On February 1, 2017, the Provincial Immigration Programs Act and its corresponding Regulations came into effect in British Columbia. The administration of the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) is now legislated under the Act, whereas previously it was governed by its own program policy. The Act administers the BC PNP by:
- appointing decision making authority;
- granting authority to collect PNP fees;
- setting out the amount of PNP fees;
- allowing for inspection to be conducted to monitor compliance with program requirements;
- allowing BC PNP to cancel applications upon discovery of misrepresentation; and
- implementing a process for reviewing refused applications.
Some of the key aspects are as follows:
Skill Immigrations Fees have increased to $700 per application from $550 per application. Entrepreneur Immigration Fees remains at $300 for registration, $3,500 for application, and $1,000 for key staff. There is now a $200 fee for requesting a review of a decision.
The director may conduct an inspection to determine compliance, assess an application for approval, and assess a request for review of a decision by various means legislated under the Act. The director also has authority to summon and enforce the attendance of witnesses and compel witnesses to give evidence and produce records.
Cancellation of Approval
The director may cancel an approval if the director is satisfied that the person has provided false or misleading information in an application, and may refuse a subsequent application for a period of up to two years from the date of the cancellation.
In addition to the implementation of fee, a request for a review must be made within 30 days of the date of notice for a person resident in Canada or 60 days of the date of the notice for a person who is not a resident in Canada. A decision by BC PNP to withdraw a nomination is not entitled to have that decision reviewed by the BC PNP under the internal review process set out in the Act.
The new Act provides greater transparency in the delivery of the BC PNP. However, it also means an applicant must ensure that an application under the BC PNP adheres to the Act and familiarize himself with his rights and obligations under the Act.