2.3 million — or 6.6 percent of Canada’s total — to revitalise their stagnant population growth, the result of high interprovincial out-migration and low birth rates and immigration levels.

According to Statistics Canada, people aged 65 and above account for 19.8 percent of the population in the Atlantic provinces, up from 14.6 percent a decade ago. This compares to 12 per cent in Alberta and 16.9 percent across Canada.

In New Brunswick, the total population has actually declined by 0.5 percent since 2011, meaning deaths are now outnumbering births — a first in Canadian history, according to a parliamentary immigration committee report released in November.

“One of the things with immigrants is they like to go where others are, and we need to build that critical mass to attract other immigrants and retain them,” said Finn Poschmann, president of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council, an independent think-tank based in Halifax.

“Our employers need staff at all skill levels, whether it is in the seafood sector, at tech firms, in sales and financial services. They are willing and happy to pay more, but they are not getting applicants,” Poschmann said.

Launched in March by the federal Immigration Department, the pilot program allows designated employers in the four provinces to recruit immigrants and recent international graduates to fill job vacancies without the labour market assessment required to prove a labour or skill shortage.

Employers, however, must work with local settlement agencies to develop a settlement plan for the prospective immigrants, to make sure the newcomers’ needs, such as housing, language training, child care and children’s education, are all taken care of.

The pilot has been capped at 2,000 newcomers by the end of 2018 and will double to 4,000 in 2020. Applications are fast-tracked and processed within six months.

To date, Immigration Canada said more than 650 Atlantic employers have been designated for participation in the pilot and they have recommended more than 750 workers to fill jobs in the four provinces, with 122 permanent resident applications having been submitted.

“The interest in this program is high,” said Nova Scotia Immigration Minister Lena Metlege Diab, whose department has already designated 247 employers and endorsed 165 job candidates.

“There is no fee paid by the employer and (immigration) applicant. We take it very seriously and they must satisfy us they are valid job offers,” she said.

New Brunswick’s minister of labour, employment and population growth, Gilles LePage, said the province is committed to ensuring employers, settlement agencies and local communities are prepared to welcome newcomers to the region.

Currently, the province is focusing on employer education and information sessions, targeted recruitment missions and developing a comprehensive public awareness campaign.

“With this holistic and collaborative approach to immigration, the province is working towards enhancing the retention of newcomers coming to New Brunswick,” said LePage.

Although immigration to the Atlantic provinces has risen steadily, reaching 8,296 in 2015, the numbers account for a mere 3 per cent of the total immigration to Canada each year.

“We are in the process of a transformation right now,” said Alex LeBlanc of the New Brunswick Multicultural Council. “In urban communities in New Brunswick, we have high schools where 25 per cent of the students were born outside of the country. We now have mosques in all the largest urban centres. There are pockets of interesting things happening.”

Since the launch of the pilot, the multicultural council has been providing cultural competency training to government employees and employers to make sure they have an inclusive and welcoming environment for newcomers.

LeBlanc said the Atlantic provinces do need to be more visible in promoting the pilot program as a viable option over other immigration destinations in Canada.

“The Atlantic provinces are one of the best-kept secrets of North America. The cost of living is affordable. With a modest income, you can still own a home. There’s no great commute time. And we have breathtaking, scenic natural environment on the coast,” said LeBlanc. “The quality of life here is fantastic.”

Ather Akbari, who came to Halifax from Pakistan by way of British Columbia, agrees.

While the lack of diverse cultural communities in the Atlantic provinces can be a problem for newcomers, the Saint Mary’s University professor said things have got much better since he moved there more than 25 years ago, after finishing his doctoral degree in economics at Simon Fraser University. Now, the provinces manage to retain 70 per cent of their new immigrants, up from just 40 percent a decade ago.

Unlike those who settle in the big cities with established ethnic enclaves, newcomers who start a new life in smaller communities are forced out of their comfort zone to interact more with local Canadian communities, and can integrate more quickly into their adopted country.

“Canadians think that Canada stops at Quebec. Life is good east of Quebec,” said Akbari, whose research focuses on the economics of immigration, aging and diversity.

“Immigration is population growth. It’s human capital growth. It brings new technology, ideas and international trade opportunities. It promotes economic growth in these smaller provinces in a positive way.”

Zhou is the perfect poster boy for the benefits of immigration to the Atlantic provinces.

Since moving to Charlottetown, he and his wife have established a business enterprise that includes a language school catering to international students, a software development company, a business consulting firm that hosts trade missions to China, and an equity investment operation. Most recently, he brought the Cows Creamery ice cream business to China.

“There are a lot of opportunities on the East Coast. People are extremely nice here,” said Zhou, whose 2-year-old son, Jayden, was born in P.E.I. “This is my home. I’m a proud Atlantic Canadian.”

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