BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot

BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot

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.

The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) says the two-year pilot is intended to help distribute the economic benefits of immigration to B.C. more evenly across the province.

Foreign entrepreneurs approved through the Entrepreneur Immigration (EI) — Regional Pilot will first obtain a temporary work permit to establish and run their business in British Columbia for at least 12 months in accordance with the terms of their established Performance Agreement.

If the business is then deemed by the BC PNP to meet the requirements of this agreement on an ongoing basis, the entrepreneur will receive a provincial nomination and can apply to the Government of Canada for permanent residence.

Registration for the pilot is expected to begin in early 2019.

Eligibility Requirements for the Community

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.

Eligible B.C. communities enrolled with the EI Regional Pilot will be listed here once their profiles are posted by the BC PNP.

Eligibility Requirements for the Applicant

The EI Regional Pilot is for entrepreneurs looking to establish a new business in a smaller, regional community in British Columbia. Foreign entrepreneurs who have or are looking to purchase a pre-existing business may determine their eligibility under the BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration Category.

In order to register and apply to the EI Regional Pilot, applicants must:

A. Determine Eligibility for the BC PNP EI Regional Pilot

Before registering to the pilot, future entrepreneur applicants must:

  • 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.
  • 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;
  • have a minimum personal net worth of $300,000;
  • provide a business plan to establish a new eligible business in an enrolled B.C. community;
  • hold at least 51 per cent ownership of the proposed business;
  • make a minimum investment of $100,000 in the proposed business;
  • create at least one full-time equivalent position for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada;
  • demonstrate a minimum language proficiency equivalent to a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4;
  • actively manage their business in B.C. for at least 12 months in order to obtain a provincial nomination;
  • reside within the enrolled community where the business is established for at least 75 percent of the time while on a work permit.

B. Conduct a Community Exploratory Visit

All candidates 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 presents their business proposal to the community’s pilot representative. The purpose of the visit is to obtain a community referral, which is required as part of the entrepreneur candidate’s registration.

Business proposal and referral request 

In the business proposal, the applicant must provide a business plan. 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. A complete list of BC PNP EI Regional Pilot ineligible businesses will be available in early 2019.

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