Urgent BC PNP update due to COVID-19

The following is an Important Notice from the WelcomeBC website

This page was last updated on March 27, 2020.

Immigration Programs Operations Updates

The health and safety of BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) staff, clients, and the community in which we operate is our top priority. As we face this difficult challenge, we are taking steps to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on the BC PNP, while doing our best to give timely and accurate information about our operations.

We have made some changes to our processes:

  • We have temporarily closed our Vancouver office to in-person inquiries. Questions about the BC PNP can be sent to us by email. If you would like to speak to a program representative, please send us an email. In the email, tell us you would like to speak to BC PNP staff, and give us the telephone number you would like us to use. One of our staff will call you at the number you give us.  See BC PNP contact information below. Please do not drop off materials to our office at this time, further instructions will be provided when available.  Canada Post continues to deliver regular mail, but staff do not have access to mailed items.
  • We understand that some registrants or applicants are having trouble getting information to BC PNP staff. This can include delays with submitting documents, applying, responding to Procedural Fairness letters, and other program deadlines. If you are experiencing delays, please email us and tell us your specific circumstances. We will take the information into consideration when assessing your application.

Regular BC PNP Operations:

  • Inquiries – we will continue to respond to email and telephone inquiries within 5 business days.
  • Invitations to Apply – how and when we issue invitations to apply is subject to change. Please visit the Invitations to Apply page of our website for regular updates.
  • Applications – we continue to receive and process all applications for both Entrepreneur and Skills Immigration categories. You can still submit registrations and applications using the BCPNP Online system.
  • Interviews – in-person interviews for Entrepreneur Immigration have been cancelled and will be re-scheduled when possible. We continue to assess final reports from Entrepreneur applicants. You can still submit your final report using the BCPNP Online system.
  • Post-nomination support – we will continue to process post-nomination requests for work permit support letters and changes of employment. The post-nomination guides tell you how to do this. These are found on our Documents page.
  • Updates: We will post further updates on our website as they are available.

COVID 19 Information Sources:

We are closely monitoring the situation as it continues to evolve. Up to-date information can be found on:

  • All the latest provincial COVID-19 information: This site includes links to information and other important sites.
  • 1-888-COVID19 for non-health information and services.
  • Canada.ca/coronavirus or contact the coronavirus information line at 1-833-784-4397.

BC PNP Contact Information:

Government of Canada Contact Information:

 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)

FAQs: Impact of COVID-19 on BC PNP Clients and Operations

These FAQs are also available to download. (PDF, <1MB) 

BC PNP Operations

Is the BC PNP office open?

  • We have temporarily closed our office to in-person inquiries to minimize the risk to our clients and our staff.
  • We continue to respond to emails and telephone inquiries within 5 business days.
  • Please do not courier or drop off materials to our office at this time. We will update our website once we have further instructions regarding courier deliveries.
  • We continue to receive regular mail sent via Canada Post.

Can I still submit a registration to the BC PNP?

  • Yes, you can still submit a registration using the BCPNP Online system. Before you submit your registration, make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements for the category  you are applying to.
  • You can find details about each category’s requirements in the Program Guides. These guides are on the Documents page of our website.

Is COVID-19 impacting invitations to apply?

  • How and when we invite registrants to apply is subject to change.
  • Please visit the Invitations to Apply page of our website for regular updates.

Is the BC PNP still accepting applications?

  • Yes. While our office is temporarily closed to in-person inquiries, our BC PNP Online system is still operational.
  • We continue to receive and process applications from those who have been invited to apply.
  • Applications can be submitted using the BCPNP Online system.

Is COVID-19 impacting BC PNP processing times?

  • We continue to receive and process all applications for both Entrepreneur Immigration and Skills Immigration categories. Applications can be submitted using the BCPNP Online system. We are within our standard processing times, which are posted on our website.
  • During the COVID-19 outbreak, we have cancelled in-person interviews for entrepreneur applicants. We will re-schedule these interviews when we are able.
  • We continue to accept and assess final reports received from entrepreneur applicants. These can be submitted using the BCPNP Online system.
  • We understand that some registrants or applicants are having trouble getting information to BC PNP staff.  This can include delays with submitting documents, applying, responding to Procedural Fairness letters, and other program deadlines.
  • These delays may affect our ability to finalize our assessment.
  • We encourage you to email us and explain your specific circumstances as needed. We will take this into consideration when assessing your application.

Skills Immigration

Due to COVID-19, my employer has reduced their business hours. They do not currently have the minimum number of employees on payroll.  How will this impact my BC PNP registration or application?

