The BC Tech Pilot will continue as a permanent and fast-track immigration route for foreign workers and international students.
Instead of setting another one-year extension for the pilot as has been the case in the past, this time the "Tech Pilot has been extended indefinitely and renamed BC PNP Tech" the province said in an update published May 28.
Once the current pilot's extension expires on June 30, 2021, it will be renamed and become permanent, according to a government press release.
Launched in May 2017, the Tech Pilot is designed to help B.C's burgeoning tech sector attract international talent in 29 in-demand occupations through weekly draws from the Nominee Program's pool of immigrant applicants of British Columbia (BC PNP).\
Faced with a talent shortage in the tech sector, British Columbia. launched the pilot project to attract skilled workers from other countries to help grow the province's tech sector.
Despite the impact of COVID-19, the use of the Tech Pilot continued to increase steadily, with 1,855 technical workers appointed in 2020, an increase of 23% from the 1,509 appointed the previous year and an increase of 23%. 63% increase from 1,135 nominated in 2018. Since its inception, the Tech Pilot has helped more than 6,000 tech workers to be nominated for permanent residence in British Columbia the statement said.
The announcement comes days after members of the province's tech sector called for such a move.
Last week, members of the British Columbia Council of Canadian Innovators (CCI) sent a letter to the province's Minister of Municipal Affairs, Josie Osborne, requesting that the PNP Tech pilot project be made permanent. At the time, the British Columbia government had not yet announced what would happen to the program.
CCI members said they are committed to building world-class businesses with the best talent and championing immigration strategies that allow talented people from around the world to come to Canada to work in its fast-growing businesses.
"By making the PNP Tech Stream permanent, innovators will be able to plan better for the long term and have greater confidence in developing business expansion plans, knowing that this essential service will be available when they need it," stated CCI in the letter.
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