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This Act is current to May 30, 2018
See the Tables of Legislative Changes for this Act’s legislative history, including any changes not in force.

Provincial Immigration Programs Act

[SBC 2015] CHAPTER 37

Assented to November 17, 2015

Contents
1Definitions
2Director of Provincial Immigration Programs
3Applications
4Approvals
5Obligations of approved person
6Cancellation of approval
7Reviews
8Personal information
9Information-sharing agreements
10Confidentiality
11Inspections
12Inspection powers — additional powers of director
13Statutory immunity
14Validation of fees
15Section 5 of Offence Act
16Regulations
17Commencement

Definitions

1   In this Act:

"approved person" means a person whose application has been approved by the director under section 4;

"director" means the Director of Provincial Immigration Programs designated under section 2;

"information-sharing agreement" means an agreement or arrangement to exchange, disclose or collect, by electronic data transmission, electronic data matching or any other means, personal information;

"provincial immigration program" means a program established under a prescribed agreement made under the Ministry of International Business and Immigration Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada).

Director of Provincial Immigration Programs

2   (1) The minister may designate as the Director of Provincial Immigration Programs an individual appointed under the Public Service Act.

(2) Sections 1, 55 and 61 of the Administrative Tribunals Act apply to the director as if the director were a tribunal.

Applications

3   (1) Subject to subsection (3), a person may apply to the director for an approval respecting a provincial immigration program by submitting, in the form and manner required by the director,

(a) an application,

(b) documents and information in support of the application as required by the director, and

(c) the prescribed fee.

(2) The director may, in accordance with the regulations, if any, invite applications for a class of approvals specified in the invitation.

(3) The director may refuse to accept an application under subsection (1) from a person if

(a) an invitation is made under subsection (2) that does not apply to the person,

(b) the person has retained, for the purposes of making an application under subsection (1) or for another purpose respecting this Act, a representative who does not meet the prescribed requirements,

(c) the person has had an approval cancelled under section 6, or

(d) a prescribed requirement has not been met.

(4) The director may refuse under subsection (3) (c) to accept an application only for a period of up to 2 years from the date the director cancelled the approval under section 6.

(5) The director, as soon as practicable, must notify the person of a refusal under subsection (3), provide reasons for the refusal and refund any amounts paid.

Approvals

4   (1) On application by a person under section 3, the director may, after taking into consideration the prescribed matters and any other matters the director considers relevant,

(a) approve the application, or

(b) decline the application.

(2) An approval under subsection (1) (a) may be made subject to any conditions that the director considers necessary or advisable.

(3) The director, as soon as practicable, must notify the person of a decision made under subsection (1).

(4) The notice under subsection (3) must,

(a) if the director approves the application, set out the conditions, if any, imposed under subsection (2), and

(b) if the director declines the application, provide reasons for the decision.

Obligations of approved person

5   (1) An approved person must do both of the following:

(a) advise the director of any material change in the approved person's circumstances;

(b) comply with conditions imposed under section 4 (2).

(2) An approved person must not

(a) obstruct or interfere with an inspection conducted under section 11, or

(b) retain, for the purposes of making an application under section 3 (1) or for another purpose respecting this Act, a representative who does not meet the prescribed requirements.

Cancellation of approval

6   (1) After giving an approved person an opportunity to be heard, the director may cancel an approval, if the director is satisfied that the person

(a) has failed to comply with section 5,

(b) has failed to comply with a prescribed requirement, or

(c) has provided false or misleading information in an application under section 3.

(2) The director, as soon as practicable, must notify the person of a cancellation under subsection (1).

(3) The notice under subsection (2) must

(a) include reasons for the cancellation, and

(b) advise the person that the director, under section 3 (3) (c), may refuse to accept future applications from the person.

Reviews

7   (1) A person whose application the director has declined under section 4 (1) (b) may request, in accordance with this section, a review by the director of the decision to decline the application.

(2) A request for a review under subsection (1) must be made within

(a) 30 days of the date of the notice provided under section 4 (3) if the person is resident in Canada, or

(b) 60 days of the date of the notice provided under section 4 (3) if the person is not resident in Canada.

(3) The person requesting a review must

(a) make the request in writing,

(b) identify the grounds on which the review is requested,

(c) provide any information that the director requires regarding the request, and

(d) submit the prescribed fee, if any.

(4) As soon as practicable after receiving a request under subsection (1), the director must

(a) confirm, vary or reverse the decision, and

(b) notify the person of, and provide reasons for, the decision under paragraph (a).

(5) A person may apply for judicial review of a decision made under subsection (4) (a) within

(a) 30 days of the date of the notice provided under subsection (4) (b) if the person is resident in Canada, or

(b) 60 days of the date of the notice provided under subsection (4) (b) if the person is not resident in Canada.

Personal information

8   (1) In this section, "personal information" has the same meaning as in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

(2) Subject to section 10, the director may, for the purposes set out in subsection (3) of this section,

(a) collect personal information, including from sources other than the individual the information is about, and

(b) disclose and use that personal information.

(3) Personal information may be collected, disclosed and used under subsection (2) for the following purposes:

(a) administering a provincial immigration program;

(b) assessing an application under section 3 or a request under section 7;

(c) conducting an inspection under section 11;

(d) collaborating with the government of Canada respecting a possible contravention of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada) that may relate to this Act.

Information-sharing agreements

9   (1) With the prior approval of the minister, the director may enter into an information-sharing agreement with any of the following:

(a) the government of Canada or of another province or jurisdiction in or outside Canada or an agent of any of them;

(b) a public body as defined in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act;

(c) an organization

(i) that is subject to the Personal Information Protection Act, or

(ii) that is operating in British Columbia and is subject to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (Canada).

(2) An information-sharing agreement may be entered into for no other purpose than a purpose referred to in section 8 (3) or a prescribed purpose.

Confidentiality

10   (1) If requested in writing by a person who has, for any purpose under this Act, provided information to the director, the director must not disclose any identifying information about the person unless

(a) the disclosure is necessary for the purposes of a proceeding under this Act, or

(b) the director considers the disclosure is in the public interest.

(2) Subsection (1) applies despite any provision of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act other than section 44 (1) (b), (2), (2.1) and (3) of that Act.

Inspections

11   (1) The director may conduct an inspection for the following purposes:

(a) determining compliance with this Act and the regulations;

(b) assessing an application for approval under section 4;

(c) assessing a request under section 7.

(2) For the purposes of an inspection, the director may do any of the following:

(a) enter the business premises of a person at any reasonable time;

(b) inquire into any business, affairs or conduct of a person;

(c) inspect, audit or examine any records, goods or other things;

(d) require any person who has possession or control of any records, goods or other things to produce the records, goods or things;

(e) make a record, including a record on film, audio tape, video tape or otherwise, of the premises, anything in or on the premises or anything referred to in paragraph (c);

(f) remove any record from the premises for the purpose of making copies;

(g) remove and retain any record, good or other thing that may be required as evidence from the premises.

(3) The authority under subsection (2) must not be used to enter a private dwelling except with the consent of the occupant.

Inspection powers — additional powers of director

12   (1) For the purposes of an inspection under section 11, the director has the same powers to do the following as the Supreme Court has for the trial of civil actions:

(a) summon and enforce the attendance of witnesses;

(b) compel witnesses to give evidence on oath or in any other manner;

(c) compel witnesses to produce records and things.

(2) When the director exercises a power under subsection (1), a person who fails or refuses to do any of the following is liable, on application to the Supreme Court, to be committed for contempt as if in breach of an order or judgment of the Supreme Court:

(a) attend;

(b) take an oath;

(c) answer questions;

(d) produce the records or things in the person's possession or control.

(3) Section 34 (5) of the Evidence Act does not apply to the exercise of the powers of the director under this section.

Statutory immunity

13   (1) Subject to subsection (2), no legal proceeding for damages lies or may be commenced or maintained against the government, the director or a person acting on behalf of the government or the director because of anything done or omitted

(a) in the exercise or intended exercise of any power under this Act, or

(b) in the performance or intended performance of any duty under this Act.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person referred to in that subsection in relation to anything done or omitted in bad faith.

Validation of fees

14   (1) Despite any decision of a court to the contrary made before or after the coming into force of this section, the fees set and charged by the minister from April 1, 2003, to the date this section comes into force, in relation to an immigration program similar to a provincial immigration program, that would have been validly set and charged had the minister set and charged those fees in accordance with section 16 (2) (c) are conclusively deemed to have been validly set and charged, and all fees collected by the minister are conclusively deemed to have been validly collected.

(2) This section is retroactive to the extent necessary to give full force and effect to its provisions and must not be construed as lacking retroactive effect in relation to any matter because it makes no specific reference to that matter.

Section 5 of Offence Act

15   Section 5 of the Offence Act does not apply to this Act or the regulations.

Regulations

16   (1) The minister may make regulations referred to in section 41 of the Interpretation Act.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the minister may make regulations as follows:

(a) adopting by reference, in whole or in part and with any changes the minister considers necessary, any regulation, code, standard or rule

(i) enacted as or under a law of another jurisdiction, including a foreign jurisdiction, or

(ii) set by a provincial, national or international body or any other code-making, standard-making or rule-making authority,

as the regulation, code, standard or rule stands at a specific date, as it stands at the time of adoption, or as amended from time to time;

(b) prescribing agreements for the purposes of the definition of "provincial immigration program" in section 1;

(c) prescribing fees for the purposes of sections 3 (1) (c) and 7 (3) (d);

(d) respecting invitations referred to in section 3 (2);

(e) prescribing requirements for the purposes of section 3 (3) (b) and for the purposes of section 3 (3) (d);

(f) prescribing matters for the purposes of section 4 (1);

(g) prescribing requirements for the purposes of section 5 (2) (b);

(h) prescribing requirements for the purposes of section 6 (1) (b);

(i) prescribing terms or conditions that must be included in an information-sharing agreement under section 9 and prescribing purposes for which an information-sharing agreement may be entered into under that section.

(3) In making a regulation under subsection (1) or (2), the minister may do one or more of the following:

(a) delegate a power to a person, with or without directions on how the delegated power is to be exercised;

(b) confer a discretion on a person;

(c) make different regulations for different persons, places or things or for different classes of persons, places or things.

Commencement

17   This Act comes into force by regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.