By Pat Bell
When John Eckland came to B.C. from the U.S as a business immigrant under the B.C. Provincial Nominee Program in 2006, he decided to settle in Kaslo, B.C. With a $2.8 million investment, Eckland completely renovated the historic Kaslo Hotel and created 24 new jobs. In 2010, he was named one of the top 10 Kootenay business persons of the year.
Under the same program, Dr. Shyr Chui emigrated from the U.K. to B.C. in 2010 as a nominee under the strategic occupations category and today helps to meet the health care needs of patients as a radiologist at the Prince George Regional Hospital. Thanks to the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) you’ll find similar stories throughout British Columbia.
Introduced in 2001, the BC PNP offers accelerated permanent resident status to qualified applicants who have been nominated by the Province based on labour market and economic development needs. It allows nominees to apply through Citizenship and Immigration Canada under the fast-tracked Provincial Nominee Class, which is typically faster than applying through many federal immigration streams.
And, according to an independent, evaluation report released this week, the benefits of the program have been substantial. Communities and families throughout B.C. have benefited through investment, job creation and meeting employers’ demand for skilled workers.