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6000 Tech Workers and Counting but No More Tech Pilot in British Columbia

In an interesting development, British Columbia has decided to end its extremely popular BC PNP Tech Pilot program. Going ahead, this program won’t be a pilot program. Instead, it has become a permanent part of the province’s immigration programs.

If you are a tech worker seeking permanent residence in British Columbia, make sure you search for the BC PNP Tech program and not the Tech Pilot program. So, what does this pilot’s indefinite extension mean for skilled workers across the world seeking to immigrate to Canada?

Ignore Pilots at your Own

Canada immigration pilots rarely fail. From the Atlantic immigration pilot to the BC Tech pilot, the programs get extended repeatedly and become permanent for all intents and purposes. The BC Tech pilot had become such an integral part of the province’s immigration system that its indefinitely extension seemed more like a formality.

Quebec recently announced three new pilot programs for skilled workers in specific occupations. Don’t make the mistake of presuming these programs won’t be around when you graduate or become eligible for immigration. Instead, include them in your plans and create your immigration strategy accordingly.

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One Pilot Benefits all Provinces   

One of Quebec’s new pilots focuses on workers in Artificial Intelligence and related occupations. The province would obviously incorporate the lessons learned from other occupation-specific pilots to create a smooth immigration experience for eligible candidates.

The Atlantic pilot’s emphasis on settlement assistance has been incorporated in the Northern and Rural pilot as well. The AIPP helped all provinces learn that offering professional settlement assistance can go a long way in convincing skilled workers and entrepreneurs to explore new immigration options.

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Expect More Decentralization in Canadian Immigration

The AIPP allowed the four Atlantic provinces to come up with eligibility conditions related to work experience, job offer, educational qualification and other aspects. The federal government’s role was restricted to medical eligibility, inadmissibility, and settlement funding.

The Rural and Northern pilot has taken this a step further and allowed communities to create their own immigration programs. Going ahead, expect this trend of decentralization to continue. Instead of a top-down approach where the Federal government determines eligibility, those closest to the employers who will actually employ and settle immigrants will decide on eligibility.

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Local authorities consult with employers and the feedback is used either by the communities themselves or by the provinces to create eligibility conditions. This often covers the operational part of immigration i.e. job offer, work experience, education, adaptability, and language proficiency.

Good Immigration Programs Outlast Tough Times

The most significant part of BC’s decision to convert its Tech program into a permanent one is the timing. The pandemic has disrupted the entire world and international travel continues to remain in a state of absolute shut down.

Yet, this did not make the province consider another time-bound extension of the program. Instead, it was made permanent. This shows that a responsive system creating effective immigration programs will work well even during the toughest times.

Keep this in mind when you compare Canada with other immigration destinations. A country where immigration becomes tougher or easier depending on which political party won the elections is not the right choice for you.

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Instead, you should choose a destination where immigration policies are framed based on the requirements of the economy and employers. Immigration, at least skilled worker immigration, will never become a political issue in such a country.

Actionable Points from the Permanent Tech Program

Express Entry is fine but your best immigration chances may lie hidden in one of the scores of PNP streams across the country. From occupation-specific options to programs for those with expert proficiency in French, lots of options for your consider.

Start planning early. Graduating from the right community can open up an easy path to permanent residence under the Northern and Rural Pilot. This applies to choosing the right province to study, including the Atlantic provinces. So, don’t think immigration planning begins only after you start working.

If you are serious about immigrating to Canada, then seek professional advice today. Your immigration plan cannot be a casual, ad-hoc, and DIY affair. It can change your life and only a real expert can help you.

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