British Columbia Entrepreneur

British Columbia Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Immigration

Individuals who intend to settle and invest in British Columbia may be eligible for Canadian permanent residence under this immigration stream. This program is broken down into two categories:

  • Entrepreneur Immigration Category — This category is for senior managers or business owners who intend to invest funds into a proposed business in British Columbia

Minimum Requirements for Candidates

  • Personal net worth of at least $600,000 (including cash, assets in bank accounts, fixed deposits, real properties, investments, etc). The net worth must be legally obtained and may be under the spouse or common-law partner’s name. This net worth must verifiable if invited to apply;
  • Post-secondary credential or experience as an active business owner-manager with 100 percent ownership of the business for at least three of the past five years.
  • Eligible experience as an active business owner/manager and/or senior manager;
  • Submit a business concept that demonstrates an active and ongoing management role in the day-to-day operations of the proposed business and the creation of at least one new job in the proposed B.C. business; and
  • Personal investment of CAD $200,000 in eligible expenses.

Candidate Requirements

In order to be eligible to register, individuals must:

  • have a basic English or French language proficiency equal to a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4 or higher.
  • have been lawfully admitted in the country where they are currently residing;
  • have at least a minimum of $600,000 in personal net worth. The personal net worth must be legally obtained and verifiable. The candidate must disclose personal net worth, including all your assets and those of your spouse or common-law partner, less any liabilities including mortgages and personal debts;

If invited to apply, individuals must obtain a verification report from BC PNP-qualified supplier. Failure to provide satisfactory evidence to verify personal net worth and source of funds may result in the refusal of an application.

  • have a minimum of three or more years as an active business owner-manager OR four or more years as a senior manager OR a combination of at least one year of experience as an active business owner-manager AND at least two years of experience as a senior manager (in the past 10 years);
  • have a post-secondary credential OR experience as an active business owner-manager with 100 per cent ownership of the business for at least three of the past five years. The percentage of ownership of the business may be shared between the candidate, the spouse or common-law partner, and/or his or her dependent child(ren);
  • provide details about the business concept specific to the proposal;

If invited to apply, individuals must demonstrate the proposed business is consistent with the registration business concept and show the potential for commercial viability to show how the proposed business will be successful in B.C.

  • demonstrate an eligible personal investment of at least $200,000 in the proposed business within 610 days (approximately 20 months) of arriving in B.C. on a BC PNP-supported work permit;
  • demonstrate that the business will create at least one permanent, new full-time equivalent job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada within 365 days (12 months) of the arrival date.
  • Entrepreneur Immigration — Regional Pilot — This new pilot is for international entrepreneurs looking to establish a new business in a small community in British Columbia.

The BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration — Regional Pilot is a new immigration pathway for foreign nationals looking to start and run a new business in smaller communities across British Columbia.

The business must be established in a community of fewer than 75,000 people located more than 30 kilometres from a larger city.

The two-year pilot is designed to help address demographic challenges in these communities, including the movement of young people to more densely populated cities in B.C. in search of better opportunities.

In order to be eligible, the B.C. community must have a population under 75,000 and must be located 30 kilometres away from a city with more than 75,000 inhabitants.

The community must prove that it can offer the newcomer entrepreneur a network of settlement and business agencies. It is the responsibility of community representatives to attend immigration and pilot-specific training prior to hosting exploratory visits and referring prospective EI Regional Pilot applicants.

To be considered eligible for the BC PNP EI Regional pilot, a potential entrepreneur applicant must:

  • have a minimum personal net worth of $300,000;
  • have active business ownership and senior management experience within the last 5 years that includes:
    • 3 or more years of experience as an active business owner-manager; or
    • 4 or more years of experience as a senior manager; or
    • a combination of 1 or more years of experience as an active business owner/manager and 2 or more years of experience as a senior manager.
  • demonstrate a minimum language proficiency equivalent to a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4;
  • provide a business plan to establish a new eligible business in an enrolled B.C. community;
  • have either a post-secondary credential OR experience as a business owner/manager with 100% ownership of the business for at least 3 out of 5 years;
  • demonstrate that he or she will hold at least 51 percent ownership of the proposed business; and
  • be able to make a minimum of $100,000 in eligible business investments in the proposed business (only if invited to apply). The BC PNP will not consider any investment made prior to the date of invitation.

