Skilled Workers

Who Can Apply

Skilled workers normally have post-secondary education or training with several years of employment experience in a professional, management, technical, trades or other skilled occupation.


The requirements considered for applications under Skilled Workers are:


The BC PNP uses the National Occupational Classification (NOC) to classify jobs according to the duties, formal qualifications and experience required by the employer.

The BC PNP will only consider applications for positions under Skill Levels O, A and B of the National Occupational Classification Matrix  National Occupational Classification (NOC). These positions normally require formal post-secondary qualifications and several years of directly related work experience.

The NOC helps determine whether the job meets the skill levels established for Strategic Occupations, and whether the nominee candidate’s qualifications and experience match the requirements of the job. The NOC is also used to identify relevant information on wage rates and labour availability for the occupation.

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Demand and Outlook for the Occupation

The BC PNP considers employers’ applications to hire skilled foreign workers in relation to the current demand and future outlook for specific occupations. In making this assessment, any unique or highly specialized skill requirements for particular jobs are taken into account.

Applications will not be approved for occupations where there is a current surplus of workers domestically, or where future prospects for employment in the occupation are poor.

To assess the demand for particular skilled occupations, the BC PNP consults labour market information from Service Canada/HRSDC, Statistics Canada, the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation and industry organizations.

The outlook for future employment in particular occupations is based on information from the Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS), national sector councils, Statistics Canada and other sources.

Employers supporting applications to the BC PNP will need to indicate the duration of unfilled vacancies and their recruitment efforts in BC

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The wage the employer intends to pay the nominee applicant must be at market rate and comparable to that for equivalent jobs in BC, for workers with a similar level of experience and training.

Bonuses, commissions, profit-sharing distributions or similar payments to the employee are NOT considered as part of the wage.

The BC PNP uses information from published and unpublished surveys, industry and professional associations and Service Canada/HRSDC to compare wages. Company size, geographic location, skill and experience levels are considered to calculate wage rates.

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The nominee applicant must be qualified for the job that the employer is looking to fill. This normally requires several years of directly-related experience in the position the employer is seeking to fill. Program staff will review the nominee applicant’s qualifications and experience to confirm that employment requirements are met. At its discretion, the BC PNP may direct nominee applicants to an independent assessment of their credentials performed by an approved organization to establish equivalency with British Columbia or Canadian standards.

The employer is responsible for determining whether the position to be filled is a regulated occupation that requires mandatory certification, licensing or registration. If this is the case, evidence must be provided in the application that the candidate meets, or is able to meet, these requirements.

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Offer of Employment

Employers must provide the nominee applicant with a written offer of employment which must be signed by both parties.

The offer must state:

  • The job title and duties
  • The rate of pay
  • The employee’s standard hours of work
  • That the position is both indeterminate and full-time in nature (a normal probationary period of employment may be specified)

A job that is indeterminate (sometimes referred to as “permanent”) has no pre-determined end date. Full-time employment means that the employee is expected to work year round and, on average, at least 30 hours a week.

The employer and the nominee applicant must be establishing an employer-employee relationship: applications will not be approved for individuals hired under a contract for service or independent contractor agreement.

If the employer is offering benefits in addition to the statutory requirements, those benefits should be noted in the offer (e.g. pension or medical plans, disability insurance, sick pay, extra paid vacations).

If the position is covered by a collective agreement, that agreement should be referenced.

The written offer must be on official company letterhead and addressed to the nominee applicant. The offer must be signed and dated by a person authorized to hire employees, and also by the nominee applicant, to indicate their acceptance.

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Eligible Employer

Employers must meet certain requirements to be considered eligible under the BC PNP. As the Strategic Occupations component of the BC PNP is a dual application process, if the employer does not meet the requirements, the application will be refused.


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Ability to Become Economically Established in BC

The potential for nominee applicants to become economically established in BC will be assessed according to their income and employment prospects, number of dependants, English language ability and connections to BC or Canada through work, study, residence and family ties.