  • We know that COVID-19 is having an impact on many businesses throughout the province.
  • The employer plays a critical role in supporting a BC PNP application.
  • If you have not yet registered, and your employer no longer meets the employer eligibility criteria to support your BC PNP application, you should delay your registration until your supporting employer can meet the employer criteria for the BC PNP.
  • If you have already applied, and your employer no longer meets the eligibility criteria to support your BC PNP application:
    • Please email us with any updates to your employment situation. We will take this into consideration when assessing your application.
    • You may withdraw your application by sending us an email. If processing of your application has not started, you may be eligible for a refund.

Due to COVID-19, my employer had to temporarily close their business. I have now been laid off. How will this impact my BC PNP registration or application?

  • If you have not registered yet, and your current employment does not meet the eligibility criteria of the category you would like to register and apply to, you should ensure you first meet the criteria for that category. You should do this before submitting a registration.
  • If you have registered, but you have not been invited to apply, and your current employment no longer meets the category’s eligibility criteria, you have the option of withdrawing your registration. You can resubmit a registration once you meet the eligibility criteria.
  • If you have received an invitation to apply and your current employment does not meet the category’s eligibility criteria, you have the option of declining the invitation to apply. When the business re-opens and you are working again, you can re-register with updated information and wait for the next draw.
  • If you have already applied, and your employment no longer meets the category’s eligibility criteria, please email us with any updates to your employment situation. We will take this into consideration when assessing your application.
  • You may withdraw your application by sending us an email. If processing of your application has not started, you may be eligible for a refund.

I am not able to get required documents (transcripts, language test, personal net worth verification report, etc.) before the deadlines. Would you consider extending the deadlines?

  • We understand that some registrants or applicants may have difficulty getting the required documents to register or apply.
  • Before you register for Skills Immigration, we expect that you already have gathered or have easy access to all required documentation. If this is not the case, we suggest you wait to register as you will have 30 days to apply should you be invited.
  • If you have already applied, and BC PNP staff have requested information or documents that you are not able to get, please email us to let us know. We will take this into consideration when assessing your application.
  • If you are experiencing a delay in applying to the Entrepreneur Immigration stream, please email us describing your specific circumstances. We will take this into consideration when assessing your application.

I am overseas. My BC PNP-supported work permit application is taking longer than expected. I don’t know when I will be issued my work permit or when I will be able to arrive in B.C. What is the impact?

  • We realize that there may be delays in Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) processing of permanent residence applications during this time.
  • IRCC has stated in their Question & Answer page that “no application that is in progress will be closed or refused due to a lack of documentation or inability to complete the application process in time.”
  • We are aware that the federal government has implemented travel restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • As a B.C. provincial nominee, we will continue to support overseas nominees until you receive a decision about your application for permanent residence. We expect that you will try to meet the conditions of nomination throughout the process.
  • We encourage you to keep in contact with our office regarding important changes in your specific situation, including updating us on travel restrictions that are restricting you from coming.
  • Please email us an explanation of your circumstances. We will carefully take this into consideration. We may contact you to discuss further.

Entrepreneur Immigration

I would like to apply for the Entrepreneur Immigration (EI) Regional Pilot. I can’t come to B.C. for the exploratory visit because of the travel restrictions implemented as a result of COVID-19. Can I still ask for a referral from a community so I can apply?

  • You cannot request a referral from a community without an exploratory visit. Exploratory visits and community referrals are mandatory for applicants wishing to apply to the BC PNP EI Regional Pilot.
  • You may have seen that the federal government has implemented travel restrictions for air and land travel. There are exemptions to the travel restrictions which do not currently apply to visitors.
  • Given the travel restrictions, you are unable to travel to B.C. to conduct the exploratory visit.
  • Once travel restrictions have been lifted, please do not assume it is ok to travel directly to the community without contacting them first.
  • As each community has their own process for preparing exploratory visits, you can contact the community of your interest to find out how you can be best prepared for the exploratory visit when you are able to travel to B.C.
  • You can find more about each community on the Community Profiles page of our website.

I operate a business under the BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration stream. I have closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Can I allow my employees to work from home on an on-call basis? Can I temporarily close the business? Do I need to maintain the same number of employees according to my performance agreement?

  • Businesses are required to follow all orders from the Provincial Health Officer, which are available at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/current-health-topics .
  • We are aware that the COVID-19 outbreak is having a significant impact on all businesses across all sectors and regions of the province.
  • We encourage you to keep in contact with us regarding important changes in your business. Please email us an explanation of your circumstances at en.imm@gov.bc.ca .
  • We will carefully take this into consideration. We may contact you to discuss further.
  • When you submit your final report, explain the measures that you took during the COVID-19 outbreak to continue to operate your business.
  • The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on your business operations will be considered at the time of the assessment of your final report.

BC Provincial Nominees & Applying for permanent residence

I am a nominee and I want to go home to be with my family. Will this impact my nomination?

