Canada-British Columbia Agreement 2004 - Annex C: Provincial Nominees
1.0 Purpose and Objectives
1.1 The purpose of this Annex is to define the roles and responsibilities of Canada and British Columbia in relation to the Provincial Nominee Class as described in section 87 of the regulations to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).
1.2 To maintain and strengthen the Provincial Nominee Program as a mechanism to increase the benefits of immigration to British Columbia based on economic priorities and labour market conditions, while taking into account the importance of encouraging the development of minority official language communities in British Columbia. Provincial Nominees may be nominated for purposes that include, but are not limited to, meeting critical skill shortages in British Columbia, the immigration of key individuals of businesses that wish to locate in British Columbia and the establishment or enhancement of new and existing businesses.
1.3 To recognize that the Provincial Nominee Class, as identified by R87(1), is a jointly administered immigration class, where British Columbia has an active role in the processing which may include promotion and nomination, and to acknowledge that both parties have an interest in the process.
1.4 To admit British Columbia Provincial Nominees for permanent residence as expeditiously as possible, taking into account statutory requirements and operational constraints.
2.0 Promotion and Recruitment
2.1 British Columbia and Canada agree to co-operate in the promotion and recruitment of Provincial Nominees.
2.2 Canada agrees to make all practical efforts to assist British Columbia to identify prospective immigrants to fulfill British Columbia’s targets in its nomination strategy (subject to Mission specific limitations and applicable privacy legislation) including:
- directing potential applicants through Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website to visit the British Columbia website;
- distributing promotional materials provided by British Columbia when displaying promotion materials at selected missions abroad;
- participating in provincially initiated missions to attract immigrants within the limits of mission resources;
- inviting British Columbia to participate, as appropriate, in training or information sharing exercises with program managers and other mission staff to communicate the province’s specific needs and opportunities;
- inviting British Columbia to participate in national initiatives that provide opportunities to identify and recruit immigrants; and
- sharing of advance labour market and demographic information.
2.3 British Columbia will undertake targeted active recruitment activities, which include, as appropriate:
- participation at trade fairs and other targeted missions;
- development of promotional materials describing the nature and quality of life in British Columbia;
- provision of information on a British Columbia-maintained website;
- preparation of information for staff working in Canadian missions abroad;
- consultation with representatives of the minority official language communities in British Columbia to take into account the importance of encouraging the development of minority official language communities in the province;
- consultation with regional and community representatives;
- targeted promotion to temporary residents present in British Columbia (international students, temporary workers and visitors).
2.4 British Columbia may enter into partnership with other parties for the purposes of promotion and recruitment and in so doing will:
- require third parties to respect the terms and conditions of this Agreement; and
- advise Canada of such partnerships.
3.0 Assessment and Nomination
3.1 British Columbia has the sole and non-transferable responsibility to assess and nominate candidates who, based on British Columbia’s determination:
- will be of significant benefit to the economic development of British Columbia; and
- have a strong likelihood of successfully establishing themselves in British Columbia.
3.2 Provincial Nominees may be nominated on the basis of economic benefit to British Columbia, including regional and community development.
3.3 Canada recognizes the legitimate requirement for exploratory visits by potential immigrants to British Columbia when issuing temporary resident visas and will take into consideration British Columbia’s formal representations.
3.4 In exercising its nomination authority under this Agreement, British Columbia will follow the procedures and criteria for nomination established by British Columbia. British Columbia will share its criteria with Canada and keep written records of its assessments of its nominees against those criteria.
3.5 For planning purposes, British Columbia will submit Provincial Nominee targets on an annual calendar year basis to Canada in a timely fashion to support the preparation of federal annual immigration levels delivery. The targets, which will be agreed to by both parties, may be exceeded at any time during the year upon agreement by both parties.
3.6 British Columbia will issue a dated nomination certificate, valid in accordance with British Columbia’s administrative requirements, for each provincial nominee. British Columbia will forward a copy of the certificate to the mission where the candidate will apply for admission. Nominees must file an application for immigration within the time limit specified on the nomination certificate. Processing of the immigration application by the mission may exceed the validity of the nomination certificate.
3.7 Candidates who are nominated by British Columbia shall be considered as members of the Provincial Nominee Class as provided for in the IRPA and therefore as a distinct immigration stream under the economic class.
3.8 Canada agrees to process applicants nominated for Permanent Resident status by British Columbia as expeditiously as possible with a view to achieving targets that have been integrated into Canada’s operational plan.
3.9 Canada will communicate the terms of this Agreement to visa offices ensuring effective implementation at visa offices and inland offices.
3.10 Upon receipt of the Certificate of Nomination from British Columbia, Canada will:
- exercise the final selection;
- determine the admissibility of the nominee and his or her dependants with respect to legislative requirements including health, criminality and security; and
- issue immigrant visas to provincial nominees and accompanying dependants who meet all the admissibility requirements of the IRPA and its Regulations and of this Annex.
3.11 Processing of applications and issuance of visas may continue beyond the calendar year in which the nomination certificate was issued.
3.12 Canada shall consider a nomination certificate issued by British Columbia as evidence that admission is of significant benefit to the economic development of British Columbia and that British Columbia has conducted due diligence to ensure that the applicant has the ability to become successfully established economically in British Columbia. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Canada retains the right to substitute its evaluation of the applicant’s ability to become economically established in Canada pursuant to R 87 (3) of the IRPR.
3.13 Where an individual nominated by British Columbia has received a job offer from a British Columbia-based employer, the responsible Canadian Visa Officer may issue a temporary work permit under Section 204 (c) of the IRPR, if British Columbia:
- states that the nominated individual is urgently required by the employer; and
- provides an opinion that:
- the job offer is genuine and would create significant economic, social or cultural benefits or opportunities;
- the employment is not part-time or seasonal; and
- the wages and working conditions of the employment would be sufficient to attract and retain Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and requests the Visa Officer to issue a temporary work permit
3.14 Should Canada determine that an individual nominated by British Columbia is likely to be refused permanent resident status, British Columbia will be notified immediately and consulted regarding the reasons for possible refusal. Where Canada determines that it will refuse without British Columbia concurrence, Canada will advise British Columbia before final decision.
3.15 British Columbia may raise concerns or seek clarification from the assessing officer at the relevant mission with respect to a potential refusal, within 90 days from the date of being advised by Canada.
4.0 Program Evaluation and Information Exchange
4.1 Subject to applicable legislation and policies governing the disclosure of personal information, Canada and British Columbia agree to share information on prospective and actual immigrant landings to aid in the evaluation and management of British Columbia’s provincial nominee program. This will include tracking of provincial nominees to British Columbia for a minimum of two years from their date of landing as a basis for assessing the effectiveness of the Provincial Nominee Program.
4.2 Canada and British Columbia will continue to jointly administer and evaluate the pilot project detailed in the operations memorandum dated March 25, 2002 and titled “Employment Authorizations for British Columbia bound Provincial Nominees (Business Skills and Projects Categories)”.
If considered successful, the pilot project will become a permanent part of this Annex on Provincial Nominees, either as is or altered as mutually agreed upon by both Parties.
4.3 British Columbia will maintain records with respect to the assessment of each candidate nominated under this Annex. Canada will be provided with access to these records for audit purposes.
4.4 Canada and British Columbia will ensure that any exchange of information shall be conducted in accordance with applicable federal and provincial legislation and in accordance with their policies relating to protection of privacy, access to information and security of records.
4.5 In order to facilitate the exchange of information on shared clients between Canada and British Columbia, British Columbia will obtain from each nominee and his or her dependents a signed release allowing Canada to share with British Columbia information regarding the nominee’s application, including the processing thereof.
4.6 Canada and British Columbia agree that the use of electronic means, with adequate arrangements for security, is appropriate for direct communication between their respective offices. Such means will be designated by both parties, in accordance with their respective policies, instructions and agreements governing security and electronic communication of personal information.
4.7 Canada in consultation with British Columbia will investigate means of providing British Columbia with adequate access to current and future case processing systems in support of the administration of the Provincial Nominee Program.
4.8 British Columbia will provide monthly nomination reports to Canada.
4.9 Canada will provide monthly reports on the processing and landing of Provincial Nominees destined to British Columbia as well as any other type of report provided to other provinces pursuant to their Provincial Nominee Agreements.
5.0 General Implementation
5.1 This Annex will take effect on the date the last party signs the Agreement.
5.2 Subject to sections 5.3 and 5.4, the duration of this Annex is indefinite
5.3 Amendments to this Annex may be made by written agreement signed by each of the parties which will form part of this Annex and becomes effective on the date the last party signs.
5.4 Either party may terminate this Annex at any time by providing at least 12 months notice in writing to the other party.
5.5 Notwithstanding the termination of the General Provisions of the Agreement, the duration of this Annex and any amendments to it will continue and be governed by sections 5.2, 5.3 and 5.4 of Annex C, and section 11.7 of the Agreement.
5.6 In the event of termination of this Annex, Canada and British Columbia agree that they will work together to ensure that services to clients will not be unduly affected or interrupted by the termination.
5.7 In the event that either party wishes to terminate this Annex by providing the required notice in writing:
- any and all costs attributable to the termination will be shared in a reasonable manner as negotiated between the two parties; and
- both parties will take reasonable steps to reduce the costs attributable to the termination.
5.8 The parties may agree to amend in writing this Annex in whole or in part, taking into consideration the different needs and changing circumstances of both parties and as required by either party.
5.9 The parties undertake to give one another notice of any change in policy, regulations or legislation relating to their respective programs that is likely to affect this Annex.
Address for notice to Canada:
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
365 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1
Address for notice to British Columbia:
Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services
6th Floor - 800 Johnson Street
P.O. Box 9490 Stn. Prov. Govt.
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9N7
5.10 As per section 1.2 c) of Annex A, Canada and British Columbia agree to discuss and resolve matters related to the implementation of Annex C on Provincial Nominees through a sub-committee. For purposes of Annex C, the purpose of the sub-committee is to ensure that necessary communication for the furtherance of activities under this Annex takes place, including the exchange of information regarding likely processing times for provincial nominees, and ways that Canada and British Columbia can co-operate to optimize these processing times.
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