ARCHIVED – Canada–British Columbia Immigration Agreement 2010 – Annex B
Annex B: Provincial Nominees
1.0 Purpose and Objectives
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 Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).
1.2.1 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, by providing British Columbia with a mechanism to admit Provincial Nominees to British Columbia while taking into account the importance of encouraging the economic development of Minority Official Language Communities in British Columbia.
1.2.2 To recognize that the Provincial Nominee Class, as identified by subsection 87(1) of the IRPR, 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.
1.2.3 To admit British Columbia Provincial Nominees for permanent residence as expeditiously as possible, taking into account:
- British Columbia’s Provincial Nominee Program levels plan;
- Canada’s immigration projections;
- legislative requirements; and
- operational and resource constraints, and service standards as developed.
2.0 Provincial Nominee Levels Planning and Reporting
2.1 British Columbia will develop an annual Provincial Nominee Program levels plan which will provide information to Canada to support Canada’s immigration levels and operational planning. This will include the elements outlined in Appendix A of this Annex or as otherwise agreed between the Parties.
2.2 British Columbia will share this plan with Canada on or before July 1 of every calendar year to allow for national levels planning for the following year.
2.3 Canada undertakes to incorporate British Columbia’s Provincial Nominee targets for nomination as outlined in British Columbia’s Provincial Nominee levels plan into the national levels plan. The Provincial Nominee levels objectives, which must be agreed to by both Parties, may be adjusted at any time during the year upon agreement by both Parties.
2.4 British Columbia will report on its levels planning as follows:
- British Columbia will provide Canada with an annual report for the preceding calendar year by March 31st of each year, on British Columbia’s levels plan and the results achieved; and
- the annual report will include the elements outlined in Appendix B of this Annex.
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 becoming economically established in British Columbia.
3.2 British Columbia will nominate foreign nationals on the basis of economic benefit to British Columbia. The nomination criteria of the Provincial Nominee Program categories shall demonstrate the economic benefit to the Province. 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.
3.3 Non-economic factors shall not provide the primary basis upon which a nomination is made.
3.4 In exercising its nomination authority under this Agreement, British Columbia will follow the procedures and criteria for nomination established by British Columbia, as amended from time to time, insofar as those procedures and criteria are consistent with the IRPA, the IRPR or any successor legislation and regulations and the terms of this Agreement and this Annex. British Columbia will respect the purpose and objectives of this Annex in developing and implementing these procedures and criteria. British Columbia will share its criteria with Canada prior to implementation and keep written records of its assessments of its nominees against those criteria.
3.5 Canada will consider foreign nationals who are nominated by British Columbia as applicants in the Provincial Nominee Class.
3.6 Canada agrees to process economic class applicants nominated for permanent resident status by British Columbia on a priority basis and as expeditiously as possible with a view to achieving Canada’s annual levels plan.
3.7 Canada will consider a nomination certificate issued by British Columbia as evidence that British Columbia has conducted due diligence in exercising its authority to assess and nominate candidates pursuant to section 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3 of this Annex.
3.8 British Columbia is responsible for conducting the due diligence to ensure that the applicant has the ability and is likely to become economically established 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 subsection 87(3) of the IRPR. In exercising its responsibilities under sections C.2 and C.4 of Appendix C of this Annex, Canada may also seek clarification from British Columbia on its assessment, the record of which is required under sections 3.4 and 5.3.4 of this Annex. The visa officer may request additional documentation from the nominee which supports the nominee’s ability and likelihood to become economically established in British Columbia.
3.9 British Columbia will not issue a nomination certificate to anyone whose employment will affect the settlement of any labour dispute in Canada or affect the employment of a person involved in such a dispute, or where their employment will adversely affect employment or training opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents in British Columbia.
3.10 British Columbia shall not nominate, as a Provincial Nominee, any applicant who intends to enter, has agreed to enter, or has entered into an “immigration-linked investment scheme” as described in section 87 of the IRPR.
4.0 Program Evaluation
4.1 Canada will conduct a national evaluation of the Provincial Nominee Program on a five-year cycle in order to meet federal accountability and evaluation requirements. The national evaluation will include relevant components of British Columbia’s Provincial Nominee Program. British Columbia is committed to cooperate with Canada to support Canada in meeting the federal accountability and evaluation requirements. Canada will be responsible for the cost of the national evaluation.
4.2 Canada will develop a national evaluation framework for the Provincial Nominee Program, which will include a logic model, a performance measurement framework and an evaluation matrix. The evaluation framework will be developed in consultation with all jurisdictions that have a Provincial Nominee Program, including British Columbia. Canada will collaborate with all jurisdictions to establish common definitions, performance indicators and data collection methodologies for the evaluation framework, which may be adjusted from time to time, as needed. The performance information required by the framework will be collected and reported on an annual basis by all jurisdictions, including British Columbia as appropriate.
4.3 British Columbia will conduct evaluations of its Provincial Nominee Program on a five-year schedule. British Columbia will provide a copy of these evaluations to Citizenship and Immigration Canada upon completion.
4.4 In addition to data reported annually under section 2.4 of this Annex, British Columbia will ensure that the requisite information as identified in section 4.2 is available for the national evaluation. Canada and British Columbia agree to cooperate for the purpose of evaluation.
For evaluation purposes, British Columbia is to establish appropriate mechanisms to ensure the province’s ability to collect the data necessary to measure retention and economic benefit for a minimum of three (3) years after admission. In consultation with British Columbia, data requirements may be adjusted from time to time, as appropriate.
4.5 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 admissions to aid in the evaluation and management of British Columbia’s Provincial Nominee Program.
5.1.1 In accordance with section 10.1.1 of the General Provisions of this Agreement, the Agreement Management Committee (AMC) will determine the appropriate mandate, structure and reporting requirements for the implementation of this Annex. In the absence of specific direction to the contrary, designated representatives (federal and provincial) will report to the AMC on an annual basis.
5.1.2 The designated representatives for the purpose of communication and notification pursuant to this Annex are:
- for Canada, the Director, Permanent Resident Policy and Programs, Immigration Branch, Citizenship and Immigration Canada; and
- for British Columbia, the Associate Executive Director, Economic Immigration Programs, Labour Market Development Branch, British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development
or successors to these positions designated by the appropriate Party whose duties are the same or substantially similar.
5.2 Dispute Resolution Process
5.2.1 In the case of a dispute or disagreement under this Annex, Canada and British Columbia agree to follow the dispute resolution process outlined in section 10.3 of the General Provisions of the Agreement.
5.3 Information Sharing
5.3.1 All arrangements for information sharing shall be in accordance with section 10.4 of the General Provisions of the Agreement.
5.3.2 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.
5.3.3 In order to facilitate the exchange of information between Canada and British Columbia, British Columbia will obtain from each nominee applying for nomination and his or her dependants, a signed release allowing Canada to share with British Columbia information regarding the nominee’s application, including the processing thereof, and for the purposes of program evaluation.
5.3.4 British Columbia will maintain records with respect to the assessment of each foreign national nominated under this Annex. Subject to applicable provincial privacy legislation, Canada will be provided with access to these records for audit purposes. These records will be retained for a minimum period of six (6) years from the date of nomination.
5.3.5 Canada and British Columbia will investigate means of providing British Columbia with access to an electronic information exchange system in support of the Provincial Nominee Program.
5.3.6 British Columbia will provide monthly nomination reports to Canada.
5.3.7 Canada will provide monthly reports on the processing and granting of permanent resident status to Provincial Nominees destined to British Columbia as well as any other type of report provided to any other provinces pursuant to their Provincial Nominee agreements.
5.3.8 The Parties undertake to give one another notice of any change in procedure, policy, regulations or legislation relating to their respective programs or operations that is likely to affect this Annex.
5.3.9 Canada’s and British Columbia’s practices under this Annex are subject to audit by the respective audit and evaluation agencies of each jurisdiction. The Parties agree to provide full cooperation if, when and where such audits take place.
5.3.10 Canada will communicate the terms of this Agreement to Canadian visa offices and processing centres ensuring effective implementation at visa offices and inland offices.
5.4 Term and Amendments
5.4.1 In accordance with sections 10.8.2 and 11. 3 of the General Provisions of the Agreement, this Annex will be valid for five (5) years from the date of the Agreement coming into force.
5.4.2 The Parties agree to evaluate the effectiveness of the Annex no later than twelve (12) months prior to its expiry.
5.4.3 Upon mutual consent of both Parties in writing, the terms and conditions of this Annex can be extended at any time prior to its expiry, subject to any required approval or authorization including the approval of the Governor in Council.
5.4.4 This Annex may be amended at any time by the mutual written consent of the Parties, subject to any required approval or authorization including the approval of the Governor in Council.
5.4.5 Either Party may terminate this Annex at any time by providing at least six (6) months notice in writing to the other Party. Upon notice of termination, the AMC will negotiate a transition strategy.
5.4.6 In keeping with the purpose and scope of this Annex, Canada will be open and transparent concerning its intention to enter into agreements with other provinces respecting the Provincial Nominee Program and Canada will provide, at British Columbia’s request, other federal provincial agreements made under subsection 8(1) of the IRPA, and will negotiate amendments to this Annex, taking into consideration the different needs and circumstances of the provinces.
BRITISH COLUMBIA PROVINCIAL NOMINEE LEVELS PLAN
British Columbia will include in its annual Provincial Nominee Levels Plan:
- a program description for each category of its Provincial Nominee Program;
- the total number of nomination certificates by category that British Columbia plans to issue, on a calendar year basis, over the next three (3) years;
- the number of foreign nationals admitted on a temporary basis that British Columbia expects to nominate in the following calendar year;
- a list of the top occupations that British Columbia expects to be actively recruiting through its Provincial Nominee Program in the current year; and
- identification of those countries where British Columbia intends to conduct promotion and recruitment activities in the following year including countries and related activities that encourage the economic development of Minority Official Language Communities.
BRITISH COLUMBIA PROVINCIAL NOMINEE LEVELS REPORT
British Columbia will include in its Provincial Nominee levels report:
Part A Overview and Priorities
- Overview of Provincial Nominee Program and Priorities.
Part B: Results Achieved
- Nominations issued compared to nominations forecasted.
- Nominations issued for each category compared to nominations forecasted.
- Nominations issued to individuals whose mother tongue or first official language is French.
- Requests made under section D.2 of Appendix D of this Annex for temporary work permits for individuals nominated by British Columbia who have received a job offer from a British Columbia-based employer.
- Top occupations for which nominations were issued.
- Number of businesses started, number of businesses expanded, number of jobs created under the business categories and total amount invested in new businesses, total amount invested in existing businesses.
Part C: Promotion and Recruitment
- Overview of promotion and recruitment activities undertaken and results of these activities.
- Overview of promotion and recruitment activities undertaken to encourage the economic development of Minority Official Languages Communities.
Part D: Audit and Evaluation
- Audit plans and/or results
- Evaluation plans and/or results
PERMANENT RESIDENT PROCESSING
C.1 British Columbia will issue a dated nomination certificate, valid in accordance with British Columbia’s administrative requirements for each foreign national whom it has nominated. For security reasons, British Columbia will forward a copy of the certificate or other form of confirmation as agreed by both Parties to the Canadian visa office where the applicant will apply for a permanent resident visa. A nomination certificate received directly from the applicant or any other party will not be accepted as evidence pursuant to section C.4 of this Appendix or sections 3.7 and 3.8 of Annex B of this Agreement. A foreign national who has been nominated by British Columbia must file an application for a permanent resident visa within the time limit specified on the nomination certificate.
C.2 Upon receipt of the nomination certificate from British Columbia or as alternatively agreed under subsection C.1, Canada will:
- exercise the final selection in accordance with section 87 of the IRPR;
- determine whether or not the nominee and his or her dependents are inadmissible pursuant to the legislative requirements including health, criminality and security; and
- issue permanent resident visas to Provincial Nominees and accompanying dependants who meet the requirements of section 87(12) of the IRPR.
C.3 Processing of applications and issuance of visas may continue beyond the calendar year in which the certificate of nomination was issued.
C.4 Should Canada determine that an applicant nominated by British Columbia is likely to be refused a permanent resident visa based on a finding that the applicant does not satisfy the requirements for membership in the Provincial Nominee class in accordance with the provisions of section 87 of the IRPR, British Columbia will be notified immediately and consulted regarding the reasons for possible refusal.
C.5 British Columbia may raise concerns or seek clarification from the officer who made the determination under section 87 of the IRPR with respect to a potential refusal, where the refusal is based on a finding that the applicant does not satisfy the requirements for membership in the Provincial Nominee class in accordance with the provisions of section 87 of the IRPR, within ninety (90) days from the date of being advised by Canada. Further representation, if necessary, may be made to the program manager at the visa office within the 90-day period.
C.6 Should Canada determine that an applicant nominated by British Columbia will be refused a permanent resident visa based on a finding that the applicant is inadmissible under the IRPA or the IRPR, Canada will forward a copy of the refusal letter to British Columbia.
D.1 Canada recognizes the legitimate requirement for exploratory visits by potential British Columbia Provincial Nominees and will take into consideration British Columbia’s formal representations in determining applications for temporary resident status from such foreign nationals.
- Where British Columbia is considering an application for nomination under the business category of the Provincial Nominee Program and is of the opinion that the entry of a foreign national under that application:
- i. to carry out business activity; or
- ii. as a key staff member of a foreign company or of another foreign national establishing an eligible business in the province
- iii. states that the foreign national is being considered for nomination for permanent residence based on their stated intention to either conduct business activity or work as a key staff member of a foreign company or another foreign national establishing an eligible business in the province in British Columbia, as the case may be;
- iv. states that British Columbia is of the opinion that the planned business activity or work of the foreign national will be of significant benefit to the province; and
- v. requests the visa officer to issue a temporary work permit for a specific period, up to a maximum of two (2) years.
- Where a work permit issued under section D.2 a.) of this Appendix has expired and British Columbia has nominated that foreign national, an officer may issue a further temporary work permit pursuant to paragraph 204(c) of the IRPR, if the work permit application includes a letter from British Columbia that:
- i. states that the foreign national has been nominated by British Columbia;
- ii. states that British Columbia has determined that the business activity or work of the foreign national is of significant benefit to the province; and
- iii. requests the visa officer to issue a temporary work permit.
D.3 Where a foreign national nominated by British Columbia has received a job offer from a British Columbia-based employer, a Canadian visa officer may issue a temporary work permit pursuant to paragraph 204(c) of the IRPR, if the work permit application includes a letter from British Columbia that:
- states that the nominated foreign national is urgently required by the employer; and
- states that British Columbia has determined that:
- the job offer is genuine and would create 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.
D.4 Canada will ensure that processing of temporary resident visa and work permit applications for potential British Columbia Provincial Nominees, including those under sections D.1 and D.2 of this Appendix is consistent with subsection 22(2) of the IRPA, specifically that a foreign national with the intention to become a permanent resident may still be eligible for temporary resident status in Canada.
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