  • We recognize that people want to be close to family and loved ones during this time of uncertainty.
  • If you are going to return to your home country, or have already returned to your home country, please email us and provide the details of your circumstances.
  • Please keep all of your records about your dates of travel, your employment status in B.C., etc. We may request to include these with our records.
  • We will carefully take this into consideration. We may contact you to discuss further.

I am a nominee on a temporary work permit. I am currently outside of Canada and I can not return. Will this impact my Permanent Residence application?

  • We are aware that the federal government has implemented travel restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • We ask you to notify us of any important changes in your employment and personal situation. This includes your employer’s business closing, being laid off, any change in employment, or leaving Canada.
  • We will take this into consideration. We may contact you to discuss further.
  • You can also visit Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s IRCC’s website for information about the impact that the COVID-19 outbreak may have on your Permanent Residence application.

Many B.C. businesses and organizations are closing or limiting operations at this time as a means to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As a nominee, do I need to report this change in my employment?

  • Yes. Please tell us about any important changes in your employment and personal situation.
  • This may include your employer’s business closing, being laid off, any change in employment, or leaving Canada.
  • You may need to submit a post-nomination request. You can find more information about submitting post-nomination requests in the BC PNP Post-Nomination Guide. This guide can be found on the Documents page of our website.
  • We will take this into consideration when reviewing your request. We may contact you to discuss further.

My work permit will be expiring soon. The delays in processing will impact my medical coverage and driver’s licence. What do I do?

  • In response to COVID-19, individuals who are currently in B.C., who were previously enrolled in MSP as a deemed resident, and their MSP has expired, may be provided temporary MSP coverage.
  • Individuals should contact Health Insurance BC to request this temporary coverage.
  • Health Insurance BC
    • Toll-free: 1 800 663-7100
    • Lower Mainland: 604 683-7151
    • Mailing Address:
      • Health Insurance BC
      • PO Box 9035 Stn Prov Gov
      • Victoria, BC V8W 9E3
  • This may include individuals who have applied for a new work or study permit but it has yet to arrive. In these circumstances temporary coverage will be granted until July 31, 2020.
  • To learn more visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/health-drug-coverage/msp/bc-residents/covid-19-msp-qa
  • You can contact the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) directly for information about your driver’s license.
  • Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC): https://www.icbc.com/driver-licensing/Pages/default.aspx

I am an Entrepreneur Immigration nominee. The processing of my application to IRCC for permanent residence has been delayed. How does this impact my BC PNP nomination?

  • We realize that there may be delays in Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) processing of permanent residence applications during this time.
  • IRCC has stated in their Question & Answer page that “no application that is in progress will be closed or refused due to a lack of documentation or inability to complete the application process in time.”
  • As a B.C. provincial nominee, we will continue to support you until you receive a decision about your application for permanent residence. We expect that you will try to meet the conditions of nomination throughout the process.
  • If you are in a situation that may impact your ability to meet the conditions of your BC PNP nomination, please email us an explanation of your circumstances at en.imm@gov.bc.ca
  • We will carefully take this into consideration. We may contact you to discuss further.

More information

Where do I go for more information about COVID-19?

  • The COVID-19 situation is evolving quickly. Please check these provincial and federal sites often for updates:
  • The B.C. government website has all the latest provincial COVID-19 information. It includes links to other important sites and information: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support
  • There is also a telephone number, 1-888-COVID19. This number is for non-health information and services, such as child care, travel restrictions, and business and funding support.
  • This website and telephone number are now the primary information sources for residents of British Columbia.
  • For the latest and most up-to-date information, visit Canada.ca/coronavirus or contact the coronavirus information line at 1-833-784-4397.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)

How do I contact the BC PNP?

  • PNPInfo@gov.bc.ca – for inquiries about the Skills Immigration stream, including the BC PNP Tech Pilot
  • PNPTechEmployers@gov.bc.ca – for inquiries from tech employers
  • PNPPostNom@gov.bc.ca – for inquiries from Skills Immigration nominees about work permit support letters, changes related to employment, etc.
  • If you are a nominee and have a BCPNP Online profile, you can submit your post-nomination request through BCPNP Online. Log in to your account and select the appropriate service (i.e. Work Permit Support Letter) from the drop-down list. Follow the instructions for uploading required documents and submit.
  • En.Imm@gov.bc.ca – for inquiries about the Entrepreneur Immigration (EI) stream, including the EI – Regional Pilot and any post-nomination inquiries (i.e. Work Permit Support Letters)
  • Telephone: 604-775-2227 (Please note that this is a voicemail line)

How do I contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada?

Our hearts go out to those who have been affected during these unprecedented times. We appreciate the people working in healthcare, local communities, and governments around the world who are on the frontlines working to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

Back to top
« Covid-19 Notice: Safety and support for our clients. Read more »