B. Conduct a Community Exploratory Visit

All potential applicants must conduct an exploratory visit to the community in which they are hoping to establish their business. During the exploratory visit, the prospective EI Regional Pilot candidate is expected to present a business proposal to the community representative. The purpose of the visit is to obtain a community referral, which is a requirement to register to the BC PNP’s EI Regional Pilot.

Business proposal and referral request 

In the business proposal, the applicant must provide a business plan to establish a new business in the participating B.C. community. The business must be established with the sole purpose of earning profits by providing products and/or services to the local community. The business must also demonstrate the potential for long-term financial success.

Ineligible businesses include bed and breakfasts, hobby farms and home-based business, real estate development /brokerage, insurance or business brokerage.

For the community referral, the applicant must:

  1. Learn about the enrolled community and their priority industry sub-sectors;
  2. Understand the business conditions, local market and support services available to establish the business;
  3. Propose and develop a business concept that aligns with a priority industry sub-sector identified by the enrolled community;
  4. Meet with the designated community representative to discuss the business concept; and
  5. Request a referral from the enrolled community so they can submit an online registration with the BC PNP.
  • Strategic Projects Category — Through this category, foreign-controlled companies can set up an operation in British Columbia. Up to five key foreign managerial, professional or technical staff members can be nominated for permanent residence in the province.

The Strategic Projects Category functions as a Canadian immigration pathway for key staff of successful foreign corporations that have identified strategic investment opportunities in B.C. for the growth and expansion of their core businesses. 

In the process, the company can propose up to five key staff members to work and settle in the province to manage the company’s operations in British Columbia.

If nominated successfully under this category, the key staff members running the enterprise in B.C. may apply for Canadian permanent resident status.

Industries that have made use of the BC PNP Strategic Projects category advanced manufacturing, technology, new media, specialized engineering, forestry and scientific research and development. In most cases, these businesses have created high-impact occupations in British Columbia.

Minimum Requirements for Companies

To be eligible under the BC PNP Strategic Projects category, companies must:

  • be in excellent financial health; provide evidence of good business practices and successful business operations outside Canada that are relevant to the proposed B.C. business.
  • identify investment opportunities in B.C. based on commercial decisions and credible foundations.
  • demonstrate that the proposed key employees are qualified senior employees who are essential to establishing and operating the business

In most cases, successful corporate applicants typically have at least 150 staff members and annual revenues of at least $20,000,000.

The company will be required to:

  • make a minimum equity investment of at least $500,000 to establish or purchase and expand an eligible business in B.C.
  • create at least three new jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents for each foreign key staff member proposed (to a maximum of five key staff)
  • establish or purchase and expand a company in B.C.

Minimum Requirements for Key Staff Members

The BC PNP requires key staff members to have, or be eligible for, immigration status in Canada. The BC PNP will not accept applications of key staff members who:

  • Are prohibited from entering Canada,
  • Have not been lawfully admitted in their country of current residence,
  • Are in Canada without authorization or are out of status,
  • Are working in Canada without authorization,
  • Have an unresolved refugee claim in Canada,
  • Are under a removal order in or outside of Canada.

After Application Approval

If an application is approved, the company must perform the following:

  • Sign a Performance Agreement with the Government of British Columbia;
    • If the application is approved, a Performance Agreement must be signed with the Province of British Columbia by the company’s designated signing authority. Each key staff member will be issued a work permit support letter by the BC PNP in order to apply for a two-year work permit from Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
  • Submit a final report to the BC PNP to demonstrate how the company has met the terms and conditions of the Performance Agreement; and
  • (Key staff members) must apply to IRCC for a Canadian permanent resident visa within 180 days from the date of nomination (if the company has met the terms and conditions of the Performance Agreement).

For more information and applying for this program, please contact us. 

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