British Columbia Pauses Its Nomination Programme
Published: Wednesday 01 April 2015
The British Columbia Provincial government has taken the decision to temporarily stop accepting applications through its Provincial Nominee Programme following a glut of recent applications. Through the BC Provincial Nomination Programme, the provincial government can nominate up to 5,500 skilled workers for immigration each year, depending on local demand. However, following changes to the programme last year, which introduced a path to permanent residence for temporary workers the system has become overloaded with applications from temporary foreign workers. Speaking yesterday, BC’s Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Minister Shirley Bond announced that the provincial government would not be accepting any more applications for the next 90 days, stating the application backlog is already longer than the number of spaces available for the entire year. “We think it is essential that we take some time to rebalance the programme, to make sure that we are dealing with the applications that are currently in the processing line-up,” she explained. “We’ve seen a significant increase in the number of applications. We noticed the trend specifically after the changes were made to the temporary foreign worker programme (and) a number of other changes made at the federal level.” Last year, stringent limits were place on the number of people employers could bring in amid allegations that the programme was being used to displace Canadian workers. Those changes also placed a four-year limit on how long temporary foreign workers can stay in Canada. Starting today, those who have already been in the country for more than four years and do not have a preliminary positive decision on a permanent residence application must leave the country and wait another four years before reapplying to the programme.