Industry applauds BC decision to make tech immigration program permanent

MLA Brenda Bailey announced that the BC PNP Tech Pilot will be made permanent.

British Columbia’s Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Tech Pilot is no longer a pilot, says Brenda Bailey, a member of the legislative assembly in BC and Parliamentary Secretary for Technology and Innovation.

Vancouver Tech Journal broke the news on Twitter, following the surprise announcement, which was made during a Vancouver Startup Week virtual panel. Bailey said an official announcement will come later today (May 28).

The news was welcomed by members of the province’s tech sector, including the other virtual panel members Ray Walia, CEO of Launch Ventures, and Jill Tipping, CEO of BC Tech Association.

Tessa Seager, a representative for the Council of Canadian Innovators, a tech industry lobby group, said the development was “very good news for B.C.’s high-growth innovation sector.”

Of the PNP, Seager added, in a statement, “This program is an efficient and effective way to address the province’s skilled talent shortage and support homegrown companies as they scale-up globally. Our members now have the certainty they need to make long-term business expansion plans and drive prosperity as we head into the great re-opening.”

Launched in 2017, the BC PNP Tech Pilot was set up to help companies address talent needs by providing a fast-tracked, permanent immigration pathway for in-demand foreign workers and international students. Since then, it has supported over 4,200 tech workers to be nominated for permanent